Romney Etch-a-Sketch Comment By Adviser Sparks Outcry, Laughs, Head-Scratching

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Note to Mitt Romney advisers: When your candidate already has a reputation as a middle-of-the-road, flip-flopping technocrat with zero core beliefs, likening him to an Etch-A-Sketch is probably ill-advised, no matter the context.

Eric Fehrnstrom learned this the hard way Wednesday.

CNN asked whether his candidate, who's gone out of his way to appeal to conservatives this winter, would later tack more to the political center against President Obama.

"I think you hit a reset button for a fall campaign," Fehrnstrom said. "Everything changes. It's like an Etch A Sketch. You can shake it up and we start all over again."

Willard Mitt Romney

In his slight defense, Fehrnstrom was likely referring to media coverage, campaign themes and issues in the landscape of Romney and Obama going head to head.

Still, the Etch-A-Sketch has now become a new nickname for the Republican presidential candidate himself, who's long been accused of being its political equivalent.

Many analysts shook their heads, but others weren't so amused.

The remark drew a stinging response from the head of the nation's largest reproductive rights group, who said women voters will not accept flip-flops on issues.

"We will make damn sure women know where Mitt Romney stands" on matters related to women's health, said Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

She addressed more than 1,000 women at the group's annual Power of Choice lunch at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, shortly after Fehrnstrom's gaffe.

Etch-A-Sketch references aside, Romney cruised to victory in Illinois Tuesday and made his most compelling case yet that he will be the Republican nominee.

All but assured of vanquishing (or just plain outlasting through attrition) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, he will likely wrap this thing up. Eventually.

President Obama's team is likely working up an Etch-A-Sketch-themed campaign ad to run against him, but Romney is on track to get that one-on-one battle.

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