This is a blatantly false account of events. Santorum can't believe what he's hearing, nor can Newt, who calls Romney on it:
But the exchange got to a certain falsity in Romney’s self-presentation that plays into more important doubts about his sincerity.That's rather delicately put, but true: we are justified in questioning Romney's credibility.
Also disturbing on the "sincerity" front is Romney's history of political actions and statements on abortion. In case you missed it over the holidays, Erick Erickson wrote a piece examining that history: Mitt Romney Didn’t Just Give Planned Parenthood Money, He Gave Them Extra Power. Excerpts:
Two months after his pro-life conversion, Mitt Romney appointed Matthew Nestor to the bench in Massachusetts. Romney seeming bowed to political pressure making Nestor a judge even after Nestor, according to the Boston Globe as far back as 1994, had campaigned for political office championing his pro-abortion views.Enter Planned Parenthood:
One year after his pro-life conversion, in July of 2005, Mitt Romney vetoed legislation that would expand the use of the morning after pill arguing that it would contribute to abortions. But just three months later Mitt Romney slid back and signed a bill that expanded state subsidized access to the morning after pill.
The law, in addition to providing healthcare coverage for the uninsured and forcing everyone to have insurance, expanded abortion services in the State of Massachusetts. It also required that one member of the MassHealth Payment Policy Board be appointed by Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts.Romney has decided to try to justify this statist mess with a 10th amendment argument. Obviously, it's the best excuse he could come up with, and he routinely trots it out whenever he's challenged on Romneycare. But does anyone really believe he's a big states rights proponent? That's just more posing to make himself palatable to conservative voters.
From Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006:
SECTION 3. Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 16I the following 6 sections: . . . Section 16M. (a) There shall be a MassHealth payment policy advisory board. The board shall consist of the secretary of health and human services or his designee, who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of health care financing and policy, and 12 other members: … 1 member appointed by Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts … (Massachusetts General Court Website, www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)In 2007, Mitt Romney was still denying his healthcare plan did this.
QUESTION: “I noticed some of the conservative groups back in Massachusetts, they complain about there’s a Planned Parenthood rep mandate to be on the planning board for the health care plan. Is that something you just had to deal with in negotiating with the legislature?”Except it was. Apparently, like with Obamacare, you had to pass the bill to find out what was in it, but once passed, Romney never read it.
ROMNEY: “It’s certainly not something that was in my bill.”
(Eric Krol, “Full Text Of Romney Interview,” [Arlington Heights, IL] Daily Herald, 6/17/07)
Weasel words seemed to come easily to him in 2002 when he tried mightily to have it both ways while at the same time assuring Massachusetts voters that he was firmly pro-choice:
I don't accept either label, pro-life or pro-choice. Instead, I make it clear that I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose. . . . I refuse to have a label to refer to my position.Sorry. There's only one label for that. But even then, pre-conversion, Romney didn't want to own his position. Blech.
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