Foley, Gray, and Carmon have this covered. Unlike his outright lying about his tax plan at the debates, his abortion shuffle is a little more cleverly misleading: “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda” could even be true. What it is, though, is meaningless. Because here are the salient facts:
- Romney would sign any bill restricting abortion that Congress puts on his desk. If Republicans control both houses of Congress at any point during his presidency, it’s entirely possible that this will happen, and whether there’s anything in his agenda that he’s pushing is beside the point.
- The biggest impact that a president has on abortion policy is his judicial nominees. Unless you think that Democrats could plausibly serially block Romney’s Supreme Court nominees (and only one but not two pro-Roe justices leaves during his tenure), Roe may not survive one Romney term and almost certainly wouldn’t survive a second. Any generic Republican circuit court judge is almost certain to be anti-Roe.
Romney’s statement, in other words, is neither here nor there and doesn’t reflect in change in the Republican Party’s agenda to restrict reproductive freedom. Any pundit who claims that Romney is “moving to the center” or some such on abortion is someone you should permanently ignore.
…even Saletan’s not buying it.