If you think you’ve already heard everything there is to know about Mitt Romney, think again. A 200-page document that appears to be Sen. John McCain’s entire 2008 election-year opposition research file on the former Massachusetts governor hit the Internet with a vengeance Tuesday evening. And it’s an eye-opener.
The file explores everything from the assessed value of Romney’s house (“$3.162 million”) to his views on the Boy Scouts’ ban of homosexuals (“publicly opposed … in 1994 and 2002 campaigns”). It was made public Tuesday on the social media website Buzzfeed, although it appears to have been accessible online for two months.
The document, given the name “The Romney Book,” was viewed less than 100 times on the page where it was originally uploaded by its anonymous leaker on November 11.
Neither McCain nor his former presidential campaign staffers have authenticated the untitled document, and McCain’s recent endorsement of Romney makes that highly unlikely. Still, the file is comprehensive enough — even by Washington, D.C. opposition-research standards — to suggest that it was assembled as a tool to counter a Romney candidacy on a national scale. And the news articles it references stop late in 2007.
After a four-page introduction and timeline of Romney’s personal and professional life, the file’s next six pages cover what the authors called “top hits.” The last six pages are an appendix describing a “Boston Video Archive.”
The biggest portion consists of a detailed and heavily sourced exploration of Romney’s evolving positions on social issues (22 pages), economic issues (21 pages) and domestic policy (48 pages).
A 33-page section details his business record at Bain Capital, and 16 pages cover political issues that the authors believed can be exploited against Romney.
Another 11 pages are devoted to his “flip-flops.”
Read the Romney file: