Skip to comments.Romney on Iraq Study Group, gay-rights, and abortion: Interview with K Lo of NRO
Posted on 12/16/2006 8:31:31 PM PST by Jeff Fuller
This wonderful interview Romney had with K Lo of NRO adresses many of the "hot-button" issues of our day and of Romney's past. The whole interview is worth reading, but I thougth I'd highlight the discussions of Iraq, gay rights, and abortion. He also gives an impressive reading list (aides say he's a voracious reader) and he ends with a quippy potential exposee/You-tube scandal that could end his chances.
Lopez: What did you make of the Iraq Study Group report that was released last week?
Gov. Romney: The members of the Iraq Study Group deserve credit for their hard work. But their recommendations read like the product of a flawed process one more focused on reaching consensus for the sake of reaching consensus. There were a few recommendations that I found especially striking: Suggesting that somehow the Israel-Palestine conflict is a root of sectarian and insurgent violence in Iraq is just wrong. Sunnis are killing Shia and vice versa. Pressuring Israel wont change that.
Proposing that we negotiate with terrorist regimes like Syria and Iran without a rigorous analysis of how our incentives could ever be aligned is just counter-productive. I have no quarrel with talking, especially if it yields valuable intelligence and insight about an adversary. But thats a far cry from actually negotiating with Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, has nuclear ambitions, and has been clear in its intention to wipe our ally Israel off the map. And Syria is systematically undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon and funding and arming terrorists. Any suggestion that we might trade something for their help or forbearance is out of the question. When considering a negotiation, one must ask what kind of leverage we have, and recognize that there are situations where we have more to lose than gain by negotiating.
Finally, inferring that our troops may be withdrawn from combat positions before Iraq is secure runs counter to my view and to the views I have heard from some of Americas most accomplished military leaders. I am not suggesting that there are simple solutions for Iraq. But it is clear to me that some of these recommendations will not meet our objectives in Iraq, or in the broader long war America is fighting today.
Now onto the Gay-Rights issues:
Lopez: As you know, in recent days the Boston Globe and the New York Times, as well as the Boston newspaper, Bay Windows, have run pieces about your 1994 race against Ted Kennedy and your run for governor that appear to be in conflict with your current position against gay marriage. Are they?
Gov. Romney: These old interviews and stories have frequently been circulated by my opponents ever since I took a stand against the Massachusetts supreme-court ruling on same-sex marriage. This being the political season, it is not surprising this old news has appeared again. But I have made clear since 2003, when the supreme court of Massachusetts redefined marriage by fiat, that my unwavering advocacy for traditional marriage stands side by side with a tolerance and respect for all Americans.
Like the vast majority of Americans, Ive opposed same-sex marriage, but Ive also opposed unjust discrimination against anyone, for racial or religious reasons, or for sexual preference. Americans are a tolerant, generous, and kind people. We all oppose bigotry and disparagement. But the debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law.
I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children. Its unfortunate that those who choose to defend the institution of marriage are often demonized.
Lopez: And what about the 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans where you indicated you would support the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and seemed open to changing the dont ask, dont tell policy in the military? Are those your positions today?
Gov. Romney: No. I dont see the need for new or special legislation. My experience over the past several years as governor has convinced me that ENDA would be an overly broad law that would open a litigation floodgate and unfairly penalize employers at the hands of activist judges.
As for military policy and the dont ask, dont tell policy, I trust the counsel of those in uniform who have set these policies over a dozen years ago. I agree with President Bushs decision to maintain this policy and I would do the same.
Lopez: Congressman Harold Ford and 33 other Democrat House members voted for a federal marriage amendment this year; you dont hear a whole lot of coverage of facts like that or criticisms that they might be as mean and hateful as Republicans who vote similarly are regularly characterized. Does the mainstream media have double standards for Republicans?
Gov. Romney: Well, they do tend to ignore a lot of facts on this issue. How many people have heard that marriage amendments or referendums this year passed by large margins including by 84 percent in Tennessee; 84 percent in South Carolina, 58 percent in Virginia, and by 59 percent in Wisconsin? In 2004 similar measures passed by wide margins in 13 states. California passed a referendum by 61 percent opposing same-sex marriage in 2000. This is a mainstream issue on which most Americans are fairly united but coverage often doesnt reflect that.
And then onto abortion:
Lopez: In a 1994 debate with Senator Kennedy, you said 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 U.S. Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it. Further confusing matters, the Boston Globe reported in 1994 that as a Mormon lay leader [you] counseled Mormon women not to have abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where the mothers life was at risk. Governor: What is your position on abortion today? On Roe? How do you account for what is obviously a change certainly publicly on the issue?
