Mitt Romney Will Make Decision About 2008 Presidential Race in January

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Will Make Decision About 2008 Presidential Race in January

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 21
, 2006

Boston, MA ( — Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney says he will make a decision in January about whether he will enter the 2008 race for president. Romney, who last year converted to the pro-life position after years of backing legalized abortion, would join the growing field of candidates seeking the GOP nomination if he joined the race.

The governor told the Associated Press Tuesday that he is "planning on making my decision sometime after the holidays."

Romney plans to host a family Christmas event at his Utah vacation home with his five sons, and their families.

His term as the governor will expire January 4 and it’s likely that he will make a decision shortly after that.

Romney has been one of the more active possible presidential candidates as he’s made numerous trips to the leading primary and caucus states and gathered campaign staff from across the country.

He added to speculation that he would enter the presidential contest when he held a private fundraiser for his personal political action committee Saturday night that raised $9 million.

Should he decided to seek the Republican nomination, Romney will likely find that his newly found pro-life views will be both an asset and a detriment.

In a field that is lacking top-tier candidates with firm pro-life values, Romney could find himself as the leading contender who solidly opposes both abortion and embryonic stem cell research.

On the other hand, some pro-life advocates may distrust Romney’s pro-life stance thinking he adopted it only because of his desire to run for president, Tom Minnery, spokesman for Focus on the Family, told AP.

"Pro-life people have been observing politicians for long enough now to sense a little bit of nervousness about politicians who are late-blooming believers in the pro-life cause, as he appears to be," Minnery said.

Whether he’s truly had a change of heart on abortion or realizes the political realities of getting elected, Gov. Mitt Romney says he’s now pro-life on abortion.

When he ran in 1994 against pro-abortion Sen. Ted Kennedy, Romney took a position in favor of legalized abortion.

Pro-life advocates said he was preferable to Kennedy if only because he opposed taxpayer funding for abortions and supported pro-life laws like parental notification. But his official position on abortion itself was not pro-life.

Some 12 years later, Romney has had a change of heart and the cause is an issue that has had some anti-abortion Republicans upsetting pro-life groups because of their compromises: embryonic stem cell research.

In an interview with Knight Ridder in January , Romney said he "in a different place today than I was 12 years ago" on pro-life issues.

He favored abortion and "[t]hen came the stem-cell research debate in Massachusetts."

"And I got more involved in the issue of when human life begins. I’m not talking about from the religious standpoint. I’m talking about from the medical and scientific standpoint," he explained.

"Where do I draw the line? …The line is at conception. Life, a scientific point, begins at conception," Romney added. "I know when you take a sperm and an egg and put them together…it is alive and it is human. …So it’s human life.’’

Romney seemed to prove his pro-life credentials when he overturned legislation approved by the Massachusetts state legislature backing the destructive research, even though he knew state lawmakers had enough votes to override his veto.

On overturning Roe v. Wade, Romney told Knight Ridder, "My preference would have been and would be today for the court to say each state could be able to adopt its own policy with regard to abortion and choice."

"We would have been better off had each state been able to develop their own policy," Romney added.

Since that interview, Romney has opposed human cloning and aggressively pursued an investigation against state officials who asked a state court to kill Haleigh Poutre, a young girl who recently recovered from a coma.

How this change of heart will play out in the 2008 Republican primaries remains to be seen.