June 4th, 2007
12:46 PM ET
7 years ago

Brownback slams Romney for not calling abortion 'murder'

Sen. Sam Brownback's campaign criticized Romney Monday for not calling abortion murder.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Continuing to search for traction with social conservatives, Sen. Sam Brownback's campaign offered a fresh attack on GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney Monday, criticizing the former Massachusetts governor for not directly calling abortion "murder" at a recent campaign event.

"Romney says life begins at conception, but doesn't think abortion is murder, and Romney says he's pro-life but he thinks states should be able to choose to allow abortion," Martin Gillespie, the Kansas Republican's political director, said in a statement.. "Every time he tries to clarify, as he tried to do last week, it becomes more and more confusing."

At a campaign event in Laconia, New Hampshire last Tuesday, Romney did not directly call abortion murder, saying murder "means different things to different people."

Responding to the Brownback campaign's comments, Kevin Madden, a spokesman for Romney, said, “Governor Romney is firmly pro-life and is he will continue to encourage, promote and defend pro-life policies. Advocacy of these policies and bringing others towards a pro-life position is an important part of the governor’s efforts.”

This comes the day before 10 GOP presidential candidates square-off in New Hampshire at a debate sponsored by CNN, WMUR-TV, and the New Hampshire Union Leader. The debate will air on CNN at 7 p.m. ET. CNN Pipeline will also stream video of the debate free of charge that evening.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Sam Brownback
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    The last time I checked, Roe V. Wade was still standing, and was still the LAW in the US. I am sick of the religion being dragged into politics, and of candidates who don't want to uphold our LAWS whenever one of them doesn't happen to agree with their religion. I will NOT vote for any of these religious candidates. I'm sick of it. 9/11 was all about religion, in case you hadn't noticed.

    June 4, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Joe, Cleveland, OH

    Brownback is a consistent thinker. He is someone we need to run the country.

    June 4, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  3. Gary, Republic, Missouri

    Brownback's insistence on describing an abortion as murder and insisting Governor Romney to do the same is appalling. It is the ultra-conservative's need to think in black and white terms that helps fuel the polarization of the American people. However, to follow his argument, will Brownback also identify every woman who has undergone an abortion as a murderer? Will he seek the death penalty for each of these women (I believe he is a proponent of the death penalty) or sentence them to life. Will all doctors who performed them be tried? Senator Brownback, I understand your against abortion, (and for the MOST part, I am also) but don't hold everyone to the same degree of fervor you have unless your ready to live by the consequences of your words.

    June 4, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Rae, Phoenix

    Abortion is horrible. It is a sin against God and humanity. Abortion is wrong.

    But it is not exactly the same as MURDER. Romney does not use the same judgemental code words that the some are so comfortable hurling. If our goal is to truly convince women to make other choices and save the babies then pointing fingers and calling people murders is just not productive. Sensitivity to the plight of those facing that choice is called for.

    There is no way anyone is convinced or our society can be changed by the "MURDERER" retoric.

    June 4, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Dana D. Austin Tx

    I would not vote for Romney anyway. He is not consistant on several things
    and comes across as wanting the position too badly. Not necessarily for the good of the people in the US.

    June 4, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Gregory S. Burks, Brandenburg, KY

    One can be Pro-Life, such as Mitt Romney is, and can still be for a woman's right to choose. I would never recommend an abortion to anyone, but it is not for me to decide that issue for everyone. No one should hoist their personal beliefs on such a contentious issue as abortion. Even though I am opposed to abortion, I would not work to overturn Roe v. Wade because to me that is not my place to take away a woman's right to choose and exrcise her free agency on such a deeply personal issue.

    June 4, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Travis, Lehi, Utah

    While I "think" and "believe" that life begins at conception, a well-intended person could disagree. And science can not solve that debate. Laws should reflect that there is room for differences of opinion. That is why state-by-state solutions are better than a one-size-fits-all federal solution. Brownback, stop being fanatical.

    June 4, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  8. Steven Alexandria, Virginia

    Mitt Romney is such a fraud. I am glad there is a real pro-lifer in the race to keep him accountable.

    June 4, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. Eric Pittsburgh Pa.

    Brownback’s comments are polarizing and dismissive of the rights and opinions of a large segment of the American people. Not the kind of words that get results, only cause more friction. It's amazing how some people can't separate their agenda from God's agenda. Let me get this straight, God is omnipotent, but he can't get some legislation passed against the mighty pro choice lobby? If God didn't want people to have choices, there would be no choices. Trying to take people's choices away goes against the reasons our forefathers came to this country. Some people are quick to forget there were reasons why they made an amendment in the first place. They think they are fighting to end something ugly, but they have no idea what kind of brutal ugliness they might create.

    June 4, 2007 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Mike Cobb, Palo Alto, CA

    Senator Brownback's comments about abortion demonstrate that he, like the other GOP candidates (except maybe Guiliiani), want to impose by law his religious views on all Amercans. Change the words 'by law' to 'through terrorism', and he is no different from the extremists our sons and daughters are fighting in the Middle East. He, and those like him, are the reason that I ... a former GOP leader in California ... left the Party.

