If even as half-baked a political pundit as yours truly could see it coming (at about 40 seconds in), it must have been pretty obvious. And sure enough, Jon Keller points us to a column describing John McCain’s early efforts to sow doubt about Mitt Romney’s “evolving” position on abortion among the all-important Iowa Republican activists.
Let’s take another look at Romney’s “evolution,” shall we?
- 1994: Mitt Romney is running against Ted Kennedy for US Senate. Here’s what he said then:
I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain it and support it.
- 2002: Mitt Romney is running for Governor in Massachusetts. Here’s what he said at that time:
Believing in people is protecting their freedom to make their own life choices, even if their choice is different from yours. Accordingly, I respect and will fully protect a woman’s right to choose. That right is a deeply personal one, and the women of our state should make it based on their beliefs, not mine and not the government’s….
The truth is there is no candidate in this race who would deny the women of our state abortion rights.
He also said that “I believe women should have the right to make their own choice.”
- 2006: Mitt Romney is running for President (not officially, but come on). Here’s his position now:
I am prolife. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother.
In that same op-ed, Romney equated “life” with “conception.” And he went further, stating not only his personal views on abortion, but also stating (though not in so many words) that Roe v. Wade should be overruled:
I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.
Evolution? Or “intelligent design”?
Anyway, it’s been perfectly obvious for some time to anyone who wanted to look that Romney believes in only one thing: “me, me, me.” (He said it himself! How much more proof does anyone need?) But we in Massachusetts have to have a little patience with the good people of Iowa, South Carolina, and elsewhere, since they don’t (yet) know Mitt’s record like we do. But they will – John McCain et al. will see to that.
In any event, it may turn out that McCain, Giuliani and the rest of the gang don’t have that much to worry about from Romney. Despite Romney’s numerous visits to Iowa, recent polling there still shows him firmly in the single-digit second tier. Current numbers (poll was of 400 likely GOP caucus-goers. MOE: +/- 4.9%):
Giuliani: 30% (has visited Iowa once since 2004)
McCain: 17.3% (has visited Iowa twice this year)
Romney: 4.5% (has visited Iowa multiple times this year)
Even in New Hampshire, the state next door in which he owns a vacation home and on whose TV screens he routinely shows up as Governor of MA, Romney can’t break out of the also-rans. I’ve always thought that, in reality, he’s running for Vice President. McCain/Romney? It’s not crazy, I guess.