Romney Considers Republican Presidential Bid, Attacked on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Romney Considers Republican Presidential Bid, Attacked on Abortion Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 21, 2005

Boston, MA ( — Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says he is considering a possible bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2008. Meanwhile, Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean is criticizing him by saying he has flip-flopped his position on abortion for political gain.

"If someone said, well, you know, the governor’s testing the national waters, that’s a fair characterization," Romney said. "But I’m planning on running for governor. Time will tell, I’ll make a final decision and an announcement in the fall, and we’ll go from there."

He spoke with the Associated Press about his speaking trips to states that lead off the primary battles.

"I’m out speaking across the country. … I’m seeing what it’s like in the rest of the nation, but nothing’s changed," he said. "My job keeps me here."

Dean, meanwhile, accuses Romney, who rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, of changing his position on abortion to get the nomination.

At a fundraiser in Boston, Dean told Democrats, has "changed his position two or three times on fundamental issues" like abortion.

"That is not courage," Dean said, according to an AP report. "It’s important to win elections, incredibly important. It’s more important to do the right thing."

Romney has drawn considerable attention for recent comments saying he no longer backs legal abrotion.

Romney started out his political career with a 1994 candidacy for the U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy. He indicated he supported legalized abortion but also backed pro-life legislation such as not using taxpayer funds to pay for them and a ban on partial-birth abortions.

In a late May interview with USA Today, Romney said he "is in a different place" on abortion now.

”Understand, over time one’s perspective changes somewhat," Romney told the newspaper. ”I’m in a different place than I was probably in 1994, when I ran against Ted Kennedy, in my own views on that."

Last week, Romney expanded on that interview and told the National Review that ”[m]y political philosophy is pro-life."

What Romney means when he says he is pro-life is another question.

That kind of "personally opposed" position has never won lawmakers support form pro-life groups and many pro-life advocates say the jury is still out on Romney’s views.

Daniel McConchie, director of public relations and public policy for Americans United For Life, a pro-life legal group, told the Boston Globe that pro-life advocates will be cautious until Romney does something substantive to back up his statements.

”Some people will probably still be pretty wary until he puts pen to paper on a bill," McConchie said.

Marie Sturgis, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, told the Globe that Romney’s recent comments have left her confused on where the governor stands.

”It’s my sense that he may be evolving on this issue; what that means, I don’t know," Sturgis said.