October 20th, 2007
10:51 AM ET
15 years ago

Romney gets endorsement from pro-life movement leader

Romney's campaign announced the endorsement Saturday.

(CNN)–Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney received an endorsement from a leader of the pro-life community on Saturday.

John Wilke, a physician, and president of both the Life Issues Institute, and International Right to Life Federation made the endorsement according to a release from Romney's campaign. "Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action defending life," Wilke said in the release. "Every decision he made as Governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life President we need in the White House," he said.

"I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country," Romney said in the same release from his campaign. "He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies. Policies that include more than appointing judges who will follow the law, but also opposing taxpayer funded abortion and partial birth abortion," Romney said.

Romney highlighted his pro-life and strong family platform in an address to a gathering of Christian conservative voters in Washington, D.C. on Friday night. He is scheduled to participate in a debate with his fellow GOP rivals Sunday night in Orlando, Florida.

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- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Race to '08
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Peter, Wausau, WI

    I don't know about Romney... what he says makes him seem to be a faithful conservative, but I can't help but feel that he's just trying to win votes...

    October 20, 2007 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  2. jane,manchester,NH

    Cnn can we get the above post removed. Enough! I can even predict it gonna follow hillary's. How do you post stuff? I am glad I only take a pinch of media

    October 20, 2007 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. jane,manchester,NH

    I meant the Letter with Limbaugh we have had enough of it all week! Time to post your Hillary now and lie to us!

    October 20, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |

    Republicans have taken a visceral subject and made it into a movement, however faulty. The majority of Americans are pro-life in their belief, yet they also believe that each women should have the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. This choice should be exercised rarely and with careful deliberation. No man will ever have to deal with the pain and agony of carrying an unwanted child to birth. Yet men talk most vociferously on this issue,

    October 20, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. phillip,falls church,VA

    Cnn remove the above limbaugh letter, we have had enough of it for two weeks. Time to post your Hillary and lie to us!

    October 20, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    What supreme arrogance for pandering politicans and politicized physicians to presume any authority over a woman's body and the life wholly within and dependent upon it. Right-to-lifers are officious intermeddlers (nosy pests) who have no legal standing in these matters. If they even think they do, what other aspects of your life will they attempt to control?

    October 20, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Daniel

    This follows news that Bob Jones III was endorsing him, as well as other religious conservatives, in an effort to clearly stop Giuliani. The latter, by contrast, is attracting support of the Bush Clan!

    October 20, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  8. Coleman, Miami, Florida

    Senate Dodd, I dare you say that Obama does not have enough experiece. He has just as much experience as you and Hillary. By the way, speaking of Judgement, He is the cream of the crop. Of all the candidates, Obama is the ONLY ONE that can lead this country. It's not you or Hillary who I dislike due to the fact that she is such a liar and is so corrupted. Tell me America, is Hillary really the one we want as commander in Chief? I don't think so. Think about it, please.
    Obamba 08!

    October 20, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Linda - Albany, NY

    The last thing this country needs is a President that places his/her fundamentalist/communist views above that of physical/mental needs of a woman who requires an abortion. We don't need another dictator.

    October 20, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. romney, Atlanta, Ga

    Flip, FLop

    Flip, Flop

    Flip, Flop

    Wow, I can't believe anyone can trust this man.

    October 20, 2007 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. Charles in Orem, Utah

    I think it's both shameful and shortsighted that anyone professing to belong to an enlightened Christian belief system would feel the need to even consider supporting a candidate whose faith teaches that God endorses racism. The Book of Mormon very clearly teaches that God caused a "dark and loathsome" skin color to come over the "Lamanites" (whose descendants are modern Indians and Latinos) because of their "iniquity", so that the fair-skinned "Nephites" would not want to intermingle with them. Those thus "cursed" with a dark skin then receive a "promise" from the Book of Mormon, however, that their descendants who embrace Mormonism in the latter days and become righteous would one day again see their skin become "white and delightsome". Since their troubled beginnings Mormons have evolved into a respectable group that espouses clean living, strong family values, etc, but the background teachings that God condones racism are still there, and any Latter-day Saint who considers themself to be a committed believer MUST accept them. Could this be one of the reasons Romney doesn't encourage open discussion about the details of his faith? I don't expect anyone to take my word for this - go to any search engine and type in the words: Mormon, skin, white, Indian. Read what you find, and then decide whether a candidate's religion should matter whether he is a desirable person to elect to the office of President of the United States. This isn't a message advocating intolerance - far from it; it's just an invitation to others to become informed about something factual that they might otherwise not be aware of.

