Updated: 12:40 PM ET September 26, 2011
Mitt Romney, Hypocrite
By Roger Stone This column is about hypocrisy. As a libertarian, I support marriage equality for gays and abortion rights although I admit I have struggled mightily with the latter and my views have changed after the birth of my grandchildren. I have always been and remain a Second Amendment man. Mitt Romney once agreed with me. When running for the US Senate in 1994, Romney supported abortion on demand, gay marriage and gun control. That same year he attacked President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush saying "I don't want to take us back to that, to Reagan-Bush." Now suddenly Mitt Romney wants us to believe he is not only a fiscal conservative but a social conservative who "has always been pro-life" and now opposes same sex marriage. Can you say chameleon? Romney's boast that he spent 24 years in the private sector creating jobs is a joke. Massachusetts ran third from the bottom of all the states in job creation during his governorship and his main vocation at Bain Capital was consolidating companies and firing workers who didn't fit into his downsizing plans. Much like his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, Willard Mitt Romney disdains conservatives privately but knows how to sound like one when the occasion requires it. His mother, Lenore Romney, ran for the US Senate a a pro-abortion supporter of the ERA. Romney reminds me of George H.W. Bush who, after being elected President, took the National Review magazine off the coffee table and threw it in the trash replacing it with the Yale Alumni magazine saying "We don't need this shit anymore." Here then is Mitt Romney's record. Governor Romney says he's "only been in politics the four years he was governor." He'd like us to forget his 1994 race for the US Senate when he ran to the left of Teddy Kennedy (as if there is any room there without falling off the left side of the earth.) Here then is the real record of Willard Mitt Romney: 1994: Romney backed federal funding of abortion and the codification of Roe v. Wade. "Romney supports a federal health care plan option that includes abortion services, would vote for a law codifying the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion and backs federal funding for abortions as long as states can decide if they want the money, [a spokesman] said." (Ed Hayward, "Anti-Abortion Group Endorses Romney Bid," Boston Herald, 9/8/94) 1999: Romney said, "When I am asked if am I pro-choice or pro-life, I say I refuse to accept either label." (Glen Warchol, "This Is The Place, But Politics May Lead Romneys Elsewhere," The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/99) 2002: Running for Massachusetts Governor, Romney said he was "devoted" to the pro-choice position. "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose, and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard. I will not change any provisions of Massachusetts' pro-choice laws." (2002 Romney-O'Brien Gubernatorial Debate, Suffolk University, Boston, MA, 10/29/02) 2005: Romney Considered Abortion-Rights Supporter By Pro-Life Groups - Aide Claimed His Position Had Not Changed. "[Massachusetts Citizens for Life] considers Romney to be an abortion-rights supporter, as do national antiabortion groups such as the Family Research Council. ... [Romney aide Eric] Fehrnstrom said the governor's position has not changed on either sex education or abortion." (Scott S. Greenberger, "Roe V. Wade Omitted From Proclamation," The Boston Globe, 3/25/05) 2006: Romneycare provides taxpayer-funded abortions. Abortions are covered in the Commonwealth Care program that Romney created as Governor. Under the program, abortions are available for a copay of $50. (Menu of Health Care Services: www.mass.gov/Qhic/docs/cc_benefits1220_pt234.pdf) 2006: Romneycare guarantees Planned Parenthood a seat at the table. Romney's legislation created an advisory board and guarantees, by law, that Planned Parenthood has a seat at the table. Romney's plan established a MassHealth payment policy advisory board, and one member of the Board must be from Planned Parenthood. No pro-life organization is represented. (Chapter 58 Section 3 (q) Section 16M (a), www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw06/sl060058.htm) Romney used his line-item veto authority to strike eight sections of the bill that he found objectionable, including the expansion of dental benefits to Medicaid recipients. Yet, he did not strike Planned Parenthood's guaranteed Board representation and he did nothing to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions as part of his plan. ("Romney's Health Care Vetoes," Associated Press, 4/12/06) 2007: Romney now claims he has always been pro-life. "I am firmly pro-life ... I was always for life." (Jim Davenport, "Romney Affirms Abortion Opposition During Stop In SC," The Associated Press, 2/8/07) policy advisory board." 