Romney Recasts Abortion Record in New Ad
Mitt RomneyThe ad:
Announcer: When it wasn't politically correct, he stood up for life in Massachusetts. When it wasn't politically correct, he fought for English in the classroom. When it wasn't politically correct, he said marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Romney: You strengthen the American people by strengthening the American family. Marriage must come before children, because every child deserves a mother and a father.
Announcer: A stronger America.
Analysis: This Iowa ad attempts to defuse criticism of Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper who changed his stance on key social issues. But it engages in revisionist history to do so.
Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 on a pledge to support abortion rights. To portray him as a champion of life at the time is simply misleading. He did shift his rhetoric in 2005, when he vetoed a bill to expand access to the morning-after pill -- despite an earlier pledge to support emergency contraception -- and the following year provided funding for abstinence education. But the ad's suggestion that Romney was a consistent opponent of abortion is not supported by his record.
Romney did support English immersion over bilingual education, and a state amendment banning same-sex marriage after the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled it legal. But the ad ignores his earlier positions on gay rights. In his 1994 race against Sen. Edward Kennedy, Romney said he would do more for gays than the Masschusetts Democrat had, and in 2002 he supported domestic partnership benefits for gay couples.
The commercial appears to be aimed at reassuring evangelical Christian voters that Romney took bold stances on issues important to them. But it relies on a selective reading of his record.
Posted at 12:50 PM ET on Dec 7, 2007
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