Earlier this month, the Mitt Romney-friendly PAC Restore Our Future produced a draft ad targeting Newt Gingrich for his 30 years as a Washington insider and his multiple positions on several issues, including his past support for a national individual health insurance mandate. In an implicit acknowledgment of Romney’s own “mandate problem,” the PAC edited out the reference to the mandate before running the commercial on local stations.
But now, Restore Our Future is back to attacking Gingrich for Romney’s positions. As Politico’s Alexander Burns reports, a new ad titled “Happy” is accusing Gingrich of supporting “taxpayer funding of some abortions,” despite the Massachusetts governor’s own pro-choice past and his current support for abortions in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother:
Romney didn’t adopt a “pro-life” position until 2005 and has since followed his base down an increasingly radical road, pledging to advance greater federal abortion restrictions and define life as beginning at conception.
As Matt Yglesias has pointed out, what makes Romney’s now-”staunch” pro-life position so distasteful is how staunchly he defended a woman’s right to choose while running for governor of the left-leaning state of Massachusetts in 2002. He fiercely denied then “that he was even slightly less pro-choice” than his opponent, offering “one of the most passionate defenses of abortion rights” heard from Romney or any male politician in an interview with the late Tim Russert. But Romney’s pro-choice views were not just relegated to one convenient debate answer. As a pro-choice advocates told the Washington Post, Romney actually slammed the entire Republican party for “being so vehemently anti-choice” and viewed any move to overturn the right to an abortion as a “serious mistake for our country.”
Meanwhile, Gingrich has a fairly consistent record of opposing abortion rights, despite backing the availability of federally financed abortions for poor women who are victims of rape or incest and calling for tolerance of pro-choice candidates. Apparently, that’s too much for a governor from Massachusetts who once established his pro-choice bona fides “by solemnly invoking the pre-Roe v. Wade story of a ‘dear, close family relative who was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion.'”