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[In Brief] Romney's Abortion Flip-flop

In 1994, one of our current presidential candidates said the following:

I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me. One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that.

One guess which candidate this was. And here’s a hint: it wasn’t Obama.

That same year, according to the Daily Kos post I linked to, Romney and his wife Ann attended a Planned Parenthood event, and Ann donated $150 to the organization. But in 2007, Romney claimed to have “no recollection” of that, and said that “[Ann's] positions are not terribly relevant for my campaign.”

This last statement is in itself a lie. Romney claims that Ann “reports to me regularly” about women’s issues.

It doesn’t surprise me that politicians flip-flop on hot-button issues. Of course they do. And not only that, but people can and do genuinely change their minds about things (take it from me; I used to believe that abortion should be illegal in almost all cases).

But this isn’t just a change in politics; it’s a change in values. Romney did not say, “I believe that the government has no authority to ban abortion.” He did not say, “I believe that in a just society, women should have the right to choose.” He said that “we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter.”

What changed in 18 years that forcing one’s beliefs on others suddenly became acceptable to Romney?

This is yet more evidence that the Republican Party we have today is nothing like the Republican Party of two decades ago. Not that I would’ve been a huge fan of that one, either.

Comments

  1. BlackHumor says

    That quote is why I hate Mitt Romney more than any other politician including the Republican fringe. He publicly betrayed his principles and his friend, so he will never ever get my vote for anything.

  2. DubsCK says

    It’s how PUBLICLY they’re doing it, too. This isn’t Watergate or The Starr Report or some scandal the “biased liberal media” had to go digging deep for. This is shit that’s floating at the top of recent public memory. It’s not buried in the archives, it’s not hard to fact check. The problem with making hard, clear, believable political promises that gets your electorate to vote you into office is that you’re on record having hard, clear, believable positions. Then when those positions become politically inconvenient years later and you become the diametric opposite, people are going to expect some sort of explanation, or they aren’t going to trust you any more. And people don’t elect men they don’t trust. But they don’t seem to see that. They seem like robots that are programmed to give the answer their current audience wants to hear instead of presenting a consistent, real, truthful answer.

  3. djiril says

    Good post. It would be one thing if Romney told a detailed story about how he changed his mind, but it does seem like he’s just saying the thing that is the most politically convenient to get elected.