August 22nd, 2012
06:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan proud of 'pro-life record'

Raleigh, North Carolina (CNN) – Vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan said Wednesday he is "comfortable" supporting Mitt Romney's less conservative stance on abortion after a Republican congressman revived the policy debate and defied conservatives like Ryan.

"I'm proud of my record," Ryan said. "Mitt Romney is going to be president, and the president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

His remarks suggest that despite his conservative voting record, the vice presidential candidate accepts the fact that he is running on the policies of the person at the top of the Republican ticket.

After Rep. Todd Akin claimed in an interview Sunday with KTVI that "legitimate rape" rarely resulted in pregnancy, Ryan joined a chorus of other Republican voices and called Akin personally to urge him to drop out of the Missouri senate race.

The seven-term congressman told Pittsburgh station KDKA that Akin's statements were "outrageous, over the pale."

The Romney campaign released a statement Sunday saying, "A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in the instances of rape." But the statement did not reflect his running mate's conservative voting record in Congress.

The Romney-Ryan campaign says the Wisconsin lawmaker has long personally maintained an opposition to abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is at risk. However, Ryan has supported legislation that would allow exceptions for pregnancy in the case of rape, incest, or when a mother's life is at risk.

Ryan defended a bill he co-sponsored last year with Akin and other House Republicans that bestowed "personhood" rights on fertilized embryos, which would allow states or Congress to determine the legality of abortions.

"That bill passed I think by 251 votes. It was bi-partisan. I think HR-3 is the one you are talking about. I think we had 251 votes, 16 democrats, I am proud of the pro-life record I have," Ryan told reporters Wednesday.

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.


Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Mitt Romney • North Carolina • Paul Ryan
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. CBR

    He may be proud of his record on abortion. However, the bottom line is all women should be able to make decisions with government interference. A woman and her doctors and partner must be trusted to make the right decision for the woman. This should not be negotiable. Those who do not believe in abortion certainly have a right to their opinions, Those who support a women's right to choose must be allowed to have their opinions.

    This should not be a topic of discussion where an up or down vote is made.. Much has been written and women should have access to it. People should not be standing outside the clinics nor should they yell at women in such a degrading. way. These people have no idoea why a women is there, They have no idea about what she plans to discuss. They just push themselves forward so they can rant. It is time to let the law stand and move on..

    August 22, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Larry L

    Republicans always fire up the radical right-wing with issues costing the fat-cats nothing. Do you think if a billionaire's wife needs an abortion she can't have one? These issues don't mean crap to them but just try and make them pay a fair tax rate or close one of the loopholes for the very rich! They'd be all over that action with money for attack ads – sorta like now... They don't need Social Security or Medicare so their lap-dogs (Romney & Ryan) are working to kill those programs. They've got great health insurance so they'll try to kill the AHC Law – and let the working class go under when they get the bill.

    August 22, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. Squigman

    Well, ain't you the one. To hear these cretins say it, you'd think the rest of us were pro death. Hate to say it, but they're wrong. And not just a little wrong, they're as wrong as wrong can get. One big question comes to mind. If you are so pro-life, why are you against people receiving medical treatment, or against killing in wars? Could there be a motive of profit?

    August 22, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Debbie

    Proud of his pro-life stance....as in rape, incest, death of woman, etc. Extreamist.

    August 22, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. Jane

    "...a good step in the right direction." Which means, I'll bide my time and when Rove, Norquist et al. have installed Nitwit Romney in the Oval Office and taken over the day to day business of running the country, I can get together with them and get all my plans on line. It's disgusting how stupid the Republicans think the public is.

    August 22, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. labman57

    Paul Ryan should simply "take the Fifth" on the grounds that his antediluvian views might incriminate him.

    August 22, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Kenny K

    Which means he is pro-choice when it is necessary just like democrats. He should have just come out declare that he is on the same page with Obama in that regard.

    August 22, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  8. CNN Fan

    We know what Ryan's proud of.....but American Women are proud to vote for Obama.... Seriously, his mind is the same as Akin. They are the same folk....They just blame on Akin because they want to distance themselves wrong the hot issues for now....in fact they have the same platform....I can see his face of liar and his eyes of evil...American women will not vote for all extremist and this guy.....

    August 22, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Ryan is proud of his pro-life record because he shares the same extremist ideas as Rep Akin.

    August 22, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Personhood is a false idea. Until the embreo/child can survive outside the womb, it can't be really considered a full person. How would you provide a guardian in an instance like this? I would challenge those that think they can tell a human fetus from any other primate or other live birth aninmal, then they can make the call.

