Romney's political shifts stir criticism

By STEVE LeBLANC | November 12, 2011 | 8:55 AM EST

BOSTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has shifted positions on abortion, gay rights, stem cell research and health care. That's stoked charges of political opportunism.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Romney's other rivals portray him as a political chameleon. But voters are focused on the nation's faltering economy. That's playing to what Romney sees as his strength — real world experience in business and government.

The former venture capitalist and Harvard Business School alumnus is hoping economic worries will overshadow his evolving policies.

Romney's history offers plenty of fodder for those who accuse the former Massachusetts governor of political shifting.