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The Insiders
Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 02/08/2012

Romney out of sync with GOP on contraception

Further evidence Mitt Romney is out of sync with Republicans: the controversy over the Obama Administration's decision to require health plans — including Catholic hospitals and charities — to provide birth control. While the Republican attack machine smells blood and is moving in lock-step to capitalize on what they perceive as a wedge issue, Mitt Romney finds himself once again in an awkward and muted position. As my mother might say, his "slip of moderation" is showing because, as governor, Romney allowed a similar rule to take effect. So, instead of presenting a united front against Obama, the Republicans are split — with Mitch McConnell trying to lead the charge, while two of the party's presidential candidates — Santorum and Gingrich— are ganging up on Romney for being, well, insufficiently "catholic" on this issue. 

The contraception discussion is a microcosm of Romney's dilemma. In many ways, his profile fits the sweet spot of the electorate: conservative economically, moderate socially.  But, of course, this is not the profile of the Republican primary electorate. The more the election focuses on social issues, the worse it gets for Romney.  The paradox of the Republicans’ latest attack on Obama is that it is an attack on their leading presidential candidate.

By  |  12:28 PM ET, 02/08/2012

 
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