    August 22, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Then why are you ducking it? Why aren't you supporting Akin, your cohort who cosponsored your bill? I think you're a coward!!

    August 22, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Sue

    Funny how when your HUNGRY for POWER you will say anything even if it is against your own beliefs.....he doesn't believe that abortions are acceptable in Rape, insest or when a womans life is in danger........Romney dpesn't believe it either. .....but the POWER they want is so tempting that they will sell their souls and their beliefs to the devil just to get eleted

    August 22, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Jr

    Question for Ryan. Does an after morning pill constitute abortion?

    August 22, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Lead by attraction , not promotion !

    Ryan is a catholic without acceptance or true compassion ..

    Romney / Ryan
    We dont feel your pain 2012

    August 22, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Liz the First

    HE KILLS FOR FUN! and he's "pro-Life!" ROTFLMAO!!!!!! do these clowns on the 'right' even know the meaning of the word 'hypocrisy???'

    August 22, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. albie

    religion is wasteful, absurd and damaging - I would vote in a second to outlaw religion

    August 22, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  17. Mike in Texas

    Flip flop and flop flip. This fiscal conservative voted for both Bush tax cuts, both wars, medicare D and TARP and now he wants to be a fiscal conservative?

    August 22, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. sharinlite

    Paul Ryan should be proud that the has not supported the murder of 55 million babies in less than 40 years in the USA and more than the entire world put together!!!! 55 MILLION!!!!! Isn't that enough? Use condoms...

    August 22, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. tammyk tammy

    Too bad God doesn't have Ryan's pro-life record. He allows miscarriages, stillbirths, birth defects, disease, abuse, hunger, and poverty to kill many babies and young children. I guess that is why the republicans are so opposed to social programs like family planning, universal healthcare, food stamps, and welfare that protect children. You protect the foetus, but care less for the living human beings who have to survive in the world of have and have nots that you are creating. When a child dies of poverty and neglect, I guess you believe it's just God's will and get back to counting your money. Your Christian darwinism is hypocritical and disgusting.

    August 22, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  20. Phil Thomas

    IIf he's so Proud of it why isn't he so fast to own the legislation that he designed with Akin. The media is letting this guy skate like nothing i've ever seen. Hannity sat on his lap and did the interview, setting him up like Stockton feeding him answers. Pathetic, despite a 24 Hour GOP news channel we all new the three letter channel, Superpacks outspending him 2 to 1, The president is still beating him. I can't wait until these guys debate and can't hind behind million air funding. Lets see if the Koch brothers are so quick to give up money when they get no ROI next year

    August 22, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. aaron

    Too bad that abortion can't be retroactive. The pathologically lying Ryan would be put out business.

    August 23, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  22. nothing new here

    Let me state my opinion perfectly clear --
    I do not agree with using abortion as birth control.
    However, I fully and 200% support saving the lives of high risk mothers. My heart goes out to victims of abuse, and I do not think there is enough being done to address this issue.

    August 23, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. RyanBasher

    It doesn't look like he is thinking stuff through. Then when his back is against a wall he agrees with Mitt and says, "... It's a step in the right direction"

    Well, what took you so long to step??

    August 23, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  24. dorothy

    Wow....what a hypocritical position. Either it is a life or it is not a life. If it is a life, it deserves to be protected. If it is not a life than it deserves no protection no matter what the circumstances of the conception. Basically what they are saying is that they believe it is a life but some life is more sacred than others and the life of the fetus is expendable for the "sins" of the parent(s)....or that the parent's life is more deserving than the fetus'. These guys have no credibility at all.

    August 23, 2012 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. Marry

    The GOP/TP (Romney, Ryan, Akin, etc. etc.) are at a never seen level of hypocrisy! They make it look like as if women “like” to get an abortion. There is no mention of the heart-breaking and soul-searching many women have to go through – often because a “man” takes more than he should and is irresponsible – to find themselves in a position that leaves them no choice.
    If the GOP were known for their relentless work and commitment to better schools and education, housing, healthcare, job-creation, good working conditions, environmental protection, etc. etc. one could say: Yes, they are really concerned about families and woman and want to make the decision FOR a child possible! But they are not doing that – after birth – you on your own! So, they should stuff all their religious concerns (or whatever other motivations they have), take care of their own souls and leave others to take care of theirs!
    And to Ryan (and all the other “concerned ones”): Patronizing woman is nothing to be proud of ever!!

    August 23, 2012 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
1 2 3