It is abundantly clear that Mitt Romney will say anything that he thinks will help him get elected. His views are untethered to anything he said previously on any issue. He claims the right to re-make himself at will, stating that his thinking evolves with the times to account for changed circumstances.
“In the private sector, if you don’t change your view when the facts change, well you’ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid,” he says, attributing the quotation incorrectly to Winston Churchill. The quote actually comes from John Maynard Keynes, the British economist whose writings called for government intervention in the economy to keep market forces in check. Given the stance of the today’s GOP against all things government, First Read issued an “irony alert” on Romney’s invocation of the lion of government regulation into economic matters.
But its all really par for the course with Romney. Nothing means anything to him. If something sounds good, he’ll go with it.
Back in 1994, Romney was running against Ted Kennedy for Senate in liberal Massachusetts. He flashed his pro choice bona fides whenever he could to blunt the fact that he was personally opposed to abortion. He instead framed the issue as not wanting to impose his personal beliefs on anyone. He could be personally opposed to abortion, but nevertheless believed strongly that it should be safe and legal.
He was particularly adamant in a televised debate against Kennedy:
- “I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country.”
- He had believed that abortion “should be safe and legal in this country” since 1970 when his mother ran for the Senate as a pro-choice candidate.
- “Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, and we should sustain and support it.”
- “I sustain and support [Roe v. Wade] and the right of a woman to make that choice.”
- “My personal beliefs . . . should not be brought into a political campaign.”
In response to Kennedy’s attack that he was “multiple choice” on abortion rights, Romney recounted that a “dear” family member of his died many years earlier “from an illegal abortion.” Romney thus stated that, since that time, he and his family have been “committed to the belief” that they would not impose their personal views on abortion onto others. “You will not see me wavering,” Romney stated quite definitively.
Here it is:
Romney had a good story to tell. He was personally and powerfully affected by an illegal and unsafe abortion. His mother courageously ran for the Senate as a pro-choice candidate in 1970. Like his mother, he pledged not to impose his personal views on abortion on others. He understood that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, and said in no uncertain terms that the decision should be “respected” and “supported.” Many pro-choice persons would agree wholeheartedly with the views Romney expressed in 1994.
Romney went on Mike Huckabee’s program over the weekend. He does not think that Roe v. Wade should either be “supported” or “respected.” Instead, he says he favors a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision:
Make no mistake about Romney’s statement. He says he not only supports overturning Roe v. Wade by constitutional amendment in the present, but also that he “would have” supported such an amendment, as in “the past.” That was a “past” in which he said that the decision was the law of the land and that he supported access to safe and legal abortions because a “dear” relative of his died from an illegal and unsafe abortion.
Who knows whether Romney still believes that his mother ran a courageous campaign as a pro-choice candidate back in 1970, three years before the Supreme Court issued Roe v. Wade. Maybe he believes it, maybe he doesn’t. It makes no difference to Romney. The past is something that he can re-write whenever it suits him. He’s afraid of being fired — or, in this case not being hired — because he might look “stubborn” and “stupid.” He wouldn’t want that to happen. He will just make it all up as he goes along. He wavers all of the time.