Political Contortions: Mitt Romney Tries to Distance Himself From Mitt Romney and GOP Platform He Unequivocally Supports


Mitt Romney’s positions on women’s rights to decide whether, when, and with whom to bear a child change faster than a rapidly moving summer storm.

As governor of Massachusetts he was, at least nominally, pro-choice. In 2005, he declared he was “personally pro-life but wouldn’t change the laws.” As political candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2007, he became clearly anti-choice and touted the endorsement of Dr. John Wilke, whose junk science theory about rape and pregnancy have apparently been adopted wholesale by radical anti-choicers.

And then during the 2012 primary season, Romney’s shift to radical anti-choice poster boy was completed. He made clear he’d de-fund Planned Parenthood (leaving millions of women without primary preventive care), overturn Roe v. Wade, sign a personhood amendment with no exceptions for abortion, get rid of that pesy contraceptive benefit in health reform (and health reform, too, of course). Rape? Incest? Life of the mother? Pffffft. If the GOP is famous for “dog whistling,” Romney has been openly howling at the moon: It seemed Romney couldn’t find enough ways to tell the radical anti-choice, anti-woman movement he was one of them.

The GOP Platform voted on today includes language that would enshrine in the Constitution what is in effect a personhood law, banning all abortions, many forms of contraception, in vitro fertilization, and among other things, treatments for pregnant women for illnesses like, you know, cancer. According to one observer:

“Today, Republican leaders passed the Akin amendment as part of their party platform, banning abortion for all women even in the case of rape. Several Romney supporters and advisers were present and stood silently while this vote took place. This should come as no surprise, as Mitt Romney supported this exact language in the 2004 and 2008 Republican platforms and Paul Ryan fought to ban abortion even in cases of rape. Women across this country should take note of the Republican Party’s position, and not trust any of the false promises made by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on the campaign trail.”

But now, in post-Todd-Akin-legitimate-rape-shut-that-thing-down GOP America, Romney is trying to run away from that very GOP Platform the details of which he has been running around the country signing on to like a Bain executive-not-really-executive-retroactively-retired authorizer of financial documents and SEC forms.

Today, Reince Preibus, chair of the Republican National Committee, tried what could only be called a ballsy move to distance Romney from the platform.

Priebus told NBC:

“I think as far as the details of some of these things, like an exception for rape or life of the mother, these are not uncommon differences that candidates have and don’t share some of the detail on some of those exceptions,” Priebus said on MSNBC. “This is the platform of the Republican Party; it’s not the platform of Mitt Romney.”

Yeah, you know… the details. The real life, real person, real woman with her own body details. These details appear not to have been of concern to Romney in his declaration of how many laws and policies and funding cuts he was willing to pass, posit, and make to undermine women’s access to basic health care, including but not limited to abortion care. It also appears not to have been taken into consideration when he chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, a quieter but as diligent son of the anti-choice movement, even if he tries to hide behind his budget data.

And now Romney wants to disavow all those things he loudly and definitively asserted just, oh, a couple weeks ago?

My lady-juice-brain does not think so.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Jodi Jacobson on Twitter: @jljacobson

To schedule an interview with Jodi Jacobson please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.