ABC News’ Matt Stuart Reports: Fmr. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stopped by the Carolina Hope Christian Adoption agency in Greenville, S.C. today and unveiled his plan encouraging adoption as part of his broad agenda to "strengthen American families."
Romney’s plan calls for making the adoption tax credit permanent, requiring family planning clinics that receive Title 10 funds to provide information about adoption options, and allowing federal foster care funds to go toward adoption as well.
While taking question from reporters, Romney called for support for all adoption agencies, citing the instance of Catholic Charities halting their adoptions arm in Massachusetts after gay marriage was legalized because they did not want to place children in same-sex homes.
The Carolina Hope Christian Adoption agency allows adoption to single mothers, but not same-sex couples.
Romney also stated his support for legislation that encourages moms to "to see the development of their child," that might "encourage adoption where they were considering abortion."
Given the discussion of marriage and adoption, Romney was asked about divorce and the American family. Romney stated that he didn’t think he had "a particular proposal on divorce," but that "There’s been divorce in his own family," and that it is "part of America’s experience.
Romney refused to "point fingers a the personal lives of" his rivals for the Republican nomination, but did seek to point to differences over illegal immigration. Romney said that Giuliani "welcomed illegal immigrants to the city" and that Gov. Huckabee "argued for giving tuition credits to illegal aliens in his state," adding that "These are things I don’t think will sit well with Republican voters. Actually, with all voters."
As "electability" becomes an increasingly prominent argument among the Republican candidates, Romney also stated bluntly "I’m convinced I can beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John Edwards…"
Romney took the opportunity to dismiss Congressman Ron Paul’s recent fundraising success, in which he raised more than $4 million dollars online in one day.
When asked about Paul’s haul, Romney referred to his January 8 ‘National Call Day’ in Boston and said, "He’s getting close to what I raised in our first day. So, I’m delighted that he’s been able to raise what he needs to raise to go forward. It’s only two thirds as much, a little less than that than we raised in our first day."
In fact, though the Romney campaign’s phonathon raised upwards of $6.5 million in one day the total includes both contributions and pledges, making Ron Paul’s day of fundraising something of a GOP landmark.
In his remarks, Romney also tried to lower expectations being set in Iowa, saying that "Iowa’s probably the place you’d expect me to have the longest shot, from a long way away."