2011: Romney refuses to sign the pro-life Susan B. Anthony Pledge. Romney has drawn criticism for being one of only three Republican presidential candidates to have refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's Pro-Life Leadership Presidential Pledge. (dailycaller.com/2011/06/18/romney-draws-fire-for-not-signing-pro-life-pledge/) Mitt Romney also has a record of supporting gun control and has supported anti-second amendment initiatives: 1994: Romney supported the Brady Bill and Assault Weapons Ban, bragging his stance was "not going to make me the hero of the NRA." "[Romney] said he will take stands that put him at odds with some traditional ultra-conservative groups, and cited his support for the assault rifle ban and the Brady gun control law. 'That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA,' he said. 'I don't line up with a lot of special interest groups.'" (Andrew Miga, "Mitt Rejects Right-Wing Aid," Boston Herald, 9/23/94) 2002: Romney praised Massachusetts' tough gun laws, vowed not to "chip away at them" as Governor. "[A]s the GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney lauded the state's strong laws during a debate against Democrat Shannon O'Brien. 'We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them,' he said. 'I won't chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety.'" (Scott Helman, "Romney Retreats On Gun Control," The Boston Globe, 1/14/07) 2006: Romney explains he signed up for lifetime NRA membership in August 2006 because "I'm after the NRA's endorsement. ... If I'm going to ask for their endorsement, they're going to ask for mine." "Expressing familiarity with and support for gun rights is key among Republican presidential contenders ... It helps explain why Romney joined the NRA last August, signing up not just as a supporter but a designated 'Lifetime' member ... Romney told a Derry, N.H., audience, 'I'm after the NRA's endorsement. I'm not sure they'll give it to me. I hope they will. I also joined because if I'm going to ask for their endorsement, they're going to ask for mine.'" (Glen Johnson, "Romney Calls Himself A Longtime Hunter," The Associated Press, 4/5/07) Mitt Romney once supported marriage equality. As a libertarian I wish he still did. His overnight switch is opportunistic and transparent. Mitt Romney believes in nothing but getting elected: 1994: Romney told the Massachusetts Log Cabin Club he would be better for gay rights than Ted Kennedy. In a letter to the group, Romney wrote, "As we seek to establish full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent." An Oct. 13, 1994 Bay Windows article also quoted from Romney's letter: "For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent's record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will." 2002: Romney called 2002 amendment banning gay marriage and benefits in Massachusetts too extreme and did not support it. "Mitt Romney's wife, son, and daughter-in-law signed a petition in support of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban both gay marriage and domestic-partner benefits in Massachusetts - an amendment that Romney himself condemned as too extreme after being told of his family's support for it." (Rick Klein, "Romney Kin Signed Petition To Ban Same-Sex Marriage," The Boston Globe, 3/22/02) 2002: A Romney aide said he felt the amendment was "unnecessary." "Romney's family members signed the petition to put it on the ballot 'without reading the fine print,' [Romney aide Eric] Fehrnstrom said, but he has no reason to believe they do not support it. 'Mitt did not know they signed it, and Mitt does not support it,' he said. 'As far as Mitt is concerned, it goes farther than current law, and therefore it's unnecessary.'" (Rick Klein, "Romney Kin Signed Petition To Ban Same-Sex Marriage," The Boston Globe, 3/22/02) 2006: Romney backed efforts to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Massachusetts. "Just two weeks before lawmakers resume a Constitutional Convention to vote on a proposed ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage, Gov. Mitt Romney will stand with the supporters of the measure to call on the Legislature to back it. Romney will join petition backers in a State House press event today to urge the Legislature to pass the Protection of Marriage Amendment when the Constitutional Convention reconvenes July 12, authorizing a 2008 ballot question asking voters to define marriage as between one man and one woman." (Kimberly Atkins and Kate Gibson, "Mitt Joining Supporters Of Anti-Gay Wed Initiative," Boston Herald, 6/28/06) Mitt Romney fails the test of three key conservative issues - abortion, gun rights and same-sex marriage. Conservatives who support Mitt Romney also underestimate his weakness in the South, where the Church of Latter Day Saints is viewed with suspicion by evangelical Christians. In my view, these very real problems will haunt him - and spook conservatives - in the months ahead.