GOP Abortion Rights Group Targets Romney
A GOP group favoring abortion rights that Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) once courted for support will launch a major ad campaign this weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire attacking him for reversing his position on the issue.
The Republican Majority for Choice -- which is spending more than $100,000 on TV ads in the two early voting states along with newspaper ads in the Des Moines Register, Concord Monitor and Manchester News Leader -- will highlight the fact that in 2002 Romney filled out the group's questionnaire, pledging his support for Roe v. Wade as well as for providing state funding for poor women seeking abortions. Romney, who was running for Massachusetts governor at the time, won the group's endorsement on the basis of his avowed support for legal abortion rights.
"It's an issue about trust. We believe candidates running for the highest office in our land should be capable of trust," said Jennifer Blei Stockman, the group's national co-chair, adding that when it came to the Republican Majority for Choice's 2002 endorsement, "He sought us out. He filled out our questionnaire. He wanted this."
While Stockman has given $2,300 to the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, an abortion rights supporter, she said her group does not endorse in the presidential primary and did not coordinate with Giuliani's campaign.
Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said the advertising blitz would not shift the former governor's stance on abortion.
"Governor Romney, like Ronald Reagan before him, is a pro-life advocate who has changed in the right direction on this issue," Madden wrote in an e-mail. "Governor Romney will not back down from his pro-life position, despite this group's attempts to weaken the party and promote Mayor Giuliani's pro-choice candidacy."
But Stockman said her organization's campaign had "nothing to do with any other candidate." For the Republican Majority for Choice, apparently, it's all about Romney.
"When one is betrayed, it's hard to be forgiving," Stockman said.
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