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Romney Downplays Etch-A-Sketch Remark

3/22/2012 7:34 PM ET

Mitt Romney downplayed the Etch-A-Sketch gaffe by one of his senior advisors that gained national attention.

Romney's senior campaign advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, said in a national television interview that the former Massachusetts governor had been forced to adopt conservative positions in the race that could hurt his standing with moderates in November's general election.

"I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign, everything changes," Fehrnstrom said. "It's almost like an Etch-A-Sketch, you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

Rival candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich seized the opportunity to criticize the more moderate Romney, using it as ammo to support longtime criticism of his back-and-forth positions on issues such as health care and abortion to suit his political needs.

The remark gained national attention, and the term Etch-A-Sketch was a trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday.

Politico reported that Romney addressed the Etch-A-Sketch chaos after his town hall meeting in Arbutus, Md. on Wednesday, saying his policies and positions will remain the same in the general election but that his campaign would take "on a different profile" if he becomes the Republican nominee.

"I can tell you this, when the campaign moves to becoming general election campaign, the nature of the campaign itself, in terms of staff, funding, the states we would go to, will be different than today obviously. It's a much larger campaign. Fundraising numbers are very different, we know work with the Republican National Committee instead of apart from any committee of that nature," Romney said.

"So organizationally, the general election campaign takes on a different profile. The issues I'm running on will be exactly the same. I'm running as a conservative Republican, I was a conservative Republican governor, I'll be running as a conservative Republican nominee — excuse me, at that point, hopefully, nominee for president. The policies and positions are the same."

by RTT Staff Writer

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