Gov. Romney: My position has changed and I have acknowledged that. How that came about is that several years ago, in the course of the stem-cell-research debate I met with a pair of experts from Harvard. At one point the experts pointed out that embryonic-stem-cell research should not be a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. After the meeting I looked over at Beth Myers, my chief of staff, and we both had exactly the same reaction it just hit us hard just how much the sanctity of life had been cheapened by virtue of the Roe v. Wade mentality. And from that point forward, I said to the people of Massachusetts, I will continue to honor what I pledged to you, but I prefer to call myself pro-life. The state of Massachusetts is a pro-choice state and when I campaigned for governor I said that I would not change the law on abortion. But I do believe that the one-size-fits-all, abortion-on-demand-for-all-nine-months decision in Roe v. Wade does not serve the country well and is another example of judges making the law instead of interpreting the Constitution.
What I would like to see is the Court return the issue to the people to decide. The Republican party is and should remain the pro-life party and work to change hearts and minds and create a culture of life where every child is welcomed and protected by law and the weakest among us are protected. I understand there are people of good faith on both sides of the issue. They should be able to make and advance their case in democratic forums with civility, mutual respect, and confidence that our democratic process is the best place to handle these issues.
And yes, as a private citizen I have counseled women not to have abortions.
Lopez: Does that mean you were faking it as one former adviser has suggested as a pro-choicer in your previous political campaigns? Why should anyone believe youre really pro-life now?
Gov. Romney: I believe people will see that as governor, when I had to examine and grapple with this difficult issue, I came down on the side of life. I know in the four years I have served as governor I have learned and grown from the exposure to the thousands of good-hearted people who are working to change the culture in our country. Im committed to promoting the culture of life. Like Ronald Reagan, and Henry Hyde, and others who became pro-life, I had this issue wrong in the past.
Last I heard he hasn't declared one way or the other, while in his district it's not much of a secret that he's looking at it heavily.
I can respect your opinion CWOJackson, (and both you and I will be working hard in the 'trenches' to make sure Pence is our nominee)..I just can't see myself voting for a "moderate"/liberal wherever they're from that doesn't represent RR Smaller Gov, Social Conservative politics in office. I don't see that from Romney right now..
I hate to use the old phrase but sometimes you have to step back and look at the big picture. For instance, if the two candidates end up being Edwards and Romney. If you close focus and qualify your Presidential vote simply on whether Romney may or may not represent smaller government, you loose sight of the many important things going on behind him such as winning the war on terror. We've seen how effective that approach is.
Another way to look at it, and I don't address this towards you but definitely towards some others, sometimes you have to rise above yourself. Look at it this way, every day our troops are rising above themselves for us...we should be able to rise above ourselves and our political purity one time for them.
What a crock.
More BS. Romney didn't take any stand against the court's ruling on same sex marriage. In fact, he defied the law and used his executive power to coerce all of the state's justices of the peace into performing same sex ceremonies.
More proof that Mitt Romney is a complete fraud.
Someone could take the famous Kerry windsurfer pics, superimpose Romney's face onto them, and they would be quite accurate.
In fact, Mitt makes JF'nK look like a piker when it comes to blowing in the political winds...
Have you weighed in on Duncan (bounced House checks king) Hunter yet, you man without a POTUS candidate, you? Or is it Pence, or is it still the man behind the curtain?
The whole field sucks.
If this is the best the country, and the GOP, has to offer, we're in for decades of defeat and decline.
"Ya, why is the only candidate with only one wife the Mormon? What's up with that?"
You're right, McCain is on wife #2, Rudy and Newt are on wife #3.
How Hobbsian of you. You would give me the Paul Ehrlich, Malthusian, Machiavellian (I am rather expert on him; he thought that the state was an entropic enterprise), Gibbonian blues, if I were not the proud Rudy fan that I am. :)
why not...I think Romney is wise enough to know that if his change of heart was not real people would see through it and he wouldn't come across as strong in a debate. Ronald Reagan was pro-choice and obviously really changed on that.
Well, of course you know that to me, and to any thinking conservative, Rudy sucks worse than all the rest put together. ;-)
"Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" - Isaiah 5:20,
I agree with this 100% !
I'm against gay marriage but they deserve the exact same rights as the rest of us with nothing special and that's what Romney is saying !
" Also, despite wanting to be called pro-life these days, Mitt STILL DOES NOT SUPPORT MAKING ABORTION ILLEGAL!!! After all this time he still insists on parsing words and trying to play both sides."
I also agree with this but the difference between myself/ Romney and the Left is we don't want activist judges making the ruling and we would support a law banning abortion if it was based on law and states rights and not activists !
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