The spin team for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been working overtime in pushing the idea that a new ad on his reproductive rights position is a distortion. They claim that Romney hasn’t “backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in cases of rape and incest,” despite the fact that he has agreed to support both a 20-week federal abortion ban which in fact doesn’t allow abortion in those cases, as well most of the pledges in the Susan B. Anthony List’s presidential pledge, balking only at requiring every appointee be officially anti-choice and that all hospitals that provide abortions be stripped of taxpayer funds.
The “factcheckers” justification that Romney’s statement that he would sign a “human life amendment” doesn’t in fact mean that he would outlaw all abortions is provided by the executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, who claims that hey, they don’t really have an official amendment at this time, so who knows what Romney is agreeing to, and, even if they did, it probably wouldn’t get ratified by enough states, so it doesn’t really count.
Together, it allows Romney once more to have it both ways when it comes to his anti-choice stances–he gets to tell his base he will ban everything, and his base then covers for him by saying these aren’t really his choices to make so he doesn’t get held to an official stance.
It should come as no surprise at this point, since it’s a game he has played for years. As Political Wire points out, he was doing the same in 2005 when running for governor of Massachusetts.
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“I can tell you what my position is, which is — and it’s in a very narrowly defined sphere — which is, as candidate for governor and as governor of Massachusetts what I said to people was that I personally did not favor abortion, that I am personally pro-life. However, as governor, I would not change the laws of the commonwealth relating to abortion.”
“Now I don’t try and put a bow around that and say, what does that mean you are? Does that mean you’re pro-life or pro-choice? Because that whole package, meaning I’m personally pro-life but I won’t change the laws, you could describe that as — I don’t think you can describe it in one hyphenated word.”
If an ad about Romney’s position on abortion doesn’t allegedly match Romney’s exact position, perhaps that’s less of an issue with the ad, and more proof that Romney himself is refusing to make a consistent public stance on the issue.