Candidates, Media Won’t Stop Attacking Mitt Romney Over Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Candidates, Media Won’t Stop Attacking Mitt Romney Over Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9,

Des Moines, IA ( — Two recent polls show Mitt Romney with a lead in the first presidential battleground of Iowa in advance of a major straw poll there this weekend. As a result, the front-runner is increasingly coming under attack from both the media and other candidates over his stance on abortion.

Romney campaigned as a pro-abortion candidate who favored limits on abortions when he ran for both governor and senator in Massachusetts.

He has said he became pro-life in 2005 when confronted with the issue of embryonic stem cell research. Romney has said repeatedly that he learned how abortion cheapened the value of human life overall.

This week, Romney moved further towards the pro-life spectrum in saying he backed the human life amendment found in the Republican Party platform.

"My personal view, as the right course for us to pursue today is to see Roe v. Wade over turned, which would have the impact of allowing states to create their own laws in this regard," Romney said Wednesday.

Yet, candidates such as Sam Brownback have criticized him for flip-flopping on abortion and say his newfound pro-life views aren’t genuine.

Brownback’s campaign has used automated phone calls to tell Iowa voters that Romney’s wife Ann once donated to Planned Parenthood.

And he’s attacked Romney for previously saying he opposed a human life amendment and then apparently switching gears on that this week.

Now, Brownback’s team has posted a two-minute Web video bashing the former governor for his stance on abortion.

The attacks prompted Romney to lash out during last weekend’s GOP presidential debate.

"I get tired of people that are holier than thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have," the exasperated candidate said.

Today, the Boston Globe jumped in the fray with Romney and claimed he has an "honesty problem" when it comes to his abortion stance.

"Every time Romney tries to explain his evolution from supporter to opponent of abortion rights, his honesty comes into question. That’s because his explanations over the years don’t add up," the newspaper wrote in an editorial.

During the debate, Romney was asked to name his biggest political mistake.

"Probably from a political standpoint and a personal standpoint, the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion but saying, ‘I support the current law,’ which was pro-choice and effectively a pro-choice position. That was just wrong," he said.

The Globe criticized him for the answer and said that, when Romney ran for office in Massachusetts, he went well beyond supporting the state’s pro-abortion laws.

"He begged voters to accept him as an embracer of abortion rights," the newspaper said.

Still, the Globe admitted, "That he is now a pro-life advocate, committed to overturning Roe v. Wade, is believable, given the political equation necessary to win the GOP nomination."

Whether the Globe is right — that Romney’s conversion is political rather than on principle — is something voters from Iowa and other states will have to decide.