Mitt Romney, under fire from all sides on the strength of his political convictions, said Thursday he has been as consistent as a person can be during his political career.
"I've been as consistent as human beings can be," the presidential candidate said in a meeting with the editorial board of New Hampshire's Seacoast Media Group. "I cannot state every single issue in exactly the same words every single time, and so there are some folks who, obviously, for various political and campaign purposes will try and find some change and try to draw great attention to something which looks like a change which in fact is entirely consistent."
Romney could be speaking about his opposition on the Democratic side — with the Democratic National Committee and President Obama's reelection campaign regularly calling him a "flip-flopper" — or within his own party. Romney rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry referred to him as inconsistent Wednesday night in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
“You know, Americans want a consistent president,” Perry said. “The issue is, you know, he [Romney] changes his positions. I mean, last week, and years before he was for cap and trade. He was for 'global warming is manmade.' And now this next week he comes out and says, ‘Well, no. Maybe that's not the case.’”
Last Thursday, Romney said the cause of climate change is “unknown” after previously saying humans contribute to global warming. The Perry campaign jumped on the apparent shift.
Perry promised on Fox, “I'm going to bring up the truth and talk about it.”
On the other side, Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic Party, had a similar response to Romney on Thursday. He tweeted that Romney’s “consistent” quote “made me laugh out loud.” And he used the hashtag #heactuallysaidthat.”
The Democratic National Committee torched Romney in a new Web video on Thursday over the issue of reproductive rights, claiming that he shifted positions on abortion after promising not to change current laws during his time as Massachusetts governor.
In October, Romney told Fox host and 2008 presidential competitor Mike Huckabee he would “absolutely” have supported a constitutional amendment to establish conception as the beginning of life, but stopped short of saying he would support such an amendment as president.
The DNC accused Romney on Thursday of supporting what DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) termed in a conference call a "extreme" policy that would classify all abortions, along with many forms of birth control, as murder.
"Women in this country should not be held hostage to Mitt Romney's political aspirations," she said.
"It's too bad this White House isn't as focused on attacking unemployment as they are in attacking our campaign," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul when asked to respond to the DNC attack.
—This post was updated at 5:33 p.m.