Romney: An Etch-a-Sketch Too Far?

UPDATE #2: Colorado Sen. Mark Udall was on NBC News’ “The Cycle” this afternoon to discuss Romney’s, uh, changes. Here’s the video:


UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols reports as local Democrats open fire:

“The American women will not be fooled by a Mitt Romney who is trying to be everything to everyone at the end of this election,” said Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette, D-Denver, on a conference call Wednesday organized by the Obama campaign.

“Throughout this campaign, Mitt who describes himself as ‘severely conservative’, has come out and said he opposes all abortion and supports Personhood amendments,” DeGette continued. “Suddenly, in October, Mitt Romney says he knows of no legislation that would restrict abortion.

“We had nine pieces that would restrict a women’s right just last year. If those passed the House and the Senate and were sent on to a President Romney, we know he would sign them.”



Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he doesn’t intend to pursue anti-abortion legislation if elected, a stance that threatens to alienate some core supporters just as he’s surging in national polls.

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board yesterday before an event in the swing state of Iowa… [Pols emphasis]

While Romney’s comments may widen his appeal among independent female voters, they risk raising questions among other independents about where he stands on the issue and depressing turnout among anti-abortion Republicans who already had misgivings about his past positions.

The abortion remarks overshadowed Romney’s attempt to accelerate his campaign’s momentum coming out of his first debate with Obama and as the two candidates were making their pitches to voters in Ohio, a state that has voted for the winner in the past 12 presidential elections.

Now in case there’s any doubt in your mind about where Romney used to stand:

While seeking the Republican nomination, Romney vowed to limit abortion funding.

In September, he said he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a woman’s right to abortion.

“I hope to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution,” he said at the time on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.”

ABC News goes back to 2007 for this unequivocal gem:

[O]n “Good Morning America,” Romney was asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos if he supports the Republican Party’s 2004 platform on abortion rights, which states, “We support a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution and we endorse legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

Romney replied, “You know, I do support the Republican platform, and I support that being part of the Republican platform [Pols emphasis] and I’m pro-life.”

CBS News adds:

In an interview with an Ohio TV station during the heat of the Republican primary in February, Romney said he was “in favor of a pro-life policy.” He noted that “the legislation that relates to abortion is something which is going to have to be approved by the Supreme Court,” a body to which he would appoint nominees to fill any vacancies if he is elected.

Mitt Romney could be in fresh Ken Buck-style trouble here, facing the classic dilemma of needing to moderate ahead of a general election, but still shackled to statements he made during the long Republican primary. There’s no clearer case of a candidate attempting to flip-flop than for Mitt Romney, after repeatedly affirming his anti-abortion credentials on the primary campaign trail, to suddenly declare in October that “there’s no legislation with regards to abortion that would become part of my agenda.” Either Romney lied then, or he’s lying now.

And it’s worse for Romney; flip-flopping in October is what the cynics expect him to do.

In a base-turnout election like this one, which is the smarter strategy? Enrage your base to attempt to court the center, or shore up the base you’re counting on to win the election?

Just like Rick Santorum warned of, Romney has made his choice.

58 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.”

    This man is a goddamn liar. Period.

  2. Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

    As long as enough people think he is lying to the other side and really agrees with them, maybe he can thread this needle.

    Kind of makes me sad that people called Kerry a flip-flopper, but I have learned that political criticism is rarely about what it appears to be about.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    Republicans hate the black man so much that they’d vote for an alien from outer space.  Just like the NRA, it simply doesn’t matter to them the actual positions of their candidates.

  4. He can spit in their faces. What are they going to do about it?

  5. with this crap for so long now, and on every topic imaginable, that (idiot) people have just come to accept it.

    “Oh, that’s just Willard.  I know he’s just saying that . . .  

    (Besides that different stuff that he said last week that I liked — that’s what he really believes, I just know it.  Did I mention that Obama sucks — I just know that, too.)”

    Until credible sources — (and the right has done a remarkably damn fine job of dis-crediting just about everyone this side of . . . hell, just everyone . . .) — call Willard to task on this, loudly, forcefully, and every time he does it, then he’s going to continue.

    Better strap in, it’s gonna’ to be a bumpy ride . . .

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      Romney has gone 360 degrees on almost every fucking issue, stands for nothing and tells people what they want to hear, and has no detailed plans for anything, but so many people are just completely OK with that.

      Hey, I need somebody to do the landscaping on my new house in San Diego, thats 4 million jobs right there. Those phantom loopholes that I haven’t told you about yet, 5 million jobs….

      Its depressing, and god forbid this happens, there will be some very serious buyers’ remorse.

      It is past time to call out all his pie-in-the-sky bullshit.

      • AristotleAristotle says:

        Things have gotten to the point that all that matters in the letter in parentheses that follow the name. Charles Manson would earn millions of votes if the GOP nominated him, and carry every red state in the process.