    October 20, 2007 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. John Chamberlain Sturgis, SD

    Stick to politics, the uterus isn't a part of government. There is a place (in the region) that is synonymous with politics. Need a map?

    October 20, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. John NC

    I believe that the majority of the people are against abortion and gay marriage. I believe that whichever candidate comes out strongly against these two things and sticks with it will win the White House.

    October 20, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. cwallin lexington KY

    Abotion is wrong, and any woman that thinks she can hop into bed and then whoops, oh darn, i forgot to use any precautions not to get pregnant, in my opinion, lost her choice because she was irresponsible in making sure to prevent pregnancy. Someone has to protect these sweet babies! Two wrongs don't make a right! Rape or incest is a totally different matter, and should be considered on a person to person basis, but abortion is just wrong. Romney is doing an amazing job and he should be elected president of the United States of America because he actually has moral backbone, and teaches and lives what he believes. I don't think his religion should even be acknowledged in the political arena. Abortion has been a political issue for 30+ years. But not a candidates religious affliation, nor should it be. The guy talking about the Book of Mormon and race is so off base, because God loves all of us, no matter our color or race. There was a reason if God "marked" a people. what if they are the chosen ones, did you ever think of that, because i think they are! Best of luck to Romney, he's the clear choice and winner!

    October 20, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Tracey Fridley, MN

    Pro-life? He wants to bomb Iran and double Guatanamo, wake up and see that these phony crooks are really using religion for political gain.

    Jesus would of threw them all out of his father's house with the other crooked merchants.

    October 20, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Charles in Orem, Utah

    Cwallin of Lexington, you can choose to believe or perceive whatever makes you feel warm and fuzzy, but the book says what it says, and is quite clear about its reason for doing so. You may not choose to check it out (for fear of being shown to be wrong), but others may. The absurd idea that God promotes and supports the "cursing" of a people by giving them dark skin amounts to racism, pure and simple. This is but one of the reasons why most mainstream Christians reject the doctrines and claims of the Mormon faith.
    I find it refreshing that most Latter-day Saints have risen above this attitude and embraced tolerance - even to the point where many wouldn't want to believe the Book of Mormon teaches racism, but rationalizing it doesn't change it. It's still there.

    October 20, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Samantha, Nashville,TN

    cwallin of lexington KY just hoping into bed and becoming pregnant is not always the case. Have you ever heard of RAPE!

    October 20, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. joe,nyc,ny

    WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney narrowly won a straw poll of mostly Christian conservative voters at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit held this weekend in the nation's capital.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney attends a gathering of the Family Research Council on Friday.

    The former Massachusetts governor won almost 28 percent of the 5,776 votes cast, edging out former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who finished 30 votes behind him.

    "The vote is a validation of Governor Romney's core message to grass-roots Republican activists," Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden said at the close of the two-day conference.

    "His is a campaign built on the important issues of national security, economic security and stronger families."

    Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished in third place, with 15 percent of the vote, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson finished in fourth place with 10 percent. See how the top four finishers performed »

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani finished with 107 votes, just under 2 percent of all ballots cast, and Arizona Sen. John McCain was just behind Giuliani, with 81 votes.

    "It's hard to gauge how big a victory this is for Romney because we're not entirely sure whether these voters represent the larger Christian conservative constituency," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said.

    Don't Miss
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    Sen. Brownback backs out of GOP presidential race
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    "Romney won the Ames, Iowa, straw poll in August by spending a lot of money. We don't know how much of an organizational effort was behind this victory," he said.

    "Romney's true acceptability to Christian conservatives will not become clear until we see how he does in January in the Iowa Republican caucuses and the South Carolina Republican Primary.

    "But the results suggest that being a Mormon may be a barrier for winning the support of Christian conservatives," Schneider said. Watch Schneider discuss the significance of Romney's win »

    A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows that Americans' attitudes toward Mormonism appear to be changing.

    Half of those surveyed last weekend considered Mormons Christian, up from 34 percent last year.

