by Steven Ertelt
June 14, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Seeing his polling numbers decline and not obtaining much in the way of support from the pro-life community, Sen. John McCain is going after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is seeing is numbers rise in top primary states. McCain’s campaign disseminated a video showing Romney saying he would uphold the state’s abortion laws.
McCain’s campaign is hoping to use Romney’s image in some circles as a candidate who flip-flops on various key political issues to assail him on abortion.
The video depicts Romney saying, “"I have indicated that as governor, I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion.” Romney goes on to say that his personal views on abortion would not impact his public policy decisions as governor.
The comments come during a speech Romney gave on bioethics issues and a state bill he opposed promoting embryonic stem cell research.
McCain’s campaign released a statement on the video saying, "It’s a legitimate question as to why anyone would say they’d taken a position at a certain time and then … it comes to light that indeed they apparently have not."
"Mitt Romney’s biggest challenge in this election will be convincing Republicans he has principled positions on important issues, especially now that it’s known that he remained committed to pro-choice policies after his ‘epiphany’ on abortion in 2004," Matt David, a McCain spokesman said.
The statement touted McCain’s voting record in opposition to abortion,though he has upset pro-life advocates with his repeated support for embryonic stem cell research funding.
Romney reacted the comments in an interview with pro-life talk show host Michael Medved and said, "I guess politics can get a little testy if you’re having a difficult time yourself."
Responding to the comments on Romney’s position, his campaign told LifeNews.com that McCain’s campaign attacked Romney’s pro-life beliefs by altering the context of his views on pro-life issues via selective editing of a news conference from 2005.
The Romney camp said the attack comes from “a campaign that is faltering and flailing” and “has again resorted to calculated distortions in a last ditch effort to maintain relevance”
Kevin Madden, spokesman for Governor Romney, told LifeNews.com that “Governor Romney is firmly pro-life and can rely on his record of having protected the sanctity of life when faced with those issues as governor.”
He said Romney “consistently maintained, in an effort to protect the sanctity of life, that he would fight attempts to weaken the state’s existing abortion laws. Maintaining existing laws in a state like Massachusetts was an important fight in and of itself.”
Madden indicated the language McCain’s campaign relied on came from a distortion of a speech Romney gave making the case for his veto of a bill that would have promoted embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts.