After conservatives lambasted Mitt Romney for refusing to sign the Susan B. Anthony List's "pro-life" pledge, he explained, via the National Review, that he finds the pledge "overly broad." The GOP presidential frontrunner says he opposes abortion, except in "instances of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother," a position The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan called "moderate and reasonable." But rival candidates pounced, with Rep. Michele Bachmann saying Romney is fueling "doubts about his... commitment to ending the practice of abortion." Will Romney regret his refusal to sign?
Romney may have sealed his own doom: Give the former Massachusetts governor credit for not being "a total pander machine," says Allahpundit at Hot Air, but he seems to be "in the grip of a political death wish." First, he refuses to renounce the health care reform he signed into law in Massachusetts. Then he supports man-made climate change. Now this? Romney insists he opposes abortion, but he must realize this episode "makes him look like he's inching back towards his pro-choice past."
"Uh oh: Romney refuses to sign pro-life group's pledge"
It's conservatives who should regret their stance: The Susan B. Anthony List pledge would deprive many hospitals of much-needed federal funding, says The Mahablog, and prevent a president from appointing the most qualified judges by imposing a strict anti-abortion litmus test. Romney knows that the president must actually govern, but the GOP base has drifted so far to the right, it apparently doesn't want anybody who won't "scare the bejeezus" out of the independent voters who will decide the 2012 election.
"Righties rejecting Romney?"
Judge Romney on his views, not some silly pledge: "This is lunacy," says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post. Romney — not the Susan B. Anthony List — is the one running for president. And he has spelled out his opposition to abortion in detail. So judge him on his views, not his refusal to sign a pledge by some activist group that's using the presidential candidates "as fundraising tools for whipping up the base."
"The futility of ideological pledges"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Will the Higgs Boson destroy the universe in a cosmic death bubble?
- If Scotland leaves the union, is Northern Ireland next?
- The impossible promise at the heart of Scotland's campaign for independence
Subscribe to the Week