Today’s Abortion Flip Flop (From Huffington Post)
Mitt Romney said Tuesday he has no plans to push for legislation limiting abortion, a softer stance from a candidate who has said he would “get rid of” funding for Planned Parenthood and appoint Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the Republican presidential nominee told The Des Moines Register in an interview.
His statement could put him at odds with congressional Republicans who have made limiting abortion central to their messages. His own running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has introduced bills to restrict access to abortion. And the Republican Party platform toughened its anti-abortion stance earlier this year.
Both Romney and Ryan oppose abortion, but the presidential candidate supports exemptions while his running mate does not. Romney told the Register he will restrict abortion in one way, through an executive order banning U.S. foreign aid money to be used for abortions.
Romney has previously vowed to end taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, one of the most common ways in which Republicans have tried to restrict access to abortion, even though the organization is already banned from using taxpayer dollars to fund the procedure. “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that,” he said in March, referring to budget cuts he would make as president.
Romney said in September that he would prefer to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that would oppose Roe v. Wade.
“I hope to appoint justices for the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution,” he said at the time on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And 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.”
What He Said In September
Today’s Other Headline
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney again distanced himself from his infamous 47 percent comments caught on video at a private fundraiser in May, telling CNN in an interview Tuesday night that, “the words that came out were not what I meant.”
This is the second time in as many weeks that the Republican nominee abandoned his position that the sentiment he expressed when he called 47 percent of the country government-dependent, self-identified victims was correct but poorly worded. Last week, he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the comment was “completely wrong” as opposed to ineloquently stated.
Interviewed by CNN host Wolf Blitzer, Romney repeated the line that, as president, he would work for “100 percent of the people,” adding that, “what was stated in the tape was not referring to what kind of president I’d be.” Asked what he would say to those funders if he had the opportunity to address them again on the topic, Romney offered the following:
“Well, Wolf, as you know, I was talking about how do you get to 50.1 percent of the vote. I’d like to get 100 percent of the vote, but I figure that’s not going to happen, so I was trying to tell contributors how I get to 50.1 percent. I think it’s always a perilous course for a candidate to start talking about the mathematics of an election.”
Romney’s walk back from the 47 percent comments underscores a general walk toward a more moderate plank during the last week. In his initial comment, he clearly wasn’t just talking about electoral math. He lamented that he would never be able to convince those people who paid no federal income taxes to take personal responsibility for themselves.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Republican nominee continued to present his tax plan as something that would be balanced in its budgeting and maintain the progressivity of the code. But while he pushed back forcefully on President Barack Obama’s charge that he didn’t have the means to pay for, what amounted to a $5 trillion tax cut, he continued to avoid offering specifics with respect to pay-fors.
“Well, I’m not going to lay out a piece of legislation here,” he said, “because I intend to work together with Republicans and Democrats in Congress, but there are a number of ways one could approach this. One would be to have a total cap number. It could be $25,000, $50,000. And people could put whatever deduction in that total cap they’d like. Or, instead, you could take the posture that Bowles-Simpson did, which is going after specific deductions and limiting them in various ways. There are a number of ways we can accomplish the principles which I have: lowering rates for middle-income people, making sure high-income people don’t pay a smaller share, and simplifying the code and then encouraging growth.”