A Mitt Romney adviser tells McKay Coppins that you're right if you think Mitt Romney's tough campaign is a calculated effort to distance himself from John McCain's 2008 disaster.
“There were a lot of folks who didn’t think he’d have the edge to really take on the president,” a Romney advisor, who outlined the campaign strategy on the condition of anonymity, told BuzzFeed, refrring to “the Santorum people and conservatives who have been off the bandwagon.”
“They’ve been pretty surprised and impressed at how willing Boston has been to push back,” the advisor said. “We’re raising money, and I’m getting calls from people saying, ‘This is amazing… I didn’t think this would happen.”
“Now there’s a narrative that this guy is going to fight back and that’s not going to be a McCain situation where they get to attack you and everything you say is off limits,” he said.
The most intriguing point of the story is that conservatives seem to like a moderate if he fights -- GENUINELY fights.
Btw, wouldn't that explain Chris Christie's success?
To this day, there's a dedicated bunch of ideologues who bristle at the idea he's a hardcore conservative, but for most grassroots activists, those Youtube moments are enough to compensate for some of his political sins.
As Michael Gerson said of Christie the other day:
Who else in the Republican Party combines a tea party tone with a relatively moderate public record?
Is Romney taking that tact, too?