I have been watching the Romney campaign from the very beginning. Since he entered the race both sides have tried to label him. Right leaning Republicans believe him to be liberal. Left leaning Democrats believe him to be conservative. The correct answer, in my opinion, is that they are both right. He leans whatever direction he believes gives him the best chance to be elected President. He is, to put it simply, and opportunist.
During the 2004 campaign for the presidency Republicans labeled John Kerry a flip-flopper for his stance on the Iraqi War. He voted for the war but suddenly when it became time to run for President he decided that he was against the war. This was on one issue and the Republicans were able to turn the election on that one issue.
This cycle Democrats are attempting the same thing with Willard Romney but they are having issues. Romney has changed his mind on so many issues they can not seem to pick just one.
Take Obamacare for instance. In one day (right after the Democratic Convention he changed his position three different times. In an interview he noted that there were certain provisions in Obamacare that he would not overturn. By mid-day his base had let him know that they did not agree with that position and he suddenly reversed himself and announced that his job was to overturn all of Obamacare. Before the day was out, however, he was once again touting portions of the Health Care Law. Keep in mind that a large percentage of Obamacare is based of Romneycare, the Health Care Law enacted in Massachusetts by then Governor Romney.
Romney's taxes have been a constant story for almost this entire cycle. He broke protocol (and even his father's own actions) when he refused to release more than one year of taxes. There is no law, of course, about having to release any taxes to run for president, but every major candidate for president has released several dozen years worth of taxes. This probably would have run it's course but two things happened to keep the tax issue front and center. First it was revealed that the Romney camp requested and received ten years of tax returns from Paul Ryan who is running as his Vice-Presidential candidate. Secondly, when Romney finally released his taxes for last year they also released a "laundry list" of sorts of what his taxes reportedly looked like for the several years before hand which of course begged the question: If they could release an overview of those taxes why not just release them?
The answer is obviously because he was looking for something to district from his disastrous 47% comment. He was looking for an opportunity to look good and his campaign's answer was to release a year's worth of taxes.
While the attacks in Libya were happening, the Romney team saw a Tweet by American officials trying to quell the protests. Romney saw this as an opportunity to attack the President. His remarks were widely panned as opportunistic considering at the time of his remarks the protests were beginning to ramp up and by the end several US diplomats would be dead. What got a lot of people was his constant smirking during and after his remarks.
His own track record from the 90s as opposed to today is where one really sees the opportunism that is Willard Mitt Romney. As a the governor of liberal Massachusetts he was pro-choice, pro-marriage equality, pro-union and pro-universal healthcare.
Since he began running for president in this cycle he knew that he would not get far in the Republican Party if he blew off the Republican base. So he naturally became anti-choice in all cases including something called "legitimate rape", he suddenly viewed marriage as a union only meant for a man and a woman, he suddenly decided that unions were at the root of a lot of problems in the work force, he suddenly came to the conclusion as recently as yesterday that simply going to the ER was a good as any kind of health care (which is a reversal of a position he held just a few years ago).
In the end he is a career politician that saw success on the state level being an opportunist, whether he can parlay that into success at the national level by winning the presidency we will find out in November.