November 25th, 2007
07:07 AM ET
7 years ago

Republicans rip Romney on abortion

Thompson said Romney "was one of the most adamant pro-choice advocates that I had ever seen."

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – Two Republican presidential candidates slammed rival Mitt Romney's record on abortion Saturday, claiming Romney cannot be trusted on the issue because of his past support for abortion rights.

The attacks, some of the most pointed to date from his Republican opponents Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee, come one week after Romney's campaign sent out a mailer in South Carolina calling him "the only major presidential candidate who supports the Republican party's pro-life platform: a constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide."

The mail piece touts Romney as "the Governor who sided with life … every single time," referring specifically to legislation Romney supported while in office in Massachusetts.

Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who opposes an abortion amendment and says the issue should be decided by individual states, grinned when asked about the mail piece and said that before Romney decided to run for president, he "was one of the most adamant pro-choice advocates that I had ever seen."

"Governor Romney is saying a lot of things that I'm saying now," Thompson told CNN after a campaign stop in Summerville. "We're saying some of the same things. The only difference is that he was saying diametrically opposing things all his career."

Thompson, who picked up the endorsement of the National Right to Life Committee earlier this month, said that when voters consider Romney, they will have to decide "where he'll be tomorrow when the strong winds blow and when the strong pressure comes.'"

Huckabee also dismissed Romney's credentials on the issue and noted that he too supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions.

"When Mitt was out there on the other side of the issue and he was pro-abortion, I was marching the streets of Little Rock and passing a constitutional amendment in my state," Huckabee said while campaigning at a college football game in Columbia.

"Where Mitt comes up with that, I have no idea. You'll have to ask him how he can manufacture such ideas."

Romney spokesman Will Holley responded to the criticisms, saying that "Governor Romney is proudly pro-life and his record as Governor reflects that."

"Whether it was siding with life every single time an issue crossed his desk as Governor or his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment, Governor Romney has demonstrated his commitment to strengthening American families," Holley said.

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– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Fred Thompson • Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Race to '08 • South Carolina
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. ProudVet ny ny

    Fred Thompson, please show us a smiling face sometime, your frown does not help your campaign. I am not voting for you, but, for God´s sake SMILE

    November 25, 2007 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  2. George, CO

    What does it take to have everyone realize that the issue of abortion is just a talking point for them? Politicians from both sides have zero incentive to work on it. Until 2006, the Republicans have controlled the Congress for 10 years. What have they done to try to repeal Roe v. Wade? Nothing! And of course don't you count on the Dems on that.

    You voters really need to look carefully on what the candidates have done in the past, and not what they are saying before the election. Talk is cheap.

    November 25, 2007 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. The Right To Life No Matter Where You Live!!

    How do all of you holy than thou Evaganelists who support capital punishment and the Iraq War going to answer to God for the innocent people the government has murdered due to shady, often racial judicial practices and an unnecessary, incompetently run war??

    November 25, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Chris, Pensacola FL

    There is no such thing as abortion. They've done a good job giving you people something to waste time arguing over though. Get off your butts and go feed the homeless. Go pray for people that require it. The internet isn't going to solve abortion. The powers want to confuse you so you don't know their real intentions. Wake up.

    November 25, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. Don B. Logan,Ia. 51546

    Fred T.and Mike Huckabee have no room to talk.Lazy Fred can,t even come here to Iowa and campaign(yes Fred,we notice here in Iowa),and the liar Baptist Minister Mike Huckabee runs interviews that lie on his 1999 Arkansas fuel tax hike.Huckabee claims that while fuel taxes went up,the increase was approved by 80% of the voters in a referendum.Bull--!Act1028(HB1548)referred to and cited as the "Arkansas Distillate Special Fuel Excise Tax Act of 1999".Note that the tax isn,t contingent on voter approval.Governor Huckabee and supporters..I challenge you today!Your candidate is a big liar!Iowa,do your research on Huckabee before the Iowa caucasus.

