The media may be ignoring Romney as they get swept away by the latest GOP candidate show, but conservatives are already vetting Romney and they don’t like the “liberal leopard.” The Facebook group “Conservatives and Libertarians against Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich and Palin” posted an old Mitt Romney v Ted Kennedy debate video from October 1994 to Facebook recently, claiming Romney is a liberal Democrat more than a Republican because he defends abortion rights and women’s rights.
They tagged the video: “Is potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney too two-faced for voters? 2011 – Multiple Mitts: Romney on the Issues.” Here’s the video:
Romney discussed the importance of not imposing our beliefs on others politically as well as sharing the horror of having a female family member die from an illegal abortion. Romney has tried to avoid the “pro-choice” label, while refusing to back down from the notion that illegal abortions kill women.
Romney’s dilemma is one shared by many who say they are not “pro-abortion” (somehow they believe there is a band of pro-abortionists out there who just love these things) and yet can’t deny the medical right of a woman to get a legal abortion, having seen the consequences up close of illegal abortions. While conservatives call Romney a “liberal” for his compassion, liberals would scoff at his refusal to concede the necessity of pro-choice language.
No one in the pro-choice movement is whopping it up over abortion. No one thinks it’s a super thing. Everyone who supports choice does so out of recognition that there is no other way to protect women and their rights. It’s a position of pragmatism, practicality and legal precedent — not a moral position.
Then Romney went on to talk about how women don’t have the rights they should have. One might think that the Right, who spent an entire campaign decrying the rights of a certain woman (Sarah Palin), would at least make a show of being pro-women’s rights in general, but no. It seems they want to hand women’s rights over to the Democrats for good. They’re content with selling us the far Right Dominionist Christian version of “rights” for women. Big tent it is not.
Dissed as “multiple choice Romney,” Mitt responded that he has been consistent on the issues. But it’s not going to be so simple for him.
The New American wrote:
Though he pledged to defend “the right of a woman to make that choice,” Romney, for whatever reason, did not adopt the “pro-choice” label. As he later explained while campaigning for President in Iowa, “I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I’ve said that time and time again. I’ve changed my position.” But in 1994, Romney held that “abortion should be safe and legal in this country.” Massachusetts Citizens for Life, without a pro-life candidate in the race, decided to endorse Romney. He couldn’t have been less thrilled.
He seemed somewhat defensive in distinguishing between his political stand on abortion and his personal beliefs, whatever they were. “And my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign,” he said in a debate that fall. Kennedy appeared unconvinced and drew applause from his partisans with a clever and no doubt well-rehearsed one-liner: “I am pro-choice,” Kennedy said. “My opponent is multiple choice.”
But Romney later called himself “pro-life” after he opposed stem cell research that he had earlier said he supported in light of his wife’s Multiple Sclerosis. Romney has changed his positions on the auto industry, individual mandates in healthcare, abortion, gay rights, embryonic stem cell research, and more. And this could be commendable if his positions changed due to a growing understanding or evolution of thought, but with Mitt, it seems that he’s pandering to the mood of the moment with an eye on his political career.
In fact, President Obama’s team pointed out that Romney’s principles are the issue, “If you are willing to change positions on fundamental issues of principle, how can we know what you will do as president?” Good question. We don’t.
It doesn’t matter what Mitt Romney says he stands for today, because tomorrow it can and will change. A man who can change his stance on stem cell research while living with his wife who is suffering from MS can change his mind on anything.
Mitt Romney’s problem is that conservatives aren’t going to be fooled into supporting the “liberal leopard who changes his spots,” and neither are liberals.
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