Add Newt Gingrich to the list of Republican presidential candidates hitting Mitt Romney over his decision to not sign a pledge the Susan B. Anthony List sponsored on four key pro-life issues.
As LifeNews.com reported, the Susan B. Anthony List unveiled the pledge on Friday and indicated Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul signed it. The pledge has the candidates promising to support only judicial nominees who won’t interpret the Constitution in a way that supports Roe v. Wade, select pro-life Cabinet members on positions affecting abortion policy, supporting legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortions and Planned Parenthood, and to support a fetal pain bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Romney did not sign the pledge and his officials said it was because he worried the de-funding legislation would also revoke funding for hospitals, though the legislation currently pending in Congress does not do so. He also said the pledge is “overly broad and would have unintended consequences.”
Romney also released a pro-life statement of position at National Review saying he is pro-life and essentially committing to much of the same pro-life initiatives the SBA List outlined in its pledge.
Today, in an interview with conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, Gingrich, the former House Speaker, said Romney made “excuses” for not signing the pledge that he thought made perfect sense.
According to a report in The Hill, Gingrich said “people have to make that decision on your own,” in terms of how they react to Romney’s decision and reasoning and added that, while Romney “might have “his excuses” for not signing it, “I thought it was a pretty clear-cut pledge.”
Bachmann, a fellow Republican presidential candidate seeking to unseat pro-abortion President Barack Obama, told LifeNews in a statement she was disappointed.
“It is distressing that Governor Romney refuses to sign the SBA Pledge, even while claiming to be pro-life. The excuses for not signing clearly continue the doubts about his leadership and commitment to ending the practice of abortion – particularly for a candidate who ran as pro-choice for the Senate and Governorship of Massachusetts,” Bachmann said.
She continued, “Any Presidential candidate seeking our party’s nomination should sign the SBA Pledge and vow to protect life from conception to natural death. Governor Romney should reconsider his decision not to sign the Pledge just as he reconsidered his position on the life issue during the last campaign.”
Santorum also said Romney’s decision was “incredibly disappointing.”
“This past Monday night at the Republican Presidential Debate, I was asked about Governor Romney’s pro-life conversion, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt,” Santorum said. “I apparently spoke too soon.”
“It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Romney chose not to defend those who cannot defend themselves,” he told LifeNews in a statement.
The SBA List indicated pro-life businessman Herman Cain and pro-abortion former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson did not sign the pledge. Cain has released his own statement on why not, saying he can’t advance the pro-life bills de-funding Planned Parenthood as a member of Congress, though he could certainly employ the bully pulpit of the presidency to do so.