Mitt Romney is responding to the attacks on his inconsistant opposition to abortion with a new radio ad touting his support among “Christian Conservatives.” The radio spot, slated to run in South Carolina, describes the former Massachusetts governor — who supported a woman’s right to choose until 2005 — as a candidate who believes in “the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, and the importance of the family” and touts the endorsements of a rather radical cast of characters:
VOICEOVER: “Today Christian Conservatives are supporting Mitt Romney because he shares their values: the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, and the importance of the family. In 2007 Senator Jim DeMint said of Romney, ‘He feels passionately that the value of human life begins at conception….’”
Sen. Jim DeMint: “He feels passionately that the value of human life begins at conception.” (Byron York, “DeMint On Romney,” National Review, 1/9/07)
VOICEOVER: “Founder of Women Affirming Life Mary Ann Glendon says:”
MARY ANN GLENDON: “The pro-life movement has worked so hard for so many years in the effort to change people’s hearts and minds on the life issues. That like Ronald Reagan, like Henry Hyde, Mitt Romney should be welcomed as a great success story for the pro-life movement.”
VOICEOVER: “And Pro-Life Attorney James Bopp Jr. says: ‘Both conviction and courage are necessary for the effective pro-life leadership, and Romney, in office, displayed both.’”
DeMint, the state’s senator, is a superstar among conservatives who has done everything from block the confirmation of El Salvador’s ambassador because she condemned homophobia to support an amendment banning women and their doctors from discussing abortion over the Internet. He endorsed Romney in 2008, but has not officially backed the candidate this year.
Glendon is another supporter from Romney’s first presidential campaign. The Harvard Law Professor is a staunch anti-abortion Catholic who refused to receive an award from Notre Dame after the school invited President Obama to speak at its commencement ceremony. She has also contested the use of condoms for the prevention of HIV and AIDS, claiming in 1995, “The Holy See in no way endorses contraception or the use of condoms, either as a family planning measure or in HIV/AIDS prevention programs.”
Finally, Bopp is the ironic voice in the ad. The right-wing lawyer has waged a successful war on campaign finance regulation, which culminated in the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision and has opened the flood gates to the kind of Political Action Committee (PAC) commercials that are dominating the campaign and keeping many of Romney’s Republican rivals on T.V. attacking his anti-abortion credentials in the first place. Bopp has also worked with groups like the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), Focus on the Family, and Traditional Values Coalition, arguing, in part, that anti-gay groups must be able to keep their donors secret to prevent harassment from gay people.