Fred Thompson-N-Mo

From the Missouri House of Representatives’ Former Speaker Pro Tem

  • About Carl Bearden

    Carl is the former Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives and one of the earliest supporters of Fred Thompson for President. Initiating a petition for his fellow caucus members to sign, the Speaker Pro Tem garnered the support of over half of the Republican House members (63%, to be exact). More information about Carl can be found at his wikipedia page. Simply search "Carl Bearden".
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Mitt Romney’s Social Distortion

Posted by tommyd4 on November 15, 2007

crossposted from here

Mitt Romney’s Social Distortion: Is He Being Honest With the American People About His Position Regarding the Human Life Amendment?
Tommy Oliver

In February of 2007, James Bopp, who had endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination, wrote in the National Review that Romney “has fought for a federal marriage amendment and McCain and Giuliani oppose one.”

This was, at the time, seen as damage control after Governor Romney had given an interview with Marc Ambinder for the National Journal. Here is the transcript of that interview:

Ambinder: You would favor a constitutional amendment banning abortion with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest. Is that correct?

Romney: What I’ve indicated is that I am pro-life, and that my hope is that the Supreme Court will give to the states over time or give to the states soon or give to the states their own ability to make their own decisions with regard to their own abortion law.

Ambinder: If a state wanted unlimited abortion?

Romney: The state would fall into restrictions that had been imposed at the federal level, so they couldn’t be more expansive in abortion than currently exists under the law, but they could become more restrictive in abortion provisions. So states like Massachusetts could stay like they are if they so desire, and states that have a different view could take that course. And it would be up to the citizens of the individual states. My view is not to impose a single federal rule on the entire nation — a one-size-fits-all approach — but instead allow states to make their own decisions in this regard.

Now, this type of retraction happens on a fairly regular basis in politics, where a spokesman has to clarify a candidate’s statement. Opponents will regularly catch one candidate misspeaking, and then try to capitalize on their misfortune. Mr. Bopp, a lawyer, helped write the 2004 Republican Party Platform which supports the Human Life Amendment. It was later revealed that Mr. Bopp advised the governor that,“ there are a wide range of possible human life amendments; ranging from a total ban on abortion to an amendment that let states make the decision. On top of that, getting both houses of Congress and 38 out of 50 states to support a constitutional amendment is unrealistic.” Ramesh Ponnuru (NRO) recently said that Romney does support a constitutional ban.

Later on in the summer, when Governor Romney gave an interview with ABC News, he went further in stating his support for the amendment to outlaw abortion on a federal level when he indicated that he supported the pro-life plank of the GOP platform, which means he would support establishing legal personhood for all unborn children in all 50 states.

The date of that story was August 8, 2007. Since then, Romney’s advisers and supporters have used this to champion their candidate in numerous instances- riding it to strong showings in straw polls and surveys. The campaign has used the momentum to define its “3 legged stool” of conservatism, and Governor Romney, himself, has claimed to speak for “The Republican Wing.” The candidate’s numbers have risen in the polls, and he is now seen as possibly the most conservative candidate in the field. When Fred Thompson received the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee this week, the Romney campaign was up in arms, and his supporters cried foul. They wondered why the leading grassroots pro-life organization would snub their favored candidate for someone who refused to support a federal ban on abortion.

Romney supporters truly believe that he supports a Human Life Amendment, but at the same time, it was always advisors or supporters who were actually saying that. Paul Weyrich, the co-founder of the Moral Majority, stated that he believed Romney’s recent conversion to the pro-life cause to be “sincere.” Romney also won the endorsement of Bob Jones III, the president of the evangelical university that carries his name.

However, besides Romney’s interview with ABC news, the candidate has never actually stated that he supports the amendment. The actual interview transcript says:

“You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform and I’m pro-life.”

The former Governor said that he would support the platform of the party, as has all the other candidates. The question is… “ Just how up front is Romney actually being with the voters?”

The answer may lie in a statement he made in South Carolina, on April 13, 2007. This date was well after James Bopp’s clarification in February that Romney does support the amendment. On that day, while speaking to a small group of business owners, Romney said:

“I would like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion. I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

Let’s repeat that again…

I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

The question remains… When I read the statement, he says that a one size fits all approach is wrong. One could make the argument that Romney is saying that Roe Vs. Wade is wrong, but then he used the words “one size fits all is wrong.” He didn’t have to go this far, but he did. In April, while James Bobb and Hugh Hewitt were arguing that Romney was a supporter of this amendment, the candidate said the opposite.

Somebody was not being up front with the voters. It was either Romney, or his advisors/high profile supporters. The real problem is that it further muddies how much one can trust the candidate, or the people who either represent or speak for him. If Romney was disavowing Bopp’s claim, then how is one not to suspect that he changed his mind when he saw that it only hurt him more, opening him to attacks from then-candidate Sam Brownback.

It’s difficult for the Governor to distance himself from a statement this blunt. Of course, one could consider that he meant “Roe vs. Wade” is a one size fits all approach that is wrong, and a human life amendment would not be. The problem with this theory is that it directly contradicts the sentence before it. Let’s look one more time at the statement.

“I would like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion.”

First, he said that he would “like to see each state be able to make its own law with regard to abortion.” That’s a pretty straight forward, federalist approach:

“I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.”

Strict Federalism. Romney says that a “one-size-fits-all approach is wrong.” That he would say “one-size-fits-all” when making a statement about Roe vs. Wade, but then turn around a support the Human Life Amendment, is very unlikely, at least on that date.

What happened? Only Governor Romney really knows, but it’s a direct contradiction that dates from 2007, not 1994 or 2002. Other than saying he wouldn’t overturn the platform in his ABC interview, he didn’t say that he would support a Human Life Amendment. If he has said that since, it would seem to have been a political calculation.


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