Mitt Romney says he has no plans to push new anti-abortion laws if elected, a position that could put him at odds with parts of his core constituency and his own running mate, Paul Ryan.
“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda,” the Republican presidential nominee told Iowa’s Des Moines Register editorial board Tuesday.
Ryan, who will debate Vice President Biden Thursday Danville, Ky., has been one of the most active anti-abortion members of Congress, co-sponsoring a so-called “personhood” amendment during his last term. Under the proposed law, terminating a pregnancy would become illegal, even in cases of rape.
Romney’s comment inspired a unique kind of agreement between the two campaigns today, with both sides arguing the Republican was more dedicated to the anti-abortion cause than his remark in Iowa would suggest.
“Mitt Romney is proudly pro-life, and he will be a pro-life president,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said just hours after the comments were posted online. She later added Romney “would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”
From Chicago, the Obama camp pounced with spokeswoman Lis Smith saying today, “It’s troubling that Mitt Romney is so willing to play politics with such important issues…. Women simply can’t trust him.”
“We’re not saying that he’s changed his mind on these issues,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said. “We’re saying he’s trying to cover up his beliefs.”
In the aftermath of his well-received debate performance, Romney has seen his support among women voters rise. Recent polls show him even with or just behind Obama, who has held a commanding lead for much of the campaign season.