Mitt Romney's senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom compared his candidate's campaign to an Etch a Sketch toy in a CNN interview Wednesday morning, Politico reported.
When asked by comedian John Fugelsang if he was concerned that the primaries had forced Romney to move to the right in ways that might hurt him in the general election, Fehrnstrom responded, "Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch a Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again," the Atlantic reported.
"This is obviously not a helpful thing to say if your candidate is known for his political malleability," wrote Politico's Alexander Burns. "But it’s also only one inept simile away from comments that a whole host of Republicans and Romney supporters have made before, suggesting that the political landscape will reset around before the fall campaign."
Romney's rivals on both sides of the political aisle seized upon the misstep immediately.
"He will say what he needs to say to win the election before him, and if he has to say something different because it's a different election and a different group of voters, he will say that, too," GOP candidate Rick Santorum said at a campaign event in in Harvey, Louisiana, CNN reported.
Newt Gingrich brought an Etch a Sketch to a Louisiana rally, and Rick Santorum's aides tweeted a picture of him holding the toy with the caption "@RickSantorum studying up on @MittRomney policy positions," Huffington Post reported.
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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) also put together an add mocking Fehrnstrom's Etch a Sketch comment, which features an unconvincingly Etch-a-Sketched video of Romney vowing to veto the DREAM Act and get rid of Planned Parenthood, Huffington Post reported.
"Mitt Romney is trying to scrub his extreme record," the ad reads, "but there are some things you can't shake off."
Romney, who comfortably won the Illinois primary on Tuesday, has made some similar missteps himself over the course of his campaign. Right before the New Hampshire primary back in January, the GOP candidate said that he “like[s] being able to fire people” when referring to health care providers. He also said, in an attempt to show his commitment to the middle class, that he’s “not concerned about the very poor” in an interview on CNN in February.
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