The problem, of course, comes when Brownback insinuates Gov. Romney’s pro-life positions aren’t authentic simply because he’s changed over the years. ~Nancy French, Evangelicals for Mitt
Of course, it isn’t just Brownback who says this. I don’t think he insinuates it, either–he directly questions Romney’s credentials. Brownback is perhaps not the best messenger for making accusations of conversion for political convenience. I have noted Brownback’s 1994 discovery of the importance of the sanctity of life during a tough primary fight. The important differences are that Brownback has been toiling away in the trenches, so to speak, in the pro-life cause for a good while longer than Gov. Romney on the one hand and never ran as far to the left as Romney did in the past on the other. This gives Brownback a certain credibility Romney doesn’t yet have and gives us all good reason to doubt Romney’s convictions.
Romney’s change of mind has come about in exactly the last four years, which happen to have coincided very nicely with the period of time when he was no longer going to be running for statewide office in Massachusetts and had begun looking to the national stage. It could be the case that the timing was incidental, and it could be that his change of mind was completely sincere (or at least as sincere as one can expect in a politician). However, the timing together with his past record of holding essentially opposite views give voters every reason to suspect that Gov. Romney is trying to play them (more than the average politician). One of the questions Romneyites need to be able to answer is this: on the issues that matter deeply to them, why should social conservatives gamble on Romney when they know they have a reliable representative in Brownback?