The Question Mitt Romney Didn’t Understand

Here it is:

"[Santorum]'s brought contraception into this campaign. The issue of birth control — contraception, Blunt-Rubio — is being debated, I believe, later this week. It deals with banning or allowing employers to ban providing female contraception. Have you taken a position on it? [Santorum] said he was for that. We'll talk about personhood in a second, but he's for that. Have you taken a position?"

Romney said he was against "the bill" but subsequently said

"I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception …"

and then said he backed Blunt-Rubio, a law that would allow employers to micro-manage their healthcare coverage for moral reasons, i.e. restricting contraception. To be honest, I think the question is pretty clear. The interviewer referred directly to Blunt-Rubio. And Romney has used this kind of technique before. Remember this in Ohio:

A day after he refused to endorse an Ohio ballot measure that limits public employee union rights, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said today that he is “110 percent” behind the effort … “I know there are other ballot questions in Ohio. I wasn’t taking a position on those."

So he misunderstood or misspoke again. The trouble is this always seems to happen in one direction. His first position is more moderate than his subsequent one. In other words, his gaffes may be true gaffes: they are what he actually believes, which is why he must then explain them away.

One wonders: can Romney go a day without putting his foot in it? Or do Republicans have to get used to this?