The Washington Post

Mitt Romney aide’s ‘Etch A Sketch’ moment

It’s only mid-week but this week’s Loop Gaffe of the Week — perhaps the month — can surely be given to Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior advisor for GOP presidential- nominee-in-waiting Mitt Romney.

After Romney’s big win Tuesday in the Illinois primary, Fernstrom was interviewed on CNN Wednesday morning and was asked:

“Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election?”

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

That’s kinda true — a caveat here, a little modulation there, a clarification, an explication — but these gambits are not something you want to talk about in polite company. The gaffe went viral.

Rick Santorum quickly slammed Romney, saying that voters can “take whatever he said and you can shake it up and it will be gone, and he’s going to draw a whole new picture for the general election.” Santorum and Newt Gingrich both starting carrying the toy around to mock the former Massachusetts governor.

Will Romney throw Fehrnstrom on top of the bus?

Watch the CNN video below.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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