Monday, August 13, 2007

"I Was Never Really For It, But I Pretended To Be For It Before I Was Against It"

Sadly, GMP1 cannot take credit for the snarky title.

That honor (and we do mean honor) belongs to U.S. News And World Report's Bonnie Erbe. Who attributed the made up quote to Mitt Romney after watching Big Love on Fox News Sunday yesterday.

Here is the (very real) transcript of the exchange between Wallace and Romney that Erbe was referring to.
WALLACE: You have come under fire for allegedly flip-flopping on the issue of abortion. You've faced questions about that, so let's talk about that today. When you were running for governor of Massachusetts back in 2002, you said — and let's put it up on the screen — "I believe women should have the right to make their own choice."

But now that you're considering a race for president, you say you're a pro-life governor who wishes the laws of the nation could reflect that view. Governor, why the change?

ROMNEY: Well, we had a major issue in Massachusetts, and it surrounded stem cell research. I spent a lot of time talking with people scientific in background as well as religious and spent a lot of time understanding when it was that as a society we needed to respect human life and came to the conclusion that it's time to be very clear on that, that when conception occurs that human life has begun.

I'm not talking about religious definitions, but scientific definitions — and that to respect human life, we have to do so from conception. And therefore, I indicated I am pro-life and will respect the rights of human life.

WALLACE: But I don't understand, Governor. I mean, the stem cell question, which often deals with the question of harvesting of eggs or fetuses to be used for stem cell — that isn't why most women get abortions. I mean, there's a division there, isn't there?

ROMNEY: Well, there is a division there, and I'm happy to talk about stem cell research.

WALLACE: Well, no, but I'm asking about abortion. I mean, the vast majority of women aren't getting an abortion so that they can sell their fetus.

ROMNEY: No, this is about when respect for life begins and when we as a society — and I believe fundamentally in a society there has to be respect for human life.

And when I ran for governor, I said very clearly I do not support abortion, I do not favor abortion, but I will maintain a moratorium on any change in the laws of Massachusetts relating to abortion.

One of the big issues in our race was whether there was going to be a reduction in the age of parental involvement in abortion from 18 to 16. I said no, no change in abortion laws. But I didn't call myself pro-life or pro-choice. But after...

WALLACE: But you did say, as I said in the quote, women should have the right to make their own choice. I guess the question I have is are you saying that you only came to the conclusion about when life begins — this has been an issue for 30 years, 40 years — in the last three years?

ROMNEY: Chris, what I'm saying is that my position has evolved and it changed from where it was before. And I said — and the time of the change came as we were involved in the discussion of stem cell research, and I said at that point I am pro-life.

I've never used either title, pro-life or pro-choice, in the past. I said I don't favor abortion. I wouldn't change the laws as governor because I believe each state should have the right to make their own choice. But I'm very firmly pro-life.

Two questions.

First, does Kevin Madden have an off-the-record laugh with reporters before he clarifies, again, his boss' "evolving" positions on the issues?

We hope so. Because you can get busy crying or you can get busying laughing. But not both.

Second, what do you think Hillary Clinton (or Obama, Edwards or even Gravel) will do to Mitt Romney's "positions" with direct mail in a general election match-up?

Shred. Him.