      • hard on President Obama for his “debate performance.”  I think he was absolutely stunned.  You try debating against someone who has no positions and will say anything.  How do you prepare for both nothing and anything?  If it would have been me, I would have been asking myself, “How the fuck can this slick, brazen emptiness be saying (or alternatively, denying) this shit?”

        Willard has managed to make flip-flopping and squishy vagueness into an attribute; he’s now JelloMan — his super power being that no mortal can pin anything on him.

        • Fidel's dirt nap says:

          Romney is a moving target, not to mention a morally bankrupt sack of shit.  

          There is no more than a few seconds to demonstrate Romney is lying and then for Obama to get his own points in about what he has accomplished or wants to do in his second term.

          It would take an hour alone to disprove the 27 lies from the last debate, but of course there’s no time for that.  Facts be damned.

          Then the Romney rebuttal will be another lie to cover up the one he just told, ie ” I’m not in favor of a 5 trillion tax cut ” ” I didn’t say that ” etc.

          Its so pathetic.

      • sxp151 says:

        The reason Romney gets away with it is the same reason Republicans have gotten away with voting to abolish Medicare yet running campaign ads on how they saved it: low-information voters just don’t believe anyone is capable of that level of dishonesty.  

        • harrydobyharrydoby says:

          as Mitt spins donuts in the dirt with all his changing positions.

          But you are absolutely correct — an unbelievable number of voters appear to have completely tuned out of all the lies, distortions, obfuscation and flip-flops as simple noise.

          Now that Romney appears to have loosened up a bit, it’s more about impressions than facts.  Certain voters get a “feeling” about a candidate and then rationalize the choice irrespective of the facts.

          Hiding his tax shelters?  Big deal.

          Foreign policy from the Cold War?  So what.

          Tax cuts for his family and friends?  How nice.

          Anyone have a clue what he really believes? No, is that important?

          Kill our future by subsidizing the past?  Who expects to live forever…

  6. CaninesCanines says:

    WASHINGTON — A pro-life, family-values congressman who worked as a doctor before winning election as a Tea Party-backed Republican had an affair with a patient and later pressured her to get an abortion, according to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post.

    The congressman, Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, was trying to save his marriage at the time, according to his remarks on the call, made in September of 2000. And, according to three independent sources familiar with the call and the recording, he made the tape himself.

  7. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    And a man’s word you can trust:

    Romney’s whole track record on abortion is a history of feints and hedges. In 1993, he told leaders of the Mormon Church that he had to run as a pro-choicer for the U.S. Senate because, according to his campaign poll, this was the only way to get elected in Massachusetts. Then, six years later, when he was thinking about running for office in Utah, he reframed his position as pro-life. Then, when the governorship of Massachusetts opened up in 2002, he repositioned himself as a pro-choicer. Then, as he prepared to seek the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, he recast himself as a pro-lifer. At every turn, he has taken the angle that looked safest politically. And each time, he has given himself an escape clause.

    If you want to understand what will happen to the no-legislation assurance Romney gave to the Register yesterday, look at what happened to the assurances he gave to voters in Massachusetts a decade ago. In 2002, as a candidate for governor, he repeatedly promised to “preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose.” After he was elected, he reinterpreted that statement as a pledge not to “change our abortion laws either to restrict abortion or to facilitate it.” This allowed him to veto pro-choice legislation. Then, as he moved on from Massachusetts and began to court pro-lifers as a presidential candidate, he reinterpreted his no-change policy this way: “Every time I faced a decision as governor that related to life, I came down on the side of life.”

    That’s why you need to spot the weasel words up front. In the end, with Romney, they’re all that matters.

    • Lurker19 says:

      with a very conservative acquaintance.  Smarter than Tadpole, more obnoxious than Gopher, if you know what I mean.

      And I said, very off the cuff, that Mittens just said yesterday no changes to Roe v. Wade, but today he’s pro-life again.  

      And she started screaming that, of course we need Roe v. Wade, but that doesn’t mean Romney is anti-choice.  He’s pro-life in a Roe v. Wade kind of way.  

      And he wants to keep Planned Parenthood, not shut it down, just take away the funding. And that’s necessary because Democrats voted for 8 month abortions.

      She left yelling, MURDERERS! MURDERERS! MURDERERS!!!

      So I yelled back, NUTBAG! NUTBAG! NUTBAG!

      Fortunately the only people listening to all of this know us both well and ignored us completely.

  8. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    I hope Udall doesn’t regret all this Obama face time when his number comes up in 2014.

    He might. With the investment he’s making in Obama, if Obama doesn’t carry Colorado, Udall starts his reelection bid with a serious handicap.

  9. Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

    squirm this morning was precious. Trying to square up the varying stories of Mitt “the whirligig”  Rmoney is just too funny. His last comment was to wish that the interviewer would ask hard questions of Obama…truly pathetic.  

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