Mitt Romney, Fair Harvard

Mitt Romney continues to struggle with which persona he’s going to wear. He’s an independent! No, wait, he’s moderate Republican! Scratch that, he’s a conservative culture warrior! Hold on, now he’s a small businessman!

While the former governor experiments with his personality, Romney seems to sometimes overlook his own background.

Mitt Romney once again criticized President Obama for taking his advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge” in a speech in Florida on Thursday. He’s repeated the line on the campaign trail….

In a major address on foreign policy last month, Romney used the school as a punchline to decry Obama as overly weak in dealing with dictators. “That may be what they think in that Harvard faculty lounge,” he said, “but it’s not what they know on the battlefield!”

This is no doubt part of Romney’s efforts to appear like a “regular guy” — go ahead, Mitt, tweet again about flying commercial — and Republican audiences seem to like the line. But there are a few problems with his anti-Ivy-League rhetoric.

First, Romney has two post-grad degrees from Harvard.

Second, Romney has three sons who earned post-grad degrees from Harvard.

Third, several of Romney’s top policy aides are either Harvard alums, Harvard professors, or both. (If he’s going to talk about how awful it is to get advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge,” it’d help if Romney weren’t getting advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge.”)

I realize anti-intellectualism sells in Republican circles, and Romney is counting on GOP voters paying no attention to anything the former said or did before 2007. But Romney’s relentless Harvard-bashing is pretty ridiculous, even for him.

Post script: Romney, by the way, has also never been “on the battlefield.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.