"I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much
all my life."
(April 3, 2007)
"I'm not a big-game hunter. I've made that
very clear. I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if
you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of
varmints since then. More than two times."
(April 5, 2007)
Another instance of Romney's post-gaffe spin being more of a spiral upward than a tamping down. It was bad enough when Romney's staff had to step in and clarify his boast of being a "pretty much" life-long hunter to mean he had been hunting twice. Later in the same week, Romney sought to make light of the exaggeration with his reference to "varmints," a word that tripped off his Harvard-educated tongue about as gamely as John Kerry's proclamation of NASCAR appreciation. Perhaps most damaging, both remarks gave reporters a chance to look into Romney's history on gun rights, revealing a set of "evolutions" from moderate to conservative stances that matched his embrace of pro-life views.