Roland Martin and the Washington Watch roundtable discuss Mitt Romney the Etch-A-Sketch presidential candidate.
This weeks Washington Watch roundtable features Judith Browne Dianis, April Ryan, Dr. Chris Metzler, and Michelle Bernard.
MR. MARTIN: Folks, welcome back to “Washington Watch.”
Can y’all get a sh- — a shot of April over here, playin’ games on the set?
[CUT TO APRIL RYAN WITH AN ETCH A SKETCH, CHATTING WITH MICHELLE BERNARD.]
MR. MARTIN: We’re tryin’ to be all serious here. She’s over here playing with this Etch ‘N’ Sketch [sic] – all right – rekindling memories of her crazy childhood in Baltimore.
MR. MARTIN: So –
MS. RYAN: You – you –
MR. MARTIN: — now, this is what –
MS. RYAN: — you knew – [crosstalk] –
MR. MARTIN: — April, April –
MS. RYAN: Didn’t you?
MR. MARTIN: — settle down.
MS. RYAN: [Crosstalk.]
MR. MARTIN: Settle down. Settle down.
MS. DIANIS: [Crosstalk] – Baltimore.
MS. RYAN: [Sighs, still fiddling with the Etch A Sketch.] Oh –
MR. MARTIN: The Etch –
MS. RYAN: — whatevvuh.
MR. MARTIN: — A Sketch, of course, was part of the story this week.
OFF CAMERA: It’s coming back.
MR. MARTIN: It all started on Soledad O’Brien’s show, “Starting Point,” on CNN. Che- — check this out.
HOST: Is there a concern that the pressure from 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?
MR. ERIC FEHRNSTROM: Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.
[END OF VIDEO.]
MR. MARTIN: Oh, okay. That was Romney’s communications director!
MR. MARTIN: And that has led –
OFF CAMERA: Fired. [Chuckles.]
MR. MARTIN: — that has totally changed this race, where now Gingrich and Santorum are holding up Etch ‘N’ Sketches [sic]. He’s getting slammed by saying, “Man, you’re talking about changes policies.” Romney tried to clean it up. But this guy gave a different answer than what Romney did.
Is this a problem for Mitt Romney when –
MS. RYAN: Heck, yeah.
MR. MARTIN: — they just played right into the opposition’s hands when it comes to him changing his position?
MS. BERNARD: It’s a – it’s a problem – [chuckles] —
MS. RYAN: He said – [shakes the Etch A Sketch and chuckles] –
MS. BERNARD: — for a lot of reasons. I mean think about it. Earlier in the week, Mitt Romney – that – that statement came on the heels of Mitt Romney getting a very tepid, but at least an endorsement from Jeb Bush, who was [crosstalk]- –
MR. MARTIN: And he’d just won Illinois!
MS. BERNARD: — and he had just –
MR. MARTIN: Big win!
MS. BERNARD: — won Illinois. That should’ve been the – the big news of the day for Mitt Romney, and instead we are talking about w- — again, “Etch A Sketch,” “resetting” and “Will the we-” – “real Mitt Romney step forward?”
DR. METZLER: Well –
MS. RYAN: So late in the game to have to reset? I mean you’re how many months away? About eight months away from the general election. You’re talking “reset,” and you’re the lead candidate? You’re in trouble.
DR. METZLER: — yeah. I mean, look. As – as the – [chuckles] – Republican on the panel, let me just say that it’s a problem. I mean it’s a large problem because, in fact –
[MS. RYAN HANDS DR. METZLER THE ETCH A SKETCH. LAUGHTER.]
OFF CAMERA: It’s yours.
DR. METZLER: [Cracks up.] That’s right!
DR. METZLER: What has happened is at this point, Democrats don’t need to define him as a flip-flopper. His own person has –
MS. RYAN: Amen.
DR. METZLER: — defined him as a flip-flopper. And for so many of us who already are not really fully supportive of him and don’t really like him, it simply reinforces the fact that he is the flip-flopper. So, he has given this to the Democrats, and there’s not a whole lot he’s going to be able to do about it.
MR. MARTIN: I am waiting – and I think it’ll probably be up in at least 24 hours – for the next Internet ad – Obama ’12 ad – on a[n] Etch ‘N’ Sketch [sic].
DR. METZLER: Yeah. There ya – [chuckles] – go.
MR. MARTIN: Oh, it’s comin’. You know –
MR. MARTIN: — it’s comin’.
MS. DIANIS: Oh, it’s probably there already.
DR. METZLER: It’s comin’. It’s comin’.
MR. MARTIN: I mean it’s –
MS. RYAN: Vice Pres. Biden’s probably got an Etch A Sketch right now, trying –
MR. MARTIN: Yeah, all these [crosstalk]- —
MS. RYAN: — to work it out.
MR. MARTIN: — [crosstalk] – and I’m waiting for it to go up on the air, because you’re sitting there, going –
DR. METZLER: Yeah.
MR. MARTIN: — a- — and, again, I still believe, for Mitt Romney – even when he won Illinois, you saw the exit polling. Of the people who voted for him, more than 40 percent still said –
DR. METZLER: Right.
MR. MARTIN: — “We’re uncomfortable with this guy.” I mean he has a pro- — I – I just don’t think the hate for Obama – for Pres. Obama can hold up enough for some folks. He is going to have to solidify that base in a much different way.
MS. RYAN: Rick Santorum made a good point. He basically did what everybody’s saying. You know, “everybody but Mitt Romney.” He gave Barack Obama the – the presidency, almost, if you will, if the election were to have happened the day he said that. I mean Mitt Romney is in major trouble – the frontrunner. Even his numbers – his poll numbers – compare to John McCain at the same time. John McCain –
MR. MARTIN: Right.
MS. RYAN: — was 47 percent with poll numbers. He’s 35. He is in major trouble.
MR. MARTIN: He’s in major trouble; but I still say that, again, after the conventions, I think you will see a reset. It’s still going –
DR. METZLER: Sure.
MR. MARTIN: — to be a very close –
MS. RYAN: And reset –
MR. MARTIN: — election.
MS. RYAN: — every week.
MR. MARTIN: And you still are going to have a very different – very tight race when it comes down to this election.
All right, folks. We certainly appreciate it.