In New Hampshire Wednesday, Romney told a crowd that he’s a fan of both sides of his home state’s biggest college rivalry. But six months ago, when he was speaking to a crowd at the University Of Michigan, he came down firmly as a Wolverine.
Back in 2007, when campaigning at a game between Michigan and Michigan State, Romney declined to choose between the two.
So it seems that Romney has not just flip-flopped, but flip-flop-flipped, going from fan of both, to Wolverine, to fan of both again.
“I’m for both Michigan and Michigan State these days,” Romney said in New Hampshire Tuesday, according to the AP’s Kasie Hunt.
In May, Romney made his big healthcare speech in a University of Michigan classroom. He explained that he’s “had divided loyalties in the past,” but said “I have been a Michigan and a Wolverine fan for a long, long time.”
Maybe Romney takes to fence-riding each time an election year gets closer. Back in 2007, it was certainly on full display when Romney attended a Michigan State-Michigan football game. From a report from at time:
A person in the crowd asked him his prediction for the game.
“One of the Michigan teams is going to win,” he said, smiling.
People swarmed around him, attempting to shake his hand or take a picture.
A Michigan State fan walked around the crowd yelling, “He’s a Spartan fan. All you Michigan fans back away.”
But Romney never made his loyalties clear. Someone near the back of the crowd kept yelling “Blue or Green?” Romney didn’t answer.
Other politicians are more willing to take a side when it comes to state sports rivalries. On Morning Joe this week, for example, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was quick to say “I’m a Giants fan, I just am,” when asked who he wants to win the big Christmas Eve NFL game.
Picking a sports team can be a political decision, as Hillary Clinton found out during her 2000 Senate race in New York. She waffled at first between the city’s rival baseball teams before eventually turning up in a Yankees hat — even as polls found she was the overwhelming winner among Mets fans. She won the race, despite donning pinstripes.
Romney, son of the former Michigan Gov. George Romney, very much wants to win his home state in the general election. (That might be tough considering this, but that’s another story.)
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on which Michigan sports team Romney backs.