Mitt Romney Responds to Potential Problems on Abortion in General Election

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 5, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Mitt Romney Responds to Potential Problems on Abortion in General Election

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 5,

Washington, DC ( — Pro-life advocates have split their loyalty in the 2008 Republican presidential primary among the various pro-life candidates. Some have opted against Mitt Romney out of a concern that he will be attacked on abortion in the general election. The former Massachusetts governor responded to that concern on Wednesday.

Romney gave an interview to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News and she asked him questions about two topics that cause some pro-life people to hesitate on supporting him.

She asked Romney how pro-life people can tell that his change of heart on abortion is "not a flip-flop and that it’s something different."

Van Susteren also brought up the often-played tape of him defending legalized abortion in a debate with Ted Kennedy when he was a Senate candidate in 1994.

"Well, you can look at my record. The good news is I was governor for four years. And it’s been a long time since I debated Ted Kennedy," Romney responded.

"When I became governor, the first time a bill came to my desk that related to life and the preservation of the sanctity of life, I came down on the side of life. And I wrote an article in the paper and said I am pro-life and here is why," Romney added.

He said he took a pro-life position on every bill that came to him after his change of heart on abortion and that Massachusetts Citizens for Life awarded him for his pro-life leadership in office.

"If you are the nominee — they are going to replay that Kennedy debate today that you had in 1994 on abortion," Van Susteren said. "In the debate, you are quite adamant in saying you are going to protect [abortion]."

Romney responded: "I’m not going to tell you that I have never changed my mind in my life. If people are looking for someone who has never changed their mind and is unwilling to admit they make mistakes, that’s not me."

The governor said it bothers him that people who become pro-life come under such intense scrutiny while those who become pro-abortion get a pass from the mainstream media.

"I have seen a lot of people, by the way, who were pro-life become pro-choice. No one seems to have any difficulty with that at all. That’s easily accepted," Romney explained.

"But, if you are pro-choice and you become pro-life, there are a lot of folks, particularly in the media, who find that unacceptable," he said.

Romney still has work to do to convince people his pro-life shift is genuine.

A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll released yesterday finds him ranked last when Republican voters were asked which of the top-tier GOP candidates were "best at saying what they believe, rather than saying what they think the voters want to hear."