YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Romney campaign failing to shake off Etch-A-Sketch label

March 21, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • Matt Ortega's Etch-A-Sketch Romney site is one of the many responses to a Mitt Romney aide's comments comparing the candidate's transition into the general election to the children's toy.
Matt Ortega's Etch-A-Sketch Romney site is one of the many responses… (Matt Ortega / )

Reporting from Washington —

Mitt Romney's victory lap the day after the Illinois Republican primary has been erased by an Etch-A-Sketch, leaving the candidate to deal with a new wave of online mockery aimed at Romney’s perceived tendency to adjust his views.

On Tuesday night, Romney won a convincing percentage of the Illinois electorate, giving momentum to his campaign's claim that he is the inevitable nominee. On Wednesday morning, he landed the endorsement of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom, speaking on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," obliterated the positive vibes with his response to a question on whether the campaign was worried that some of its more conservative positions would alienate moderate voters in the general election.

"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign," Fehrnstrom said. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

And now, everyone from Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to the Democratic National Committee is hopping on the Etch-A-Sketch reference.

Matt Beynon, deputy communications director for Santorum's campaign, is setting Twitter alight with a photo of Santorum with an Etch-A-Sketch, framing it as "@RickSantorum studying up on @MittRomney policy positions."

And at a campaign stop in Harvey, La., Santorum was quick to reference the comments.

“Well, that should be comfortable to all of you who are voting in this primary, that whoever you’re going to vote for is going to be a completely new candidate, remove all trace of any kind of marks and be able to draw a new picture, making pictures similar to when he ran Massachusetts, not as a conservative,” Santorum said to an audience at Superior Energy Services.

D.C.-based new media consultant Matt Ortega, who has built sites such as "Multiple Choice Mitt" and the now-defunct "Obama's Ambassador" has provided the icing on the cake with the site Etch-A-Sketch Romney, pictured above, which runs through several of the candidate's verbal contradictions.

Gingrich took to Twitter as well, telling his followers that "Etch a Sketch is a great toy but a losing strategy. We need a nominee w/ bold conservative solutions."

The DNC also released the following video early in the afternoon in response to Fehrnstrom's comments, titled "Some Things You Can't Shake Off."

And that quick roundup doesn't account for the countless tweets, Facebook posts and water cooler jokes floating around in response to Fehrnstrom, which if Wednesday's uproar is any indication, won't be easily shaken off.

Follow Politics Now on Twitter

Romney campaign failing to shake off Etch-A-Sketch label

Los Angeles Times Articles