November 28th, 2007
10:20 PM ET
15 years ago

Romney clarifies position on abortion amendment

Romney said America is ready for the abortion issue to be decided by individual states.

(CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney clarified his position on a constitutional amendment banning abortion during the debate, saying that while he would sign such an amendment, "that's not where we are."

Romney's position on an abortion amendment has been questioned in recent days, after his campaign sent out a mail piece in South Carolina stating unequivocally that Romney is "the only major presidential candidate who supports the Republican party's pro-life platform: A constitutional amendment banning abortion nationwide."

However, during the debate Romney seemed to back away from that claim. Asked if he would sign a bill passed by Congress banning abortions nationwide, Romney said he would be "delighted to sign that bill," but concluded: "That's not where we are. That's not where America is today."

"Where America is ready is to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority," he said.

Both former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Arizona Sen. John McCain have said they support such an amendment. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson opposes an amendment. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani is a supporter of abortion rights.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Mitt Romney • South Carolina
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    I think CNN and it's censorship sucked!!

    Ron Paul is the only one!!

    November 28, 2007 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. Jacob, Evanston Illinois

    Romney is Pro-Life; and stated in the debate that he was Pro-choice up until a piece of legislation came across his desk the questioned his choice. He is a Pro-Life candidate and always will be from here on out.

    November 28, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Brad, Philadelphia, PA

    The title of this one is misleading. Mitt did not clarify any of his answers tonight.

    November 28, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. BN, Fort Myers, FL

    What I find most disturbing is what a shamble this whole affair was. I feel like I wasted an entire two-half hours of my life that I will never recover. CNN, with their "oh so righteous" media representation for the people, did a bang-up job of trying to pull the wool over the audiences eyes. Bottom line, It is more than obvious that the agenda was to make the Republican party appear like fools and in disarray, and they succeeded. It frustrates me that they claim this was the people's debate, but after watching the manner in which questions were selected and which candidates were chosen my suspicions are confirmed that mainstream media is subjective, not objective. There was nothing objective about this debate. And this is why mainstream media (Fox, CNN, ABCNews, and CBSNews) will become obsolete for the Generation Y folks because I will use vehicles like YouTube, and RSS feeds to filter what news I want to receive and how I want to receive it. With a forum where no name people can voice opinions and viewpoints that ultimately allows for a true objective viewpoint.
    The Republican Party is now further hurt by a debate that delivered no clear winner, but rather shows the stupidity among our candidates.
    And, I am sorry, but that debate did not give Ron Paul a fair shake, and that too was blatantly obvious. I am not saying that I support or do not support Ron Paul, but it was obvious that the choice of questions and the way in which they were asked were set to bring out answers, that CNN knew, would make him look crazy. I think we all can agree that Ron Paul is actually, a very intelligent person, and he was probably one of the more intelligent people up on the stage.
    Clearly, this was a farce, and a waste of time. I am very concerned about America, and I think this election is a pivotal small step that may have grave consequences that will ultimately determine our existence as a country in the next 20-30 years. It will set in motion the deciding factors that will either lead to our demise or allow us to recognize the true root causes to our problems (socially, economically, and abroad).
    Shame on CNN, Anderson Cooper, and the Executive Producers for not making this an objective, equally represented debate to allow viewers to see each candidate’s true intentions. Instead, Neilson ratings went up because sparks flew when two men had a pissing contest on national TV. CNN is a disgrace. I look forward to when the Internet replaces mainstream TV and it is no longer a vehicle for news and media.

    November 28, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. John Veritas (Editor,, Washington DC

    Mitt flip-flopped because his LDS Church told him it was OK to voice those opinions if it would help him win a liberal state like MA. Now that it's a national election, he must go back to his true far right-wing Mormon beliefs. Remember their motto "When the Prophet speaks, the thinking is done." Not my words, they came right from LDS leadership. Check out

    November 28, 2007 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Janet Brunswick, Georgia

    These candidates say things just to get elected. And frankly i'm tired of it. They're suppose to represent the American people, but i don't want and ignorant person to show what america is all about.

    November 28, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Only one doctor on stage..listen to him..he knows better than any other...Ron Paul...doesn't talk bad about anyone....just exposes the ruth!

    November 28, 2007 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. Allan Camden, SC

    Flip flop flip flop flip flop. And the Republicans try to make an issue of it against the Democrats??? These clowns will say anything to win an election. Come next November,maybe if we are extremely fortunate we won't have to listen to them any more.

    November 29, 2007 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  9. David Wolfe, Alliance Nebraska

    I'm just wondering why on issues like Gun Control & Abortion, they didn't ask Governor Huckabee his position. He got NON QUESTIONS and is ready for real ones. America wants to know where he stands.

    November 29, 2007 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  10. Angela, Troy, MI

    Mitt's response was honest and forthright. I respect the guy.

    November 29, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  11. Jacob, Cambridge, MA

    CNN should fact check this story. The President does not ever sign a constitutional amendment. Congress passes and the states ratify constitutional amendments - the President never has any official role in the process. All he or she can really do is vocalize their support for amendments.

    November 29, 2007 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  12. Rafik, Santa Clara, CA

    with all due respect to Mr. Romney (my MBA role model)... if we want to elect someone to represent the pro-life movement, should we elect someone who was once a pro-choice and then converted. If we want to elect someone to represent marriage as between a man and a woman, should we elect someone who was once a pro-gay marriage and then converted?
    What if he reconverts after getting the job? what kind of consistency is that?
    Ron Paul, my man... you will smoke these phoney actores in every state... you can sleep from now till the convention... and still win it.

    November 29, 2007 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  13. Steve Blaine Washington

    Mitt flip-flopped because his LDS Church told him it was OK to voice those opinions if it would help him win a liberal state like MA. Now that it's a national election, he must go back to his true far right-wing Mormon beliefs. Remember their motto "When the Prophet speaks, the thinking is done." Not my words, they came right from LDS leadership. Check out

    Posted By John Veritas (Editor,, Washington DC : November 28, 2007 10:52 pm

    More anti Mormon bigotry. The Church does not even allow Church members to campaign on Church property and backs no candidate for political office even Mormon candidates and candidates for non partisian offices. I sent a letter to CEO of Times Warner about this type of bigotry by CNN monitors several days ago.

    November 29, 2007 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. its obvious

    this guy flip flops like no one before republicans are attacking him now but watch... if he gets the republican vote they wont bring it up again!

    November 29, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |