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Memo to all Team Romney members: Don’t say stuff like this

Repeat after me: Gov. Romney is a man of constancy, not an etch-a-sketch

The news is mostly good for Team Romney this morning, but not all, at least for those who like a good gaffe.

Romney campaign senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom was on CNN this morning and was asked whether Romney has had to move so far to the right to secure the nomination that he will have trouble appealing to moderate swing voters in the fall. Replied 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 restart all over again.” (Taegan Goddard posted the video here, although you have to sit through a couple of minutes of the interview before you hit the etch-a-sketch gaffe).

Oy. Talk about reinforcing the wrong “narrative.” Romney is already haunted by his reputation for changing positions on key issues to fit the political needs of the moment. In one of the debates, Romney himself made a fairly pitiful defense of his “steadiness and constancy.” Although the question was about his changes in policy positions, he replied that he’s been married to the same woman for 42 years and has remained a Mormon his whole life. These were transparent efforts to change the subject to the number of wives and religions Newt Gingrich has enjoyed in his lifetime.

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But even that was better than the etch-a-sketch metaphor.

Didn’t take long for Team Santorum to notice. Said Santorum in Harvey, Louisiana this a.m.:

“One of Governor Romney’s aides today on television said that Gov Romney, after he wins the primaries, will be like an Etch A Sketch. You take whatever he said and you can shake it up and it will be gone and he’s going to draw a whole new picture for the general election,” said Santorum. “Well, that should be comforting to all of you who are voting in this primary. That whoever you are going to vote for is going to be a completely new candidate, remove all trace of any kind of marks and be able to draw a new picture. Maybe a picture sort of like when he ran for governor of Massachusetts, not as a conservative. One thing you can say–even my staunchest critics will say–is what you see is what you get.”