Mitt Romney Defends Himself on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Stocks

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 16, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Defends Himself on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Stocks Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 16,

Washington, DC ( — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has commented on news that his investment portfolio contained stocks of two companies that engage in embryonic stem cell research. The former Massachusetts governor says he opposes the research because it destroys human life.

Romney repeated the comments the manager of his blind trust investments and a top spokesman made to

He said he has no control over the investments and that he can’t be accused of being hypocritical because they contained the controversial stocks.

"The trustee of the blind trust has said publicly that he will endeavor to make my investments conform to my positions and I have confidence that he will do that well," Romney said, according to an AP report.

"I did not direct any of my investments nor did I know of those investments" Romney added.

Romney talked about how he placed his investments, valued at anywhere from $200-250 million, in a blind trust when he was elected governor so they would not influence his policy decisions.

As of a June 30 financial report, Romney owned stock in two companies, Novo Nordisk and Millipore Corp., and both destroy human embryos for their stem cells for research.

But the assets are held in a blind trust managed by the law firm Ropes & Gray.

Law firm spokesman Brad Malt gave an interview to on Wednesday afternoon and said he tries to make investment decisions that reflect Romney’s views.

"The whole purpose of the blind trust is so Romney isn’t aware of the stock that he owns and that he cant influence any of his views on legislation," Malt told "I have complete authority and discretion to manage the trust."

"Indeed he didn’t know about the investments [in the stem cell companies]," Malt added. "I would hope that no one would attribute any of the stocks good or bad to Mitt Romney."

He said he has "heightened the effort to make the stocks reflect his personal views" since Romney announced his presidential campaign "and will continue to do so."

While Romney opposes the creation and destruction of life via embryonic stem cell research, he has supported the use of so-called leftover human embryos from fertility clinics that are slated for discarding.

Still, he said he would have vetoed the two bills President Bush refused to sign that would have forced taxpayers to fund the destruction of "leftover" human embryos for their stem cells.