Romney And Abortion
I did not realize until today, when Romney changed his rhetoric on abortion again, that he has to date changed his position ten times over the course of his political career.
This Slate article describes the timeline of Romney’s back and forth changes and the reasons for them.
To understand Mitt Romney, you have to understand the most difficult passage of his political life: how he changed his position on abortion. Not the story he tells about it, but the real story.
Romney began his political career as a pro-choicer. In the story he tells, he had an epiphany, a flash of insight, and committed himself thereafter to protecting life. But that isn’t what happened. The real story of Romney’s conversion—a series of tentative, equivocal, and confused shifts, accompanied by a constant rewriting of his past—paints a more accurate picture of who he is. Romney has complex views and a talent for framing them either way, depending on his audience. He values truth, so he makes sure there’s an element of it in everything he says. He can’t stand to break his promises, so he reinterprets them.
Perhaps most significant is one statement:
Judy Dushku, a Mormon feminist, says she heard a similar account from Romney in 1994:
I went to his office and I congratulated him on taking a pro-choice position. And his response was—Well they told me in Salt Lake City I could take this position, and in fact I probably had to in order to win in a liberal state like Massachusetts. … I said, Mitt, it doesn’t make me happy to hear that. What you’re suggesting is that you’re not genuinely pro-choice. It’s a position of convenience. He said—Oh no, I actually had an aunt who died of a botched abortion. So I have some positive feelings about choice, but basically I know that I have to take that position.
To view a video compilation of his ever evolving position, view this video
Personally, I don’t care whether Romney is pro-life or pro-choice, but what does matter to me, what I do care about, is that he’s willing to hold any position that is expedient. And those positions will change as often as the polling data changes. So what are Romney’s inner core of beliefs. Does he even have any? Or is winning, either in business or politics, more important to him?