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Mitt Romney's "Cut-and-Paste" Fantasy Candidacy

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Cross-posted from The Nation

Since Jon Huntsman exited the Republican presidential race, Mitt Romney has been collecting the lion's share of newspaper endorsements as the never-ending Republican presidential race has skipped from state to state. Though there are certainly exceptions, newspaper editorial boards generally maintain a refined taste for free-trade fantasies, privatization, running government "like a business" and the myth of "executive experience."

So Romney pretty much fits the bill.

But it is not a perfect fit, as major papers across the country have made clear. The endorsements of Romney invariably come with a caveat indicating that, like Republicans in general, the newspaper editorial boards are not really that into Mitt.

What's a candidate to do when all his endorsements recite his many failings?

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For Mitt, that's no problem.

Romney's campaign just cuts out the bad parts.

As the critical Michigan primary approached, one of the state's largest newspapers, the conservative Detroit News endorsed Romney. But the paper noted: "We disagree with Romney on a point vital to Michigan -- his opposition to the bailout of the domestic automobile industry. Romney advocated for a more traditional bankruptcy process, while we believe the bridge loans provided by the federal government in the fall of 2008 were absolutely essential to the survival of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. The issue isn't a differentiator in the GOP primary, since the entire field opposed the rescue effort."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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