Someone with the rather funny name of James Bopp, Jr. who’s “joined the Romney Presidential campaign as a special adviser on life issues, an unpaid position” has an article up making the case for Multiple Choice Mitt. His basic point is that social conservatives shouldn’t be worried by Romney’s past history as a dogmatic pro-choicer, because we can explain the entire 1994–2002 phase of his politica career (i.e., the majority of his political career) as a giant lie when he was hiding his innermost convictions for the sake of personal advancement.
Daniel Larison is a bit skeptical about this. Let me push the ball further. When you’re evaluating politicians, what they really think doesn’t really matter. The essence of the matter is what will they do when the going gets tough. Romney, whatever he actually thinks about fetal and embryonic life, is obviously willing to do contradict those beliefs (if any) for the sake of political expedience. Hence, if you’re serious about criminalizing abortions or if you’re serious about preventing the criminalization of abortions, you can’t look at Romney as a serious option.
By contrast, I know social conservatives don’t like John McCain, but he’s always amassed a consistent record of voting for abortion criminalization whenever possible.