Watch Romney explain his conversion on the abortion issue.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told anti-abortion rights activists his conversion on the issue is authentic Friday, following a week in which two of his GOP presidential rivals strongly questioned his commitment to the matter.
"My experience as governor taught me firsthand that the threat to our culture is real and those in a position to do so must take action to defend it," Romney said in a speech at the National Right to Life's annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri. "Times of decision are moments of great clarity. Before I was governor, the life issue was just that, an issue. But when responsibility for life or ending life was placed in my hands, I made the right decision. I chose life."
Romney also directly confronted recent suggestions from both the campaigns of Arizona Sen. John McCain and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback that a YouTube video shows the Massachusetts Republican embraced abortion rights even after he has said he started opposing them.
The video is taken from a May 2005 press conference - six months after he has said he converted on the issue - in which then-Gov. Romney says he is committed to maintaining the abortion rights laws in Massachusetts.
"Recently, I was attacked by one of my opponents because, when I ran for governor, I promised to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion in Massachusetts," he added. "Of course, I kept that promise. But in Massachusetts, that meant vetoing pro-choice legislation – as I consistently did as governor."
Brownback, as well as fellow presidential candidates Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, also addressed the conference Friday.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Of course Mitt doesn't mention that his vetoes were always overridden:
"He likes vetoes, but most of his were inconsequential," said Jim Rappaport, a former chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party and a frequent critic of Romney. "They were like writing in the sand: The waves came in and wiped them out."
He's the Republican version of Slick Willie. I call him Slick Mitt.
flippity-flop. Mitt the Twitt strikes again!
Yes absolutely...he is just trying to say the right thing to get votes.
Conviently flip-flops with the changing political winds.
Of course to win the liberal stronghold state of MA...he was pro-choice.
Now that he is running to garner conservative voters in the primary...all of sudden he "converts" to pro-life.
This man looks like and acts like a con-artist.
Wedge issue thrown out by McCain's failing campaign and Brownback's non-campaign. Maybe Brownback should ask McCain if abortion is "murder". The reason Romney is targeted is because he is rising and McCain is falling. And Brownback is beating his one and only drum.
Anyone who thinks that one has to have the same opinion about a given topic all of their lives in order to be insincere is showing their intellectual shallowness. Intelligent people do continuously challenge their thoughts with new information and ways of looking at things. That's how they prevent intellectual flabbiness from setting in.
Oops - I meant "sincere"
An intelligent person will continuously challenge their thoughts, and perhaps even change their mind. Otherwise, one becomes intellectually lazy.
"[W]hen responsibility for life or ending life was placed in my hands, I made the right decision". The U.S. Constitution does not hand a Governor or President a right to make medical decisions for a woman or for the life wholly within and dependent upon her. Her right of privacy has been part of our constitutional jurisprudence established before Roe which is unlikely to be reversed.
I lived in Massachusetts when Mitt Romney was governor. The man was a joke! He vetoed practically everything that came his way (all of which were later overturned). He thought he could balance the budget by cutting all of the viable funding for the towns and cities, including education and safety (re: police officers). Mitt lived in his own little world while acting as the governor of our state and he will not be remembered for doing anything worthwhile when he was in office.
Romney explains himself well. "Flip-flop" and "say anything" are merely cliches that don't stick once you expose the selectively edited version. Romney did what he could with abortion in a very liberal state. Given a more conservative nation to work with, he will do what he can there as well.
Of course intellectually honest people can, and should, change their opinions on occasion. But doesn't it seem a bit odd that all of Mitt's changes seem to bring him closer to the GOP primary electorate's views. With all the "conversions" he seems to have experienced recently, wouldn't the law of averages dictate a few might have gone in the other direction, if they were truly honest changes?
'With all the “conversions” he seems to have experienced recently, wouldn’t the law of averages dictate a few might have gone in the other direction, if they were truly honest changes?'
Some have, actually. Mitt was asked this very question in the second debate. He replied that in his 1994 Senate run, he supported eliminating the Department of Education, a red-meat position popular with the conservative base. He now feels that's not the answer anymore. We must now operate within the existing framework of the DOE, he said, rather than raze it entirely. So there you have it.
Oh well, then, that changes everything..
I mean, knowing that thirteen years ago he made a very poor decision, received very unpopular feed back and then decided to flip flop....
Well I'm sure that information will win him many votes in the Presidential Campaign. (definite sarcasm)