Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday explained his extreme change in positions since serving as the governor of Massachusetts by saying that he had gotten more conservative by “living life.”
Speaking to Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday, half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) had worried that Romney was not conservative enough.
“I base this on a pretty moderate past that he has had — in some case even cases, a liberal past,” she said. “But what I want to see is that candidate — and I believe that most voters in the GOP and independents, we will want to see that candidate who we can trust, who will just inherently, instinctively turn right, always err on the side of conservatism, which means smaller, smarter government, more empowerment for the individual, for the private sector.”
Fox & Friends co-host host Steve Doocy gave the former governor a chance to respond on Wednesday.
“I’m not quite sure what she would be referring to,” Romney shrugged. “I’m pro-life, pro-traditional marriage. I believe in the Second Amendment.”
“I think living life tends to make you more conservative,” he added. “And if you’ve been in the business world, you can’t help but be conservative, because if you don’t balance your budget in business, you go out of business.”
Some studies suggest that Romney is wrong to assert that “living life tends to make you more conservative.”
Research released in 2008 showed that Americans generally become more liberal as they age.
“All the evidence we have found refutes the idea that as people age their attitudes become more conservative or more rigid,” University of Vermont sociologist Nicholas Danigelis told Live Science. “More people are changing in a liberal direction than in a conservative direction.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 15, 2012.
(H/T: National Journal)