McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 8

Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  These are pages 14 thru the top of 17.  Part of this is a repeat of  Part 7 (previous post).


During His Political Career, Romney Has Been Pro-Choice, Then Not Pro-Choice, Then Pro-Choice Again,Now Claims To Be Pro-Life

Romney Forcefully Positioned Himself As Pro-Choice In 1994 Senate Race, Saying “You Will Not See Me Wavering On That.”

“When Kennedy called him ‘multiple choice,’ Romney demanded an extra rebuttal. He revealed that a close relative died of an illegal abortion years ago and said, ‘Since that time, my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter, and you will not see me wavering on that.’”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,”  The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

In 1994, Romney Claimed He Supported Legalizing Abortion Before Roe v. Wade Decision.

ROMNEY: “I joined my mother in 1970 when she said she was in favor of legalizing abortion.”

(Scot Lehigh, “Romney Labeled A ‘Pretender’ On Abortion Rights,”  The Boston Globe, 10/12/94)

Romney, During 1994 Debate:

“I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,”  The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

As Romney Considered Run For Office In Utah In 2002, He Told Local Paper He Did Not “Wish To Be Labeled Pro-Choice.”

“After Romney lost the Senate race, he decamped to Utah to run the Winter Olympics.  When it was rumored he might seek political office there, he wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake City Tribune: ‘I do not wish to be labeled pro choice.’”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,”  The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)


“When I am asked if I am 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)

Announcing For Massachusetts Governor In 2002, Romney Reaffirmed His Pro-Choice Position.

“[A]s Governor of the Commonwealth, I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the Commonwealth.”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,”  The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)


“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)

“Romney … Said He Was Pro-Choice When He Ran For Governor Of Massachusetts.”

(Michael Goot,“Romney On Campaign Trail,”  Foster’s Daily Democrat, 4/27/07)

In 2002, Romney Offered His Completed NARAL Questionnaire, Filled Out With “Mostly Abortion-Rights Positions,” To The Media Even Before Returning It To NARAL.

“Yesterday, Romney also aimed to head off confusion about his stance on abortion rights by answering a Mass National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League questionnaire with mostly abortion-rights positions. He offered the questionnaire to the press even before he returned it to Mass NARAL…”

(Stephanie Ebbert, “Romney Pushes Education At Campaign Stop,”  The Boston Globe,4/10/02)

Romney Now Insists He Has Always Been Personally Pro-Life.

“I’ve always been personally pro-life. … For me, the role of government (on that issue) was what was uncertain.”

(Ann Marie Timmins, “Romney Tells Voters: Ask Away,”  Concord Monitor, 4/4/07)

Former Adviser Mike Murphy, On Romney’s Pro-Life Position:

“He’s been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly.”

(John J. Miller, “Matinee Mitt,”  The National Review, 12/14/05,, Accessed 4/30/07)

Romney Says He “Simply Changed His Mind” On Abortion One Day In November 2004.

“On abortion,Romney says he simply changed his mind. He recalls that it happened in a single revelatory moment, during a Nov. 9, 2004, meeting with an embryonic-stem-cell researcher who said he didn’t believe therapeutic cloning presented a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. ‘It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,’ Romney says.”

(Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)

Romney’s “Epiphany” Came After Meeting Harvard Stem Cell Researcher – Romney Claimed The Doctor Said Scientists “Kill” Embryos After 14 Days.

“Romney says he changed his mind in November 2004, when he met with a scientist from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Romney claimed in a June 2006 interview that there searcher had told him: ‘Look, you don’t have to think about this stem cell research as a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days.’ Romney went on to say that both he and his chief of staff had an epiphany,recognizing that embryonic stem cell research cheapened respect for human life.”

(Scott Helman, “Romney’s Journey To The Right,” The Boston Globe, 12/17/06)

The Doctor, Harvard’s Douglas Melton, Claimed Romney “Mis-characterized My Position.”

“Governor Romney has mis-characterized my position; we didn’t discuss killing or anything related to it. … I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases.”

(Scott Helman, “Romney’s Journey To The Right,” The Boston Globe,12/17/06)

Spokesman For Harvard Stem Cell Institute:

“The words ‘kill’ and ‘killing’ are not in Dr. Melton’s professional vocabulary, a vocabulary used to discuss finding cures for diseases in order to save lives.”

(Jennifer Rubin, “Mitt Romney’s Conversion,” The Weekly Standard, 2/5/07)

National Review’s Rich Lowry: Romney’s Conversion Story “Isn’t Very Compelling.”

“[Romney’s] account of how he came to change his view on abortion – through the issue of stem-cell research – isn’t very compelling and he would probably be better off not talking about it at all. Fairly or not, people aren’t going to believe it.”

(Rich Lowry, “The Romney Speech,” National Review’s “The Corner” Blog,, 1/29/07)

Romney Ran For Senate And Governor “Promising To Protect Abortion Rights, But Disavowed That View As He Began Preparations For A Presidential Run.”

“Romney’s shifting positions on abortion have become a major flashpoint in the Republican presidential campaign. He ran for Senate in 1994 and governor in 2002 promising to protect abortion rights, but disavowed that view as he began preparations for a presidential run.”

