As the race tightens and focuses on women, new attention is being paid to Mitt Romney’s evolved position on abortion, but the woman who knows him best — his wife Ann – emphatically stated her own stance on the topic today, saying: “I am pro-life.”
Ann Romney, an influential surrogate for her husband who often takes his place on daytime talk shows with large female audiences, typically avoids any comment about policy or her own politics. But today she told the hosts of “The View” that she, like her husband, is opposed to abortion.
“The good news is I’m not running for office and I don’t have to say what I feel. But I am pro-life. I’m happy to say that,” she said.
Mrs. Romney said her husband as governor of Massachusetts “governed, when he ran, as a pro-choice,” but that his position changed when it came to creating embryos for stem-cell research.
“I think we all have to understand that this is an issue that is so tender, and there are people on both sides of the issue that have, with very good conscience, with different opinions,” she said.
Romney has spoken before of her own experience with having a miscarriage, but has not previously and so emphatically stated her position on abortion.
During Mitt Romney’s first bid for the presidency it was revealed that Ann Romney donated $150 to Planned Parenthood in 1994, at a time when the governor considered himself pro-abortion. In this campaign, Mitt Romney has called for the end of government funding for Planned Parenthood.
Though her husband is now anti-abortion, Mrs. Romney’s own position was not necessarily a given. Both Barbara Bush and Laura Bush, first ladies to anti-abortion presidents, only said they were in favor of legal abortion after their husbands had left the White House.
Romney said the issue women most want to talk to her about while she is campaigning for her husband is not abortion, but the economy.
According to a Gallup polls released Wednesday, female voters in 12 key swing states name abortion as the most important issue for women in this election.
Romney’s third son Josh was in the audience.
Asked about his brother Tagg’s recent comments that he felt like punching President Obama during Tuesday’s debate, Josh said: “That brother has slugged me a couple of times. I assure you, President Obama has nothing to worry about”
“It’s hard when you’re in this process to see your dad get beat up,” he said.