Mitt Romney has been careful to distinguish his views as more moderate than his nuttier-than-a-Skippy-commercial running mate Paul Ryan and, even (awkwardly) the rest of the Republican party. Unlike his conservative brethren, the Romney line goes, Mittens believes that rape victims shouldn't be forced to give birth to their assailant's child. Don't worry about voting for him, ladies who might get raped and want an abortion someday — Mitt Romney will protect you from the rest of his party. But if you look at the candidate's statements over the course of his candidacy and his political career, he actually doesn't sound any less extreme than the most terrifying of sound bytes. And that's pretty worrisome.
Everyone from RNC chair Reince Priebus to Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has made careful note of the fact that Mitt Romney's views are much, much less terrible than the Republican party's views. But Romney has said, repeatedly over the course of the last year, that he agrees with the concept of a Personhood amendment as well as the GOP's zygote > woman NO EXCEPTIONS policy. Let's start with a troubling set of statements from Romney last fall, during the bizarre weeks-long period where it seemed like the state of Mississippi might pass a law that granted the full rights of personhood to fertilized embryos, thus outlawing all abortion and many common forms of contraception. The New York Times reported, in November,
In early October on his Fox News show, Mike Huckabee asked Mr. Romney if he would have supported "a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception."
"Absolutely," Mr. Romney said. [...]
In fact, saying life begins at conception, as Mr. Romney did, is not nearly the same as granting an embryo the legal rights and protections of a person. But at a town-hall-style meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, a few weeks later, a woman pressed him on the issue. Referring to Mr. Romney's appearance on Mr. Huckabee's show, she asked him why he opposed the use of birth control.
"I don't," Mr. Romney said. "I'm sorry, life begins at conception; birth control prevents conception."
When pressed on the Personhood issue, Romney wouldn't say whether or not he believed that fertilized eggs should be people, but that he believes that life begins at conception. According to Romney, this doesn't outlaw birth control in vitro (good thing for him, because if it did, he just made his son a criminal), but it does outlaw experimentation on human embryos. Romney's campaign has stated, again and again, that he will always come down on the side of pro-life.
Which is exactly what the Republican platform states.
So will a theoretical Romney presidency turn its back on the GOP platform, like Paul Ryan and the GOP say Romney would? I WONDER IF ANYONE ASKED MITT ROMNEY. Back in March, when an interviewer asked him whether or not he'd follow an extreme Republican platform that called for the abolition of several government departments, he responded,
"We're getting down to semantics here," he replied, "but my position, as I said, is for smaller government and if the platform reflects that, then as the nominee, I could hardly be opposed to it."
Meanwhile, this weekend, Romney referred to attempts to tie him to embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who, like Romney, believes that no rape exception should exist in laws outlawing abortion, represented "a sad new low" in the campaign.