The Mitt Romney etch-a-sketch tour continues, but he’s having to shake that thing even more often these days than in the past. On abortion, everyone knows by now that when he was running against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, he declared himself pro-choice and told a debate audience “you will never hear me waver on that.” When running for president, he said that he would happily sign a personhood amendment that would ban not only abortion but many forms of birth control as well. So here he was trying to tack back to the center in Iowa recently:
Mitt Romney today said no abortion legislation is part of his agenda, but he would prohibit federally-funded international nonprofits from providing abortions in other countries.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the GOP presidential candidate told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board during a meeting today before his campaign rally at a Van Meter farm.
This, of course, caused the religious right base to wonder, quite reasonably, whether he was really going to follow through on his second set of promises. Was this a third position? Not to worry. His campaign very quickly signaled to them that, while it may not be on his “agenda” he would gladly sign any anti-choice bills that are passed:
When I asked Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul to clarify what Romney had meant there (since the Huffington Post at least is taking it as a position that “could put [Romney] at odds with congressional Republicans who have made limiting abortion central to their messages”), she e-mailed, “Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”
As always, Romney is playing games instead of just saying what he means. Of course, at this point he’s changed positions so many times that he may not have any idea what he means. Or more to the point, he doesn’t know what he means at any given moment until he sees who he is speaking to.