Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mutliple Choice Mittwit

Mitt Romney's position on abortion

Go check out the video of Mitt Romney's gubernatorial debate with Democrat Shannon O'Brien from 2002, posted by BlueMassGroup. Shannon O'Brien is right on when she says "He's not pro-choice. He's not pro-life. He's multiple choice."

I've transcribed some of the portions of the video that will make the anti-choicers heads explode:

"I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose."

"I am not going to change our pro-choice laws in Massachusetts in any way."

"My position has been the same throughout my political career, and it goes back to the days of 1970. There was a woman who was running for political office, U.S. Senate, she took a very bold and courageous stand in 1970, and that was in a conservative state. That was that a woman should have the right to make her own choice as to whether or not to have an abortion. Her name was Lenore Romney. She was my mom. Even though she lost, she established a record of courage in that regard. She had very strong personal beliefs about what decision she would make for herself and her family if offered to make that choice, but she also made it clear that she thought a woman should have her own right to choose, and believed in the separation of church and state. I have held that view consistently."

"I do not take the position of a pro-life candidate."

Is Lenore Romney rolling over in her grave yet?

Update: The corporate media takes notice: Ruth Marcus, WaPo: Mitt Romney's Extreme Makeover

From there, Romney proceeded to expound one of the odder positions I've heard in years of listening to politicians talk about a subject most would prefer to avoid: "I can tell you what my position is, and it's in a very narrowly defined sphere, as candidate for governor and as governor of Massachusetts," he said. "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 -- well, I don't think you can describe it in one hyphenated word."

Got it? I didn't, and I asked, "Do you support making abortion illegal? I'm not talking about what you would do as governor of Massachusetts."

Romney: "But that's the furthest I'm going to take you right now. I'm governor of Massachusetts, and I'm telling you exactly what I will do as governor of Massachusetts, but I'm not going to tell you what I'd do as mayor of Boston or a congressman or any of those positions."

I reprint so much of Romney's answer (you can read or listen to the full exchange online) because its baroque circumlocutions seemed to say so much about him. It was hard to know what Romney actually thought about abortion rights other than that this was a political minefield it was best to avoid stepping into for as long as possible.

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