    November 25, 2007 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  6. Justin, New York, NY

    Hold on a second. Pro-Mitt or not, his records VIVIDLY shows his support of Gay Rights, and Pro-Life when he was running for Governor of MA. How he can suddenly turn his stand around and lie about it is beyond me. I believe it probably has to do with his devout Mormon life, since his views are now suddenly in-sync with the LDS Church.

    November 25, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  7. Jack Heim, Fort Worth, TX

    To Maeve and Michelle, in in 2002, 1.29 million abortions took place in the USA. I'm sure none of these were "simply for convenience." And your comment,” It is for God to judge, not man." Then only a sentence or two later, "Get real…listen to the people. It's real easy: If you want an abortion, it's your choice. If you don't want one, then don't have one." Let's not muddy the water here by mixing the death penalty and Iraq in the discussion. And Maeve, "abortion discount coupons?" And you call me childish?

    We are in agreement of one thing, "GOD will judge."

    November 25, 2007 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. Jack Heim, Fort Worth, TX

    Yes Jack, let's clarify, but let's really clarify. Pro-choice is just that. Those in faovr of allowing women to make a choice. There is no such thing a "Pro-abortion", which would be the stance of forcing pregnant women to have abortions. Please, try to reason a litle bit before giving in to talking points, ok? It'll do you, and the country, some good.

    Posted By Patrick, Alexandria, VA : November 25, 2007 10:13 am

    Stimulating rebuttal Patrick. You might first give in to a chell specker before proceeding further on this subject.

    November 25, 2007 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  9. jo biloxi ms

    Calling the guy a flip flopper is insane. He changed his position once. That is called getting more info and changing your mind. Hill saying yes war, no war, maybe, yes war, no war….. That is flipping.
    I respect Romney for doing research and having the gut to say I was wrong so I can no longer support abortion. He should be applauded for thinking. That lack of ability to backtrack and admit mistakes and change opinion is why we are still in Iraq when we should have never been there. We should have been going after terrorist not oil. Mitt in 08, the critical thinker with a critical plan.

    November 25, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  10. AJ atlanta Ga

    Calling the guy a flip flopper is insane. He changed his position once. That is called getting more info and changing your mind. Hill saying yes war, no war, maybe, yes war, no war….. That is flipping.
    I respect Romney for doing research and having the gut to say I was wrong so I can no longer support abortion. He should be applauded for thinking. That lack of ability to backtrack and admit mistakes and change opinion is why we are still in Iraq when we should have never been there. We should have been going after terrorist not oil. Mitt in 08, the critical thinker with a critical plan.

    November 25, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  11. Maeve

    Oh, Jack, Jack, Jack. You poor thing.

    Don't try so hard to be master of the red herring. You look foolish.

    "Convenience," in regards to an abortion, is the handy-but-inconsequential argument tossed around by those who have no clue.

    I dare you to ask anyone who has ever had an abortion whether or not anything about it was "convenient." Was it in all ways simple and easy? Was it in all ways painless? Was it in all ways cheap?

    Whether or not there is any regret involved (and MANY TIMES THERE IS NOT), no one who has had an abortion would honestly use the word "convenient" to describe it.

    In any case, Romney has flip-flopped on the issue of abortion, just as Thompson has flip-flopped on another anti-choice issue: the Schiavo case.

    In regards to this conservative talking point, neither of these two guys should be so quick to wrap themselves in "true conservative" robes and point fingers.

    November 26, 2007 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  12. Jack Heim, Fort Worth, TX

    Maeve, it's unfortunate that politicians would never plan their feet firmly on the ground and state their true feelings such as you and I have. I'm very happy those years ago when "our" Mothers made a "choice" they chose life.

    November 26, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Karen - Novato, California

    Thompson said Romney "was one of the most adamant pro-choice advocates that I had ever seen."

    So, Romney supports a right that has been defended and upheld over and over in the courts. And, so...

    Does Fred Thompson have a point?
    An intelligent one, I mean?

    November 26, 2007 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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