Students from Massachusetts weigh in on Romney’s chances

With the Republican GOP race heating up, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a faltering front runner. Many critics believe Romney to be a flip-flopper who always tells the public exactly what they want to hear, and it may not have been an easy transition from governor of Massachusetts — a historically Democratic state — to Republican candidate in the presidential election.

In fact, fellow Republican candidate Rick Santorum said on Monday, “To be attacked on television as someone who is authentic conservative by a Massachusetts governor [Romney] is a joke.”

Some university students from Massachusetts said they have seen firsthand how much Romney has changed politically since his gubernatorial days from 2003 to 2007.

Sophomore letters and sciences major Pat Lortz, a registered Republican, said while he believes Romney is the right man for the job, his tenure in Massachusetts may work against him.

“I know he did a great job as governor and did many positive things there,” Lortz said. “But now he is forced to change his ideals to appeal to the far right and people are seeing right through it.”

Lortz graduated from Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Acton, Mass., where ten students in its 2011 graduating class came to this university. Patrick Grucela, a political science and history teacher at the high school, called Romney an “easy target” for his competitors, and said in watching Romney’s campaign it was  “hard to follow him from thought to thought.”

“A conservative Republican wasn’t going to win any office in Massachusetts,” Grucela said. “To win the Republicans, Romney is now going to have to change some things.”

Sophomore letters and sciences Drew Snadecki said he is still unsure whether he will join his neighbors back home in Marblehead, Mass., in supporting Romney.

“I haven’t followed the GOP as much as I should, but being from Massachusetts I know that locally Romney was strongly favored early on in the race without a doubt,” Snadecki said. “I read articles criticizing Romney’s performance during the debate, which proved that I shouldn’t support Romney for the heck of it, so I reevaluated my opinion and started following the GOP more.”

— Peter Kollm is a sophomore letters and sciences major

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