    June 4, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Austin, Evergreen Park, IL

    Brownback is an intrusionist. Hey Americans – want to have no rights left? Vote for this guy. It’s not about when “life” begins (what’s next, legal rights for tumors? they’re just as “alive” as foeti, and just as “human” as foeti, and we can’t have double-standards), it’s about when the auxilliary lifeform SEPARATES FROM THE HOST/PARENT AND BECOMES A STANDALONE ENTITY. That’s what logic tells us, and that’s what Roe v. Wade supports.
    I grew up in the Church, and I am a Christian, and I promise you, Christ would never tolerate using exclusively child-centric mantras as excuses to totally reject the value and the interests of the woman.

    June 4, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Penny, Reno NV

    It is easy to see to MOST people that someone can be PERSONALLY Pro Life but feels it is up to each state to make that choice and each individual to make that choice for themselves. Romney is one of the few that can state his/her own opinion but knows that it is NOT his personal opinion that counts but the opinion of the people he REPRESENTS.

    June 4, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Kalamazoo

    When did social conservative come to mean dictator?
    Abortion may be an undesired choice and a poor choice but it is a choice. It is not "murder" whether life begins at conception or outside the womb.

    June 4, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. Robert, Seattle WA

    Interesting, ALL the comments on abortion are from men. Does that mean that only men can make decisions on that issue?

    June 4, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Shirley, The Villages, FL

    Let's hope the Republican nominees keep up this insensitive, irrational argument as their litmus test for who is the most worthy right-winger. After all, isn't the abortion issue far more important than Iraq, the environment, energy independence, climate change, health care, and the economy? If this is their main issue (and of course gay bashing), then the Dems will win in a landslide.

    Let us remember the definition of "liberal": Generous, open minded, tolerant of others' views, and favoring progress. (vs. "conservative": Resist or oppose changes, cautious, safe, preserve traditions.)

    June 4, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Commited Libertarian, Marietta GA

    Women do have a right to choose. Once they have chosen to have unprotected sex, they have to accept the consequences same as men. Abortion is not a religious issue, it's about being responsible for our actions, just like, drinking, driving, etc. We do have the freedom to make choices here, but we shouldn't expect a right to terminate a baby's life because we regret our choice!

    June 4, 2007 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Josh, lincoln, ca

    This is the difference of a Governer and a Senator. One knows how to govern, and the other knows how to grandstand and vote.

    They both have their place, but I'd like someone to govern the country who has governed a state.

    I hate abortion. But you can't be a leader of a democracy and disallow a country to vote. Everyone except Rudy is clear on being against abortion. If we want to reform, allow, or eliminate abortion that should be done according to the law. Rogue reps insisting that we all call it murder is just stupid. I personally agree that it is murder, but I don't force others to use the same language, already associated with the worst form of crime one can be a part of in the US.

    If Brownback wants to slam someone on abortion, there is a bigger and easier target than Romney!

    June 4, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Rae, Phoenix

    Excuse me last time I checked I am a woman and a mother and a grandmother. Men do not tell me how to think. Rae is a female name!

    June 4, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Nate, Woods Cross, UT

    Sorry, but as soon as this guy said he'd lampoon a rape victem about how the issue is not her pain, but the beautiful life inside her, I wrote this guy off as a raving idiot who has no contact with reality.

    June 4, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Brownback = Just another "One Trick Pony"

    June 4, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  21. Mark Wine, Los Angeles, California

    Brownback is pathetic. Perhaps he is simply not as highly evolved as the others. His campaign is pandering to the worst instincts of the American right.

    June 4, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Josh, lincoln, ca

    Take the example of two college students having unprotected sex, conceiving, and seeking an abortion to mitigate the fact that they "choose" the actions that resulted in the pregnancy.

    Then their abortion is murder. They are seeking to mitigate consequences that should require them to be responsible and has economic burdens. They had their choice. It's twisted that their fight against their choice, by trying to erase their consequences, is referred to as "free choice."

    But take a victim of incest, rape, or one in which the mother's life is in serous peril due to pregnancy. Then abortion is a choice that I still don't agree with, but don't condemn those who choose it under those circumstances.

    Brownback should apologize to all those who faced those difficult choices and have now been demonized. Although I would tell my wife or daughters to keep the baby, I'm not so hypocritical to blanket everyone with my personal morality and demonize those who may have choosen a poor descision under circumstances that I've never had to endure.

    I don't want a black and white president who can't step out of his own moral values to allow others to choose for themselves in some atypical circumstances.

    June 4, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  23. JP, Chicago, IL

    Brownback is a blithering fool. Romney all the way in 2008.

    June 4, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Jessica, Kansas City, KS

    I am ashamed to live in a state that is associated with Brownback. I am happy to know and assure not everyone from Kansas is this one sided and dense.

    1. Law. the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).

    Generally abortion is not a malicious act, but a fearful one.

    June 4, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Kyle Michelsen, Santa Barbara, CA

    1- Making abortion a federal crime will NOT stop abortions. It will only lead to more doctors in prison and more babies in trash cans. I respect the pro-life opinion, but it should be understood that government legislation is not the answer to the problem.

    2- Abortion has almost NOTHING to do with the President's job. He or she may or may not appoint supreme court justices who may or may not overturn Roe v. Wade. The media's obsession with this issue is just a very effective strategy to shift focus from the REAL illues. I'd be in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban QUESTIONS about abortion and gay marriage from presidential debates.

    June 4, 2007 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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