That sounds terrible:
“If Roe v. Wade was overturned, Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions, and it came to your desk – would you sign it? ‘Yes’, or ‘no?’”Ban all abortions? Including abortions that would save the life of the mother? Did Romney really say that? The Weekly Standard prints whole context:
“Let me say it: I’d be delighted to sign that bill.”
QUESTIONER: Hello, my name is AJ. I'm from Millstone, New Jersey. I would all of the candidates to give an answer on this. If hypothetically, Roe v. Wade was overturned, and the Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it? Yes or no?That is kind of a weird answer by Romney, and I don't blame the Obama campaign for pulling out that quote. I can see why, fighting for the Republican nomination and pushed and cornered like that, he said "I'd be delighted to sign that bill." Notice that the idea is that we'd be in some hypothetical other America, and if we had arrived there, it would be terrific and delightful, but that's not where we are, so there's no immediate prospect of seeing that bill.
COOPER: Mayor Giuliani?
GIULIANI: If Congress passed a ban on all abortions throughout the United States?
COOPER: If Roe v. Wade was overturned and Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it, yes or no?
GIULIANI: I probably would not sign it. I would leave it to the states to make that decision.
I think that that -- the problem with Roe against Wade is that it took the decision away from the states. If Roe against Wade were overturned because it was poorly decided, if the justices decide that, it would them go back to the states, and it would seem to me that that would be the answer.
The answer is that each state would make a different decision. I don't believe, in the circumstance that you asked before, that it should be criminalized. I think that would be a mistake unless we're talking about partial birth abortion or late-term abortion.
I think you should have parental consent. I think we should have access to adoptions instead of abortion. But, ultimately, I think these decisions should be made on a state-by-state basis.
COOPER: Governor Romney?
ROMNEY: I agree with Senator Thompson, which is we should overturn Roe v. Wade and return these issues to the states.
ROMNEY: 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. That would be wonderful. I'd be delighted.
COOPER: The question is: Would you sign that bill?
ROMNEY: Let me say it. I'd be delighted to sign that bill. But that's not where we are. That's not where America is today. Where America is 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 Romney campaign wants to say, it's not a realistic present-day threat — which is true — and it's not what Romney is really talking about when not pushed and cornered by the formidable Anderson Cooper — which is also true. When free to put his policy in his words, Romney prefers to leave the matter to the state legislatures. Of course, that involves overturning Roe v. Wade, which he's open about. It's an anti-abortion position, though not as anti-abortion as the way it comes out in Obama's ad.
Bottom line: Those who are considering voting for Romney ought to understand exactly how anti-abortion Romney is, but it's up to Romney, not Obama to do that precision work.