Romney adviser defends candidate's abortion stance
October 14th, 2012
09:14 AM ET
2 years ago

Romney adviser defends candidate's abortion stance

(CNN) – A top adviser to Mitt Romney defended the GOP presidential nominee Sunday against accusations he was changing positions on abortion, saying Romney was a "pro-life candidate" and would serve as a "pro-life president."

Ed Gillespie, speaking to CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union," said that was a long-standing position for the Republican candidate.

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"What the governor has consistently said is that he thinks Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and this is something that should be left to elected representatives, to the people through their elected representatives," Gillespie said, referring to the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming a woman's right to have an abortion.

Last week, Romney told The Des Moines Register's editorial board that he was not aware of any abortion legislation he would promote as part of his agenda as president.

"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda," Romney said in an interview with the newspaper.

Democrats claimed that was a reversal for the candidate, who maintained during the GOP primary season that he would support efforts to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, a women's health group that provides abortion services. Several House Republicans have introduced legislation that would strip funding from the group.

Romney has also said that for any Supreme Court vacancies, he would nominate candidates who would support overturning Roe v. Wade.

On Sunday, Gillespie pointed to Romney's vow in the Register interview to re-enact the Mexico City policy, a provision that prohibits U.S. federal aid dollars from funding abortion services in other countries. The policy has generally been implemented by Republican administrations and dropped by Democratic presidents. President Barack Obama rescinded it shortly after taking office in 2009.

"It's an important issue in terms of taxpayer funding for abortion," Gillespie said on CNN.

He said the abortion issue would continue to play a role in the closing weeks of the campaign.

"Life is a very important issue in this election, as is the economy, as is national security. All these issues always play a very important role," Gillespie said.

CNN's Greg Wallace contributed to this report.

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Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Abortion • Mitt Romney • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    FBI investigating and already has received copies of emails sent to employees of Koch industries and Murray Coal (in SE Ohio) threatening to fire people if they vote against Romney.

    Those emails in FBI possession are just the tip of the ice-berg. October folks. SURPRISE.

    October 14, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Murray Coal relaxed safety regulations in several mines and was responsible for the deaths of 9 men in Utah a couple of years ago. Look it up. Don't take my word for it.

    FBI investigating and already has received copies of emails sent to employees of Koch industries and Murray Coal (in SE Ohio) threatening to fire people if they vote against Romney.

    Those emails in FBI possession are just the tip of the ice-berg. October folks. SURPRISE.

    October 14, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Ed Gillespie face changed when Candy Crowley raised the question
    Defend or denial, we live in you tube world all the video clips is out there
    Advice to Romney campaign Wolf Blitzer can’t say he did a good job in Jeopardy

    October 14, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. Pete

    Did Romneys advisor explain that he's pro life he'd let a mother die to keep the fetus at all costs,as what he's done as a Mormon bishop.How he's gone to intimidating Mormon single pregnant women telling them to give up the child at birth or face excommunication from the church and saying also how single parents are irresponsible as well as incompetent, did he state those facts.Why doesn't exmormon women come out against this fascist for what he is,a white domineering religious fanatic that'll impose the same if he becomes president,if you give this maniacal Mormon a chance he might do it again,don't vote for him so he doesn't get that chance!!

    October 14, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Tony

    There is no such thing as a long-standing position for Romney. He said that he stood behind his 47% comment less than a month ago. Now he says that he is completely wrong about the 47%. He said that he has no abortion legislation on his agenda 5 days ago. Now he says that he will immediately move to defund Planned Parenthood. It takes a legislation to defund Planned Parenthood.

    October 14, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  6. CanadaONE

    Canadians have more intellect that many Americans

    We believe that people own their own body.
    We believe that health care is a right and not something that can make you go bankrupt
    We believe in education and pay 10% of what Americans pay in tuition

    That is why our economy is doing better than yours.
    We live longer.
    We score higher on educational standards.

    And we believe that women have the right to choose – we respect our women and DO NOT DEGRADE THEM!

    October 14, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. T'sah From Virginia

    Why is it that Romney's campaign is always coming out and CHANGING what MITTens says on the trail – They are constantly FLIPPING the words around when Romney says something else – Do you see that on Obama's side??? What President Obama says – he means!! That alone should tell the American people that we still do not know who Romney is????????

    Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    October 14, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. wake up america

    Putting the words Romney and consistent in the same sentence is an oxymoron. Romney is the biggest fraud in American politics.......WAKE UP AMERICA...

    October 14, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. onlooker

    Mr. Romney is consistent on this issue but inconsistent on others. I will be so glad when this " Tell them what they want to hear " season has been completed. Somehow, after many elections I just know the American public is going to be kicked in the head if Mr. Romney is elected. He will say : " after becoming President, and after reviewing the facts, I have found the situation to be worse, and the middle class on down will need to pay more! It just cannot be helped! "

    October 14, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. 2020

    Listening to Ed Gillespie talking gave insults to Americans. He like Romney will say anything, go anywhere sleep any bed just to get elected.

    hell with 47%. They told that to our face. we are the victims, we don't take responsibilities. they will control by legislation of our health our bodies. Who do they think they are, a bunch of hyprocratic.

    Woman rape by man, for God sake, shut up.

    October 14, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Pat Jay

    The truth is no one man is going to pull us out of this mess on his own. Mr. Obama has had a very cool head wile the country was in free fall. I'm not so sure I want to change out a good, but not great horse in the middle of this stream? What well we get if we do? A guy who might be a little better at best? and that's still a big maybe? Romney really hasn't given us any hard info on just what he would do different then Obama's doing now? I don't think I want to take Romney's candy that big van is scary. I'm voting for the devil I know.

    October 14, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Namejkane sfl a vote for lady parts romney the tax cheat and lyin lady parts ryan willcut your moms medicare and soc sec . .can you afford to pay for them???

    President Obama should simply ask romney the tax cheat ,if his new position on abortion and his new position on his 47% comment to his 50,000 dallar a plate doners with his new position that he will work for 100% of the American people. Ask him if he was lyin to his doners then , or he's lyin now to 100% of the American people . Romney can't have it both ways like he tries to do on every issue ??????

    October 14, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  13. Anthony

    Romney says one thing and does another. It is not just on abortion. Romney says that he wants to cut the deficit. Everything he is willing to be specific about in his plan (cutting taxes 20% across the board, increasing military spending) goes in the other direction. Romney wants to decrease government revenue (by cutting taxes) and increase its spending (more than 1-trillion increase in military spending), and he wants you to believe that he can balance the budget that way. It is like saying that you should quit your job, and losing your income will make paying off your mortgage easier.

    October 14, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. settino

    In Canada, we can't wait for backward thinkers in America to ban abortion. Our tourist industry is anxiously waiting. Here is an example of ads ready to be aired on American TV, radia and newspapers?
    American women needing an abortion?
    Come to Canada and avoid back alley coat hangar dangerous abortions!
    Doctors will perform abortions in state of the art hospitals.
    Book now and price will include airfare, a 3 night stay at wonderful hotel in old Montral, fine dining for two at five star resturants, a free caleche ride, and free shuttle service to shopping malls!! As a bonus, we will post a picture of your favorite anti abortion conservative right there in your hotel room, and provide you with darts!! Book now and we'll throw in a free glass of champagne on your flight to canada!!
    We just can't wait! Our economy is booming now...imagine with the hundreds of millions every year more coming in!!!

    October 14, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. onlooker

    Now that Mr. Obama and his crew have succeeded in turning the S.S.UNITED STATES half way around, and away from the killer Iceberg, Mr. Romney and his crew would like AGAIN to take control and complete what George Bush and his crew had 8 years to accomplish. Mr. Bush, if you remember, gave us all approx. $600 dollars from a surplus. I suppose he must have thought we were such child-like people that we would not notice him taking out the piggy bank contents via deregulation. Then, with the changing of the guard on the hen house by the big money foxes, they set up the killer iceberg. Now that our course is changing, the slurping big money powers want to return to the good old days once more. Hopefully America has learned from this bad experiance, and disallow that from happening.

    October 14, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  16. Debbie

    Can you believe Joe Biden? He claims Catholic Faith but he also says a woman has the right to decide when it comes to her own body. I am a woman. Why is it illegal for me to use crack, meth or even marijuana? According to Joe, I have a right to decide when it come to my own body. Furthermore, Biden, is saying the tax payers need to furnish the drugs. On the other hand, a woman that is a senior citizen, under Obamacare, can not have a hip replacement or a knee replacement that would totally enhance her quality of life and expect the tax payers to pay for it. Is it just me or do these policies smell like malarkey?

    October 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. settino

    and only when a man can become pregnantand pop it out of his derriere can he speak about abortion rights. Until then...SHUT UP!!!!

    October 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. Dennis Freeman

    Long standing position? That means more than 24 hours.

    October 14, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. once upon a horse

    @ Debbie....

    You're right once you're born the government has a right to tell you what to do with your life. And I bet you are one of those that claim they want smaller government.

    October 14, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    I have watched Romney enough to understand his position. He will not initiate any legislation to ban abortion. That doesn't mean Congress won't.

    On the other hand, the overall condition of the country, is a huge mess, with almost NO improvement in the past 4 yrs. Obama's main accomplishments, are:

    running up over 5 trillion in debt

    passing a health care bill the people didn't want, and which increases health care cost by about 400% by 2016

    saving unions, by bailouts (not jobs.....unions)

    That's about it, folks.

    October 14, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Patrick in Wisconsin

    When Mitt was Governor of Mass, he supported a women's right to choose and he said that at many of his public appearances. Now he doesn't. He is the least consistent candidate the Republicans could've possibly come up with this round.

    October 14, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  22. OhioRay

    Romney's position seems to be to allow abortion only for rape and incest. How would he implement such a plan? Does the woman have to prove rape? Go to trial? What if she loses? Won't the baby be born by this time? I guess maybe that's the idea.

    October 14, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Jefe

    Everything–and I mean everything Romney says is a qualified statement that he sneaks in so he can deny it later. He says 23 MIllion Americans are struggling for work–translates to 12 Million people are unemployed. Romney says that he will cut taxes 20% across the board, and close the loopholes. That translates to that the effective tax rate would remain unchained (which does nothing to erase the deficit or stimulate the economy). Its also impossible.

    He isnt aware that there is any legislation he will back on abortion–that transltes to that he knows 2 SCOTUS Justices are going to retire and he will replace them to have Roe v Wade overturned. He will strip the choice away from women. He will not help this country, he will only help increase the divide between the classes.

    October 14, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. candy

    Think Supreme Court! That's really all you need to do to decide whom to vote for next month.

    Unless both chambers of Congress go to one party, there'll still be deadlocks anywhere else. But swing the Court to the right or swing it to the left? More Thomas and Scalia or not? That will determine the state of our society for the next 30 or 40 years!!!!

    October 14, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Natalie

    Oh sure, he'll weasel his way around this topic just like he does all the others. Say he supports the law, yet will appoint an ultra-conservative justice to the SCOTUS as soon as he can and let them take women's rights away. We get it, Romney, you're a snake and can't fool those of us who use our brains to make decisions. And some of you fools actually think Romney gives a damn about women, equal pay, or the middle class? You are gullible if you do.

    October 14, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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