Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is insisting that the former Massachusetts governor has not recently tried to soften his positions — particularly on abortion — to appeal to independent voters.
CNN’s Candy Crowley pointed out on Sunday that former President Bill Clinton had declared that “old moderate Mitt” back following Romney’s performance in the first presidential debate because the GOP hopeful had claimed that his health care proposals covered pre-existing conditions, he favored some forms of business regulation and asserted that he was not trying to cut taxes for wealthy Americans.
“He is running on the same platform he’s run on through the Republican Party primary,” Gillespie told Crowley. “The country is a center-right country. They want to have less federal spending, they want to get us on a path to a balanced budget, they want a free enterprise-driven economy that fosters job creation, not a government-centered economy that fosters economic stagnation.”
Crowley reminded Gillespie that Romney had told the Des Moines Register last week that he had no intentions of restricting abortion rights, which appeared to be a drastic contradiction to promises he made during the Republican primary.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” Romney explained to the paper’s editorial board.
But the candidate was then forced to walk back those comments the next day, telling reporters that he would be a “pro-life president. The actions I’ll take immediately are to remove funding for Planned Parenthood. It will not be part of my budget.”
In fact, Romney’s website promises that the former Massachusetts governor would appoint Supreme Court justices to reverse Rov. v. Wade and eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. In 2007, Romney said that he would be “delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions nationwide because it would be “terrific.”
“What the governor has said is that he thinks Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided,” Gillespie declared on Sunday. “Life is a very important issue in this election, as is the economy and as is national security. All of these issues play a very important role.”
“The fact is he is a pro-life candidate, he will be a pro-life president and he doesn’t believe we should federally fund abortion,” the senior adviser added. “And he believes that Roe was wrongly decided and that this is an issue that is best left to the American people and their elected representatives. [He’s been] completely consistent throughout.”
Listen to this CNN’s State of the Union, recorded Oct. 14, 2012.