(Rick Klein and Jake Tapper, “Romney’s Pro-Life Conversion: Myth Or Reality?”ABC News, 6/14/07)

Six Months After His Abortion “Epiphany,” Romney Still Said He Was “Absolutely Committed” To Upholding Abortion Laws In Massachusetts Romney: “When I First Ran For Office … I Concluded, Wrongly, That I Would Support The Law As It Was In Place … And So I Publicly Acknowledged My Error, And Joined With You To Promote The Sanctity Of Human Life.”

“As you know, when I first ran for office … I concluded, wrongly, that I would support the law as it was in place – effectively, a pro-choice position. … And I was wrong. And so I publicly acknowledged my error,and joined with you to promote the sanctity of human life. And you know that my words were matched with my actions.”

(Mitt Romney, Remarks To Massachusetts Citizens For Life Mother’s Day Dinner, Agawam, MA, 5/10/07)


“I believe every speck of human life is a divine speck that comes from God and as a result of that,that forms a great deal of my sense of responsibility to the people of this nation and the of the world.”

(Fox News’ “The Big Story,” 4/3/07)

In May 2005, Romney Still Claimed He Was “Absolutely Committed” To Maintaining Pro-Choice Laws In Massachusetts.

ROMNEY: “I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far I’ve been able to successfully do that and my personal philosophical views about this issue is not something that I think would do anything other than distract from what I think is a more critical agenda …”

(Mitt Romney, Press Conference, 5/27/05)

Republican Strategist Keith Appell Said Romney Airing Pro-Choice Views After Abortion “Epiphany”Begs Question: “How Many Epiphanies Have You Had?”

“If he was still taking actions that appear to reflect his old, ‘pro-choice’ views after November 2004, it raises an important question for Republicans, Appell said. ‘It’s part of Romney’s challenge: How many epiphanies have you had?’ he said.”

(Rick Klein and Jake Tapper, “Romney’s Pro-Life Conversion: Myth Or Reality?”ABC News, 6/14/07)

Before His Recent Conversion, Romney Had Long Pro-Choice Public Record March 2005: Romney Considered Abortion-Rights Supporter By Pro-Life Groups – Aide Claimed His Position Had Not Changed.

“Marie Sturgis, legislative director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said she hasn’t detected any change in Romney stance. The group 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)

Romney In 2002 NARAL Questionnaire:

“I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose. This choice is a deeply personal one … Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government’s.”

(Stephanie Ebbert, “Clarity Sought On Romney’s Abortion Stance,” The Boston Globe, 7/3/05)


“[A]s Governor of the Commonwealth, I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the Commonwealth.”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)


“I do not take the position of a pro-life candidate. I’m in favor of preserving and protecting a woman’s right to choose. … It’s an issue that’s important. I’ve established my view very clearly.”

(Mitt Romney,Gubernatorial Candidates Debate, Boston, MA, 10/29/02)

“On A Questionnaire Planned Parenthood Gave To The Gubernatorial Candidates In 2002, Romney Answered ‘Yes’ To The Question, ‘Do You Support The Substance Of The Supreme Court Decision In Roe V. Wade?’”

(Scott S. Greenberger, “Roe V. Wade Omitted From Proclamation,” The Boston Globe, 3/25/05)

In 2002, “Romney Also Professed Support For State Funding Of Abortion Services For Low-Income Women, [Planned Parenthood Spokesperson Erin] Rowland Said.”

(Scott S. Greenberger, “Roe V. Wade Omitted From Proclamation,” The Boston Globe, 3/25/05)

Romney in 2002:

“This state does provide Medicaid funding for abortions, and that’s something which I would keep in place.”

(“Changing Statements On The Right To Choose,” The Boston Globe, 3/24/02)

In 1999, Romney Said “We Have Choice. Whether You Are Pro Or Against Abortion Is Irrelevant.”

ROMNEY: “We have choice. Whether you are pro or against abortion is irrelevant. The question is what is the choice. I am in favor of the women of America having the opportunity to make the right choice by providing support and care for those who want to take the child to full term and put it up for adoption. And providing information and counseling to people trying to make that decision.”

(Glen Warchol, “This Is The Place, But Politics May Lead Romneys Elsewhere,” The Salt Lake Tribune, 2/14/99)

In 1994, Romney Claimed He Had Been Pro-Choice For Nearly 25 Years.

“I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.”

(Joan Vennochi, “Romney’s Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)

Romney Campaign Accused Ted Kennedy Of Flip-Flopping On Abortion, Saying “Mitt Has Always Been Consistent In His Pro-Choice Position.”

“Citing a 1971 letter written by Kennedy, [Romney campaignconsultant Charles] Manning responded, ‘I think the reason they don’t trust Ted Kennedy is that he flip-flopped on abortion. He was pro-life before Roe v. Wade and now he’s changed. Mitt has always been consistent in his pro-choice position and that’s why the group respects him.’”

(Bruce Mohl, “Mass. Antiabortion Group Backs Romney,”  The Boston Globe, 9/8/94)

More on Abortion – next time.
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