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Etch-A-Sketch gaffe could erase good news of Jeb's endorsement of Mitt Romney

EtchMitt Romney began Wednesday basking in the glow of the surprise endorsement of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush less than 24 hours after a big Illinois win.

All the good news was in danger of being erased by what’s known as the Etch-A-Sketch gaffe.

As Bush’s endorsement rattled about Twitter and the blogosphere, Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom flubbed a question on CNN when he was asked if the campaign plans to retool its message in the general election

“I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign, everything changes,” Fehrnstrom said. “It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch, you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.”

Liberals, Obama’s campaign and Romney’s Republican rivals pounced. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich later brandished the 1960’s-era sketching toy end at their respective campaign events.

The flub was a costly one because it involved such a childish goofy sounding word that pointed to a more-serious truth: Opponents see Romney as a flip-flopper.

Reporters, kept at bay from the gaffe-prone Romney, asked the candidate about it Wednesday in Maryland, but he initially snapped that he wasn’t giving a press conference.

Then he reversed himself and, rather than talk about the Bush endorsement, told reporters that he was the same old candidate.

"I’m running as a conservative Republican,” he said. “The policies and positions are the same.”

So are Romney’s problems. He has repeatedly been hobbled by a lack of enthusiasm among Republican voters and, it seems, after every big win Romney commits a gaffe. The difference this time: The mistake was made by his advisor, not the candidate.

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