On CNN’s State of the Union today, Candy Crowley – who is moderating the upcoming Presidential debate – called out Mitt Romney’s ‘then and now’ positons on abortion. The Republican presidential candidate attempted to duck and dodge his way to the center in an interview this week with the Des Moines Register, quickly followed by another quiet clarification from the Romney campaign. Crowley got Romney adviser Ed Gillespie to admit that Romney is firmly anti-choice.
CROWLEY: Let me just play you something first, which is sort of a Romney then and now. One is from the primary and one is from this “Des Moines Register” and the subject is abortion.
ROMNEY: In my view if we had justices like Roberts, Alito, Thomas, and Scalia, and more justices like that, they might well decide to return this issue to states as opposed to saying it’s in the federal Constitution… Do I believe the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade? Yes, I do.
REGISTER: Do you intend to pursue any legislation specifically regarding abortion?
ROMNEY: I don’t, there’s no legislation regarding — with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.
CROWLEY: So is it or is it not a priority for Mitt Romney to pursue overturning Roe v. Wade?
GILLESPIE: Well, first of all, of course, that is, would be a decision by the Supreme Court.
CROWLEY: Well, congress could do something, and certainly the president could do something about it.
GILLESPIE: What the governor has consistently said is he thinks Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and that this is something that should be left to the elected representatives – the people through their elected representatives. That clip was cut a little bit short there because he went on to say that he would repeal and reverse President Obama’s Mexico City Policy, which compels American taxpayers to pay for abortion overseas.
CROWLEY: That’s something that switches with presidents. Like the Democrats tend to reinstitute it, and the Republicans tend to take it out.
GILLESPIE: It’s a very important issue in terms of taxpayer funding, abortion overseas, as well as taxpayer funding for abortion here, which is part of Obamacare and as president, Governor Romney would repeal Obamacare too. So, life is an important issue in this election, as is the economy and as is national security. All these issues always play an important role.
CROWLEY: But you don’t see a difference between him saying, yes, I want Roe v. Wade overturned – and you can do that legislatively if one wants, I’m adding that last part – and him saying, well I don’t actually see any legislation there that would part of my agenda. Those aren’t two different tones to you about an approach to abortion?
GILLESPIE: The fact is he is a pro-life candidate. He will be a pro-life president. And he doesn’t believe that we should federally fund abortion, and he believes that Roe was wrongly decided and that this is an issue that is best left to the American people and their elected representatives. Completely consistent throughout.
Romney is trying to get away with having two different messages for two different audiences by saying that abortion is best left to elected representatives while also saying that he has no legislation planned to deal with the issue. It’s as if Romney is pretending that elected representatives don’t pass legislation in order to avoid being called out on his discrepancies. Candy Crowley was having none of that today.
Mitt Romney’s lies have become so obvious, especially in the aftermath of the first debate, that mainstream TV media is taking notice. Their sudden attention to Romney’s ever changing positions is also probably a result of Romney’s bump in the polls, which makes his positons more relevant than they were when it appeared a done deal for Obama.
Print journalists started taking Romney to task especially after his debate performance was roundly panned as being full of lies, and now TV pundits are taking a closer look.
This doesn’t bode well for Mitt Romney, but it is a great thing for democracy. In a perfect world, our media would do this to both candidates with the goal of informing the public.
Mitt Romney has been outed, again, as being firmly anti-choice. Now the media needs to delve into exactly what that means, as so far the probable ramifications of the Paul Ryan supported Personhood Amendment have been largely ignored. It’s not exactly mainstream to want to criminalize some forms of birth control, and let’s face it, this is an issue that impacts men as much as it does women.
I highly doubt men in this country want to have to choose between having sex and having a baby. In other words, when Republicans come after birth control, they’re risking a lot of people’s freedom, not just women’s.
Crowley is moderating the Tuesday townhall style debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. It looks as if she might be taking cues from Martha Raddatz, who refused to allow the Right’s attempt to work the ref intimidate her from asking tough questions of both candidates in the Vice Presidential debate.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.