In the wake of Rick Santorum's three-state sweep earlier this week, Sen. Jon Kyl tells Politico that “there is not exactly Romney-mania right now”:
Kyl, who like DeMint has not endorsed in the 2012 race, launched into a sharp critique Wednesday on the matter, saying Romney’s support for indexing the minimum wage to inflation is something that “every conservative knows [is] a bad idea.”
And that’s the crux of the concern over Romney — that he’s simply not conservative by instinct and therefore has inherent difficulties with the right.
“People instinctively can sense how fervently you believe in things by the way you talk about them, by what you choose to talk about,” Kyl said. “And I think to some extent, Mitt can do a little better job to responding to that political fact. Second, he has stepped on his message so many times.”
Kyl added: “Every time he defends his health care action in Massachusetts and every time he says something like [indexing minimum wage], conservatives wonder whether he has the instincts to usually take the conservative position on issues. You don’t just want a transactional president, you want one with a very fixed view of what’s right or wrong, what the good solutions to problems are — and while you always have to end up making accommodations to get things done in politics, you at least instinctively know what direction you ought to be headed in. I think conservatives need to be persuaded that Mitt has a pretty firm fix on where the conservative lodestar is.”