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Romney Laments Hypothetical Loss of Son, '94 Planned Parenthood Gift

December 18, 2007

The past 24 hours have been deservedly cruel for former GOP Iowa frontrunner Mitt Romney. In New Hampshire Monday, Romney got teary at the thought of losing one of his five sons in combat, despite having previously lauded their work on his campaign as their service to America. And on Tuesday, ABC released a photograph of Senate candidate Romney at a 1994 fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, a group he previously claimed he could not recall himself or his wife supporting.
As Perrspectives noted previously, the Romney clan will never be mistaken for the Fighting Sullivans. In August, Rachel Griffiths of Milan, Illinois asked Romney about the non-service of his privileged sons, one of whom was at the tim completing a 99 county tour of Iowa in a campaign RV. Romney's answer was, well, Romneyesque:

"My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president. I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country."

Clearly, Romney viewed his own campaign as his sons' ultimate sacrifice for their nation. But this week in Londonderry, New Hampshire, he showed his own support for the war in Iraq by manufacturing ersatz tears while contemplating the hypothetical loss of one of his non-servings sons. As the AP reported:

The soldiers that I was with stood at attention and saluted," Romney told employees at Insight Technology Inc., a company that makes infrared optical equipment for U.S. troops. "And I put my hand on my heart, and tears begin to well in your eyes, as you can imagine in a circumstance like that. I have five boys of my own. I imagined what it would be like to lose a son in a situation like that.

As the 1994 Planned Parenthood flap suggests, Romney would do better to imagine what it would be like to lose in Iowa.
Running against Ted Kennedy for the Massachusetts Senate seat back in 1994, Mitt Romney needed to prove his pro-choice bona fides. In addition to his proclamation that abortion should be "safe and legal in this country," Romney bolstered his pro-choice facade through his wife Ann's $150 contribution to Planned Parenthood. (Romney maintained that position through his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, declaring "I fully respect and will fully protect a woman's right to choose.")
All of which posed a major problem for Romney as his prepared for 2008 run for the GOP presidential nomination and its minefield of religious right primary voters. Romney didn't merely complete a total flip-flop on the abortion issue, proclaiming "my political philosophy is pro-life". He claimed he had "no recollection" of his wife's contribution to Planned Parenthood. Romney spokesman Kevin Madden added that Mrs. Romney was also experiencing selective amnesia, noting "As Mrs. Romney has stated previously, she is unfamiliar with the circumstances of a check she wrote close to 14 years ago."
As it turns out, not so much. This morning, ABC News published a photograph showing the Romneys was a Planned Parenthood fundraising "house party" in Cohasset, Massachusetts in June 1994 with Nicki Nichols Gamble, the organization's president and CEO. And unlike the Romneys, Ms. Gamble seems to remember the event very well:

"They were both there, and I remember very well chatting with both of them, and talking about his support for the pro-choice agenda. We talked about the fact that he was taking a pro-choice position on the issues, and we were very pleased about that."

And so once again, Mitt Romney falls victim to his own gymnastic flip-flopping. Like Woody Allen's Zelig, Romney is a human chameleon, whose infinite desire to please leads him to change his positions - even his identity itself - as the latitude, longitude and time zone dictate.

2 comments on “Romney Laments Hypothetical Loss of Son, '94 Planned Parenthood Gift”

  1. Typical Morman Romney, sends the rest of the nations youth to war, but keeps his boys home in the RV serving him.


Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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