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NH paper shreds Romney

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Chuck Todd

The Concord Monitor writes
an absolutely blistering editorial to be published tomorrow entitled,
"Romney Should Not Be The Next President." The paper does, however,
have a rather small circulation (only about 20,000 -- a medium-sized
paper is about 40,000 circulation), a liberal bent and the editorial
seems to be made for a direct mail piece or TV spot. Here are some

"If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit,
imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture,
Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit.
You'd add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business
career and just enough executive government experience. You'd pour in
some old GOP bromides - spending cuts and lower taxes - plus some new
positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

"Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure
looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped." …

"If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you
might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on
numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If
you followed only his campaign for president, you'd swear he was a
red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the
cost. Pay attention to both, and you're left to wonder if there's
anything at all at his core."

"People can change, and intransigence is not necessarily a virtue. But Romney has yet to explain this particular set of turnarounds [on gay rights, abortion, stem cell research and tax pledges] in a way that convinces voters they are based on anything other than his own ambition." …

"When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we'll know it.

"Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no."

*** UPDATE *** The Romney campaign responds: "The Monitor's editorial board is regarded as a
liberal one on many issues, so it is not surprising that they would
criticize Governor Romney for his conservative views and platform."