Paul Ryan today, explaining that while he doesn't fully agree with Mitt Romney's latest position on abortion, he's "comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction."
Look, I'm proud of my record. I don't— I'm proud of my record. Mitt Romney is going to be president. The president sets policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother. I'm comfortable with it because it's a good step in the right direction.Two things:
- When it comes to abortion, only an idiot takes Mitt Romney at his word. He's taken every single position known to humanity. Until Monday, he supported a total ban on abortion. Then Todd Akin happened and Romney decided he needed to support some exceptions. But the very next day, the official Republican platform endorsed a total ban—no exceptions allowed—and Romney didn't offer a single objection. So even though Romney now says he supports exceptions for rape and incest, he's done nothing to show he really means it. Instead, he continues to let his party's base run roughshod over him.
- No matter what Romney says or believes, Paul Ryan still opposes abortion in all circumstances. Like Todd Akin, he still wants to redefine rape. Sure, he'd be happy with any policy that further restricts abortion rights, but anything short of a total ban is merely a step in the right direction. To Ryan—and much of the GOP base—the issue won't be settled until there is a complete ban. Ryan's statement admits as much.
It's a fantasy to assume Ryan would accept a half-measure from Romney without pushing for more, and it's an even bigger fantasy to assume Romney would be able to withstand pressure from his party's base on the issue.