In his latest policy reversal of the campaign so far, Mitt Romney said Tuesday that no abortion legislation would be part of his agenda. This comes from the same candidate who earlier this year said he would scrap funding for Planned Parenthood, and appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
In statements to the Des Moines Register, Romney continued along the recent trend of denying his previous conservative positions in favor of more moderate ones. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney said.
As in the presidential debate, Romney has largely abandoned his fire-and-thunder conservative rhetoric, and tried to woo the small but influential percentage of undecided voters with new, as-yet-unheard-of centrist policies.
Romney’s off-the-cuff comments on abortion policy were later corrected by his spokespersons—a sequence of events that has been common in this campaign when the Republican candidate has deviated from the script. Spokeswoman Andrea Saul clarified that Romney “would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life,” she told National Review Online‘s Katrina Trinko. His aides, of course, did not concede that the candidate had contradicted himself. Mitt Romney is proudly pro-life and will be a pro-life president,” Saul said.
In a speech in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Bill Clinton mocked the new moderate version of Mitt Romney that has suddenly appeared in the last three weeks before the election. “I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did. I mean, I thought, ‘Wow, here’s old Moderate Mitt. Where you been, boy, I missed you all these years.'”
Romney, however, is not alone in being hypocritical about abortion. According to a phone call transcript obtained by The Huffington Post, Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), a pro-life Republican congressman and former doctor, had an affair with a patient and upon discovering she was pregnant, pressured her into getting an abortion.
The call was made in September, 2000, at a time when DesJarlais was attempting to save his marriage. In response to questions regarding this new document, DesJarlais characterized it as a smear campaign, and a willingness to play dirty while avoiding solving the real issues. “Desperate personal attacks do not solve our nation’s problems, yet it appears my opponents are choosing to once again engage in the same gutter politics that CBS News called the dirtiest in the nation just two years ago,” DesJarlais said.