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August, 7th 2007

More on the Romney pro-life thing

– Liz Mair

The Union Leader up in NH has a very good column this morning that gets right down to brass tacks on the issue of Romney and his abortion stances:

In a 2002 forum with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Shannon O'Brien, candidate Romney said he would "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose," opposed a 24-hour waiting period before getting an abortion, said he would do nothng to make it harder for a woman to have an abortion, and denied accepting Massachusetts Citizens for Life's endorsement in his 1994 Senate race. He even said, "I don't accept either label, pro-choice or pro-life." What happened between 2002 and now?

Romney has given two accounts of his changing views on abortion. One is that he was pro-choice until 2005, when he became pro-life after researching stem cell issues. The other is that he was personally pro-life but refused to impose his views on the people of Massachusetts.

Both cannot be true. Which is it? We are not sure we care. But we do care that Romney has two stories that don't mesh and appears to have inadvertently admitted to taking a position on this issue because it was politically expedient to do so.


Quite right. I have always maintained that it is very likely that Romney remains pro-choice, and possibly even more so than Giuliani (he certainly made a much bigger deal of being pro-choice when he ran for high office in Massachusetts in 1994 and 2002). And the issue for me is clearly not electing a pro-choice Republican.

The issue for me is that abortion is an important subject and if someone cannot take a clear stance on it, explain what their views are and why they hold those views, then that tells me that that person a) doesn't have any real views on the subject (which is problematic no matter where you stand on the issue) and b) is hedging and dodging for purely political purposes-- which means that in office, he won't govern according to principles, but rather according to what is popular or what is required to placate and buy off powerful and difficult-to-deal with groups.

As an aside, the comments on the Union Leader column are interesting to note, too:

Governor Romney has been making it up as he goes along. Earlier in the campaign, he stated that "leadership is a process." If you want to be a real leader, you step out front, you say what you believe and you obtain a loyal following of constituents who believe in your core values. You don't test the waters and change your views depending on your geographical location and what office you're seeking.

and

This guy is nothing more than a Republican version of Bill Clinton. He will say or do ANYTHING to get his parties nomination. I would sooner vote for a candidate who is pro-chice than someone who lies about his position on an important issue. Mitt Romney, you are a fraud!

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