Yesterday, in the comfort of my air-conditioned basement, I was channel surfing when I suddenly saw the image of Mitt Romney, the erstwhile Republican presidential candidate. He was being interviewed by Juan Williams from Fox TV. Romney, of course, has a new book out that he is hawking, the title being something macho like “America Without Apologies.” Don’t quote me on that. Of course, this confirms that he is running again for President as it seems to be a prerequisite that you have to write a book before you run for President.
At one point, Williams asked Romney the question: “Tell me, Mr. Romney, how do you feel about abortion?”
I always laugh at this point because I have no doubt that whenever any politician is asked that question, their blood pressure goes up a little. No one running for office ever wants to talk about the issue for good reason. No matter what they say, they’re gonna piss off someone out there in the audience.
After a moment, Romney says “well, Juan, I am pro-life.”
Juan stares at him, nods his head knowingly, I move to the edge of my seat waiting for the follow up question and – nothing. Williams just asks about the Olympics or something else as equally inane. What the heck!
“I am pro-life.”
That’s it, Mitt? No explanation?
For those of you who have been following Romney’s career, you know that he was Governor of (flaming liberal until Scott Brown won now we don’t know what you should call us) Massachusetts and, in that capacity, he was unabashedly pro-choice. Then, lo and behold, he started thinking about running for President on the Republican ticket and soon learned that there was now way he could get the nomination if he was pro-choice. So, he “converted.” Just flat out announced one day: “Oh, by the way, I am pro-life.”
Now a politician flip flopping on an issue is not unusual, including the abortion issue. I’m not gonna get into that discussion. What caused me to drop my Coors light into my tub of Kentucky Fried was the shock of Juan Williams letting him get away with that simple answer. First of all, what does that mean exactly? Isn’t everyone “pro-life” in one way or another? Second, if I were a hard core, anti-abortion Republican and Romney wanted my support I would ask the obvious follow up question:
“Does that mean, Mr. Romney, that you support a constitutional amendment banning abortion and, if so, will you use the Presidency to get such an amendment passed in the Congress and the states?”
It’s an obvious question because so many Republicans in the past have given lip service to the pro-life movement but, for fear of angering the political middle, they really do nothing to help them reach their ultimate goal of making abortion illegal in this country. Remember George Bush and his wimpy support for the “culture of life?” What the hell did that mean? Even Ronald Reagan, the darling of conservatives, ticked off the pro-life movement with his very lukewarm support of the Hatch Constitutional Amendment banning abortion. Oh, sure, they all give a speech to the troops when they hold their annual “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. but that is just tossing them a bone. Still, the troops suck it up, they are oh so thrilled that the President would address them (not in person but from the White House) before they marched onto the Supreme Court. It is just so easy to pull the wool over people’s eyes. It happens all the time on a lot of different issues.
So, Mitt, what exactly are ya gonna do to make abortion illegal in this country if you get into the White House? Or, are ya gonna do anything?