    Far fewer people voted in person at the conference than participated online or by mail.

    Huckabee was the clear winner of the in-person balloting, with 488 of the 952 votes. Romney was second with 99 on-site votes.

    Only members of the council's political arm could vote.

    During the voting period, which began in August, the conservative organization saw its membership increase from about 5,000 members to 8,500, said Tony Perkins, council president.

    "The straw vote is a setback for Fred Thompson, a Southerner who is trying to lock up the conservative wing of the party. Thompson's 10 percent is an embarrassingly weak showing," Schneider said.

    But Thompson's spokeswoman saw the results in a different light.

    "Fred Thompson was happy to have received an enthusiastic response and standing ovation from attendees at the Values Voters Summit," Karen Hanretty said.

    "While it's easy for a candidate to buy votes in an unscientific straw poll, what matters more is that Christian conservative voters favor Fred over the other candidates, as evidenced in a recent CBS poll," she said.

    Powerful voting bloc

    Christian conservatives carry a lot of clout within the Republican Party.

    They vote in great numbers in the Republican primaries, especially in the crucial early presidential contest states of Iowa and South Carolina. That's one reason all of the GOP presidential candidates came to Washington to court their vote.

    Coming into the Values Voters Summit, Christian conservatives appeared to have problems with all of the top-tier GOP White House hopefuls.

    The front-runner in the national polls, thrice-married Giuliani, supports the legal right to an abortion.

    Romney - the leader in Iowa and New Hampshire, which will hold the first primary - supported the legal right to abortions before changing his stance.

    His Mormon faith may be a problem for some values voters.

    Thompson - who is second in most national polls - is against a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He believes the states should decide. Some top Christian conservative leaders have questioned Thompson's commitment to their core issues.

    McCain also opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and he's had a rocky relationship over the years with Christian conservative leaders.

    Huckabee could be considered the ideal candidate for evangelical voters - he's the only minister.

    But he's not well known, and regardless of his strong performances in the Republican presidential debates so far this year, few think he has a shot at winning the GOP nomination.

    The other presidential hopeful who also saw eye-to-eye with the religious right is no longer a candidate. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas dropped out of the race for the White House on Friday due to a lack of campaign cash.

    While Giuliani received only polite applause from the audience after his comments, Huckabee won several ovations.

    The former Baptist preacher called legalized abortion a "holocaust."

    "Sometimes we talk about why we're importing so many people in our work force," he said.

    "It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our work force had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973."

    Huckabee also spoke adamantly of the need for conservative lawmakers to show no compromise on fighting for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

    "I'm very tired of hearing people who are unwilling to change the Constitution, but seem more than willing to change the holy word of God as it relates to the definition of

    October 20, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  19. Sam, IA

    This guy flips more than a sunbather on the Riviera but as is always the case these things are overlooked if you are a republican. Divine absolution.To all you rightwing biblethumpers out there, I am anti abortion and prochoice. A position that has NO hypocrisy whatsoever. You can never make such a claim if you belong to this group that decries abortion and cheers the killing of those whose faith you do not share.

    October 21, 2007 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  20. WDRussell, East Liverpool, Ohio

    Did any of you actually read the post by cwallin? An unwanted pregnancy is totally the fault of the woman, the man can not be held responsible, according to him/her anyway.

    Romney gets endorsement of pro-lifers.
    Who are also,
    pro war
    pro wealthy worship
    pro corporations
    pro pollution
    pro totalitarian state
    pro nationalists.
    That is a good reason not to vote for him.

    October 21, 2007 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  21. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I'm a Republican – and I know the Dems have a couple crazies on their side....well...we do too. While I think that abortion is a choice (and a difficult one) – the goverment should stay out of it....not fund it – and maybe offer options to try to prevent if the choice was purely financial. In the end....it is a pure choice issue....and when the Republicans run Giuliani – we will have a social liberal (pro-choice) and a fiscal conservative president....

    October 21, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. Lars, DC

    Folks, it's really simple. A woman does have a choice...the night before when she chooses to be responsible or not. If not, then guess what, you now have a unique individual (a life) just like you who has the same rights as the woman. To deny this because you don't want to be inconvenienced with responsibility is the height of selfishness and immaturity just .

    October 21, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |