Romney slams Obama in reaction to Blunt amendment vote
March 1st, 2012
02:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney slams Obama in reaction to Blunt amendment vote

(CNN) – GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney released a statement Thursday following the vote in the U.S. Senate killing the "Blunt amendment," a controversial proposal pushed by Republicans that would have allowed religious employers to opt out of providing health care coverage for contraception.

"I applaud the Senators who took a stand today and voted to defend religious freedom," Romney said. "The Obama Administration has directly attacked the First Amendment of our Constitution and individual liberty. The President of the United States must protect and defend the Constitution, not ignore it. This is yet another example of what is wrong with Obamacare, and why I am committed to its repeal."

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On Wednesday Romney was forced to explain his stance on the controversial Senate amendment after he came out against the legislation. He later said he supported the provision and "misunderstood" an inquiry from a reporter.

The amendment was sponsored by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a supporter of the former Massachusetts governor. The provision was an attempt by Senate Republicans to confront a simmering controversy over rules governing religious employers and health care coverage they are required to provide.

– CNN Producer Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Health care • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Yuri

    But he flip-floped on the same question within an hour of being quetioned by an Ohio reporter, for crying out loud. One wonders about the wonders politics can do to an otherwise an oofy oaf.

    March 1, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. REG in AZ

    Re. “Woman’s Rights” and the abortion issues: The decision should really rest with the individual and the ultra-conservative view, backed by politicians seeking to maintain biased support, that says others can mandate to the individual is absolutely wrong.  The decision and the responsibility (!) should not be taken away from the individual and we should not be crossing lines that allow government, corporations and / or individuals to be dictated to by religion; religion should always remain strictly a choice.  America's diversity and individual rights are a large part of what makes us great; to loose that, to become like an Iran, should be aggressively fought.

    March 1, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. victoria

    You can be for or against this Blunt Amendment, but this was attached to a Highway Transportation Bill. What does Highway Transportation and Health Coverage have to do with each other? Don't try and sneak this amendment in Mr. Blunt. Bring it in its own bill if you believe in it so much.

    March 1, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Whatever you remember what ammendment this is now? Do you remember which side of it your campaign wants you to be on?

    March 1, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. wgf

    Romney, and most of the GOP, believes it is religous freedom to have an employer inflict his personal religous beliefs, and accompanying life style, on his employees.

    March 1, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Mikey

    It would have allowed much more than that. If I thought overeating was immoral, I could prevent my employees coverage for any weight related conditions, including diabetes. If I thought smoking was immoral, I could prevent my employees from coverage for cancer treatment. If I was a Christian Scientist, I could exclude coverage for a whole list of treatments. How about if I thought overpopulation of the earth was immoral – could I exclude coverage for pregnancies, deliveries, and children?

    I could pretend to be against anything and deny coverage based on the pretense. And this is no way a violatoin of the first amendment, which allows you to practice religion based on your personal conscience, but not to impose your religious restrictions on others. Conservatives don't seem to understand the first amendment – it was not intended to defend against a secular state. They had few or no examples of secular states. It was to prevent one religion from gaining the power of the state and using it to persecute other religions. That is what their experience had been (Catholic Church in France and Spain and the Church of England). The first amendment created the secular state, where all people have the freedom to practice THEIR religion according to THEIR conscience, but not the right to impose their religion on others, because the latter would nullify the former.

    March 1, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. HRPuckinfutz

    Not a first amendment issue. It is a medical issue. This has nothing to do with the practice of religion. It has to do with the practice of medicine.

    March 1, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. logicnLA

    DON'T BUY THE DRUGS! Simple! I'm a guy, but ob-gyn care is included in my policy. I won't be using it. Pregancy care- there- I won't be using it. Viagra- covered- women won't be using it. Why isn't this the same thing? Conservative claim they want less government but what they really want is laws tailored speficially to their wished instead of choices.

    March 1, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Mittens has taken both sides of this issue in the matter of 20 minutes, and he then criticizes the president for providing a workable solution that conforms to federal law. My bumper sticker is, "Mitt is Unfit."

    March 1, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. Susan Prock

    I can't see how killing the blunt bill is a religious freedom issue. I feel just the reverse. This bill would have allowed employers to deny health insurance for almost any reason, not just contraception! You can make a fake "moral" issue out of anything,especialy if an employer thinks he can get out of providing health insurance to employees! This was a vicious move by the repugs!

    March 1, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. annie s

    This was not a religious freedom issue. it was an attempt by Republicans to turn a healthcare issue into a religious issue. They'll keep at it despite this loss because they have nothing real to pin on the President now that the economy is on the mend.

    March 1, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  12. scottf

    I am an employer. I have a moral disgust for right wingers. Therefore contraceptives are not covered for them. Right?

    March 1, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Joe

    This article says the Blunt amendment would allow "religious employers" to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage. However, in actuality, the Blunt amendment applied to all employers, not just religious employers. Also, note the ambiguity in Romney's praise for "the senators who took a stand today and voted to defend religious freedom." Is he praising the senators who voted for the amendment or against it? He was for the amendment before he was against it. Or against it before he was for it. Or something. But praise those senators who voted his way. Whatever way that was.

    March 1, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Personally, I think this fight is a loser for the conservative movement. I wish they would FOCUS on the economy. You know – $4 gas, 8.5% unemployment, and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, brought to you by the democratic party.

    Having said that, the Constitution was written to protect the governed from the government. So if you're all for the separation of church and state, and we should be, remember that the separation works BOTH ways... keeping the church out of government and keeping the government out of church.

    March 1, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Kwesoe

    It's know as Patriarchy, (The Archy of the Pathos or the Power of the Father). It's a concept that seeks to take over the lives of women, children and minoroties in order to demonstrate that men have power to dictate their future. But since slavery has been legally abolished, women are now the soft target for men to rule over. It's a shame that Republicans want to politicize a woman's healthcare issue against them.

    March 1, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  16. J in TX

    Just to get this straight... so Romney is in favor of Corporations denying benefits to workers on religious grounds, but still to be able to get federal tax breaks. This is not some condemnation, I just want this clarified that he wants to set precedent for corporations to deny for example: healthcare, bathroom breaks, overtime, etc. if they raise a religious objection?

    March 1, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Silly Mitt, you will never be President!

    March 1, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Facepalm28

    Mikey's got it exactly right. If you actually understand the intent of the First Amendment, it's the Republican view that would actually violate it, not what Obama is doing.

    March 1, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. rs

    Romney- you do realize that 52% of the population is female right? Its not looking good. The GOP's anti-Hispanic activities will lose those votes for you. Most of the middle class and poor think you are just a rich idiot (i.e. G.W. Bush's second coming). Now your party is going after women. What happened, did you pick up a Taliban playbook?
    No one figured "take this country back" meant to 1850.

    March 1, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. john

    Rommney just keeps digging deeper. Usins women's health as a political tool. SSSSSSSSSSSShame on him. Why dont these men outlaw vasectomies, that prevents contraception also.

    March 1, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. CWF

    It's there as a choice. No one says you have to use it. These republicans saying it's encroaching on 1st amendment rights is crazy. These same men who are against abortion and birth control probably have no problem using viagra, which is a choice. Bunch of hypocrites.

    March 1, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Glenn Doty

    Yep, Romney's so committed to this fight he forgot where he stood on it when he was asked in an interview today... But now that his people have reminded him where he stands...


    March 1, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    Romney change his mind frequently so who care what he say

    March 1, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    Now we all see why this Republican congress ratings are so low. Instead of them fighting for American jobs here they are "pussy footing" around with women's rights. If they want to focus on womens rights they should focus on equal pay for women.

    March 1, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Republican who supports President Obama

    The man will say anything. He is such a fake. Clearly he would be a disaster b/c he does not know what he is saying from one flip-flop to the next.

    March 1, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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