A new TV ad from President Obama's re-election campaign defiantly insists that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney wants to ban "all abortions," despite the candidate's recent pledge and a new TV ad that says he would allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother.
The Obama ad points to Romney's response during a 2007 CNN GOP primary debate when asked whether he would sign a bill "banning all abortions."
"I'd be delighted to sign that bill," Romney said at the time. He has since stated that he would allow for the exceptions.
In full context, which is left out of the ad, Romney suggests that he doesn't think outlawing abortions in all cases is politically possible or socially desired, though he does seem to make clear that his personal preference would be to do so.
"I would welcome a circumstance where there was such a consensus in this country that we said, we don't want to have abortion in this country at all, period," Romney said at the time. "That would be wonderful. I'd be delighted."
Pressed CNN host Anderson Cooper, "The question is: Would you sign that bill?"
"Let me say it. I'd be delighted to sign that bill. But that's not where we are," Romney replied. "That's not where America is today. Where America is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in that country, terrific."
The Obama campaign says the ad - titled "Seen" - will air only in swing state Virginia, where women voters are seen as playing a crucial role in the Nov. 6 votes.
Romney has also gone on the airwaves this week to defend his position on abortion and reassure undecided women voters that he supports abortion as an option in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother may be at risk.
The latest Romney TV ad features a woman voter and former Obama supporter - Sarah Minto - speaking directly to camera about Democrats' alleged distortions of the governor's position. "In fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother's life," Minto says in the Romney spot.
Democrats have argued that women cannot trust Romney because of his shifting positions on abortion rights. As a gubernatorial candidate in 2002, Romney campaigned vowing to "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose." Three years later, he said he was "pro-life" and began to call for overturning the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision.