Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, joined Hardball Tuesday evening to discuss her endorsement of President Obama.
Romney “had to run to the extreme right to get the nomination to begin with,” she told Hardball host Chris Matthews. “Now, classically, candidates move into the middle, but he didn’t do that until quite late in the campaign, which leads you to believe that perhaps he was with the ideas he was espousing during the primary.”
“As a result of this campaign I am more confused than ever about what Mitt Romney stands for,” the former Republican and current independent wrote on her website Monday. “I know little of his core beliefs, if he even has any. No one seems to agree on what they are, and that’s why I do not want to take a chance on finding out.”
On Hardball, Eisenhower added that one of her biggest concerns about Romney was the prospect of a second term. The Republican Party, she argued, took months to settle on their nominee for president; while running for reelection, Romney would need to prove his leadership is as “severely conservative” as he once claimed.
“[Romney] will stay bought?” Matthews asked.
“I think that’s the really compelling thing about a second term for any president: He’s going to have to keep that base relatively happy,” replied Eisenhower.
Romney’s flip-flopping has been at the center of most of the attacks against the former Massachusetts governor, though it is now being spun into a positive narrative by some Romney supporters. In his latest op-ed for the New York Times, David Brooks writes that Romney’s “shape-shifting nature would induce him to govern as a center-right moderate” and that, because he’s a more “flexible flip-flopper” than Obama, he can achieve more bipartisan reform.
Both Matthews and Eisenhower dismissed Brooks’ column.
“This is a really dangerous idea: That unless one side gets its way, then they’re simply not going to cooperate,” Eisenhower said. “I think the public is fed up with this. I think they really want Congress to cooperate with the new president, no matter who it is.”
Eisenhower also endorsed Obama in 2008, the same year she left the Republican Party. Her father, retired Army general John Eisenhower, left the Republican Party four years earlier in 2004 and endorsed Democratic candidate John Kerry for president.