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U.S. Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney speaks at his Illinois primary night rally in Schaumburg, Illinois, March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES  - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)
Why can't someone else make these decisions for me?
It's not exactly news that Mitt Romney has taken every position on reproductive rights, short of marching in the streets to demand free abortion on demand. (And given how badly he's losing, don't rule that out just yet.)

So Mitt's latest attempt to flip-flop his way around the issue—this time, during an exercise in hackery with Very Serious Journalist David Gregory—isn't news, exactly, as much as it's the latest episode in Mitt's excellent adventure in flailing and failing:

GREGORY:  I want to ask you one question on the social issue and that is abortion.  You were on this program in 2007 and you said that you would fight to overturn Roe v. Wade.  I know you said this is an issue for the courts.  I ask you now would a President Romney fight to overturn Roe v. Wade? And what would you do in that fight to achieve that goal?
Let's just pause right there to contemplate for a moment why it is that David Gregory has a job. (Thinking ... thinking ... ) He's going to ask Mitt all of one question on "the social issue," and that's his question? That's it? Mitt Romney said something five years ago, and Gregory wants to know if that's still Mitt's position?

Did Gregory not get the memo about the 30,000 positions Romney has taken since then? Did he miss the interview Mitt gave just a few short weeks ago in which he said the issue has been "settled for some time in the courts"? Or does Gregory think that if Mitt says something on a different network, it doesn't count and Gregory doesn't have to know about it?

Of course, Mitt being Mitt, he couldn't even handle the journalistic ineptitude from Gregory without stepping all over himself and saying something stupid:

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, there are a number of things I think that need to be said about preserving and protecting the life of the unborn child.  And I recognize there are two lives involved: the mom and the unborn child. And I believe that people of good conscience have chosen different paths in this regard.  But I am pro-life and will intend, if I'm president of the United States, to encourage pro-life policies.  I don't--

GREGORY:  Just encourage or fight for it to be overturned?

MR. ROMNEY:  Well, I don't actually make the decision the Supreme Court makes and so they'll have to make their own decision. But, I will, for instance, I'll reverse the president's decision on using U.S. funds to pay for abortion outside this country.  I don't think also the taxpayers here should have to pay for abortion in this country.  Those things I think are consistent with my pro-life position. And I hope to appoint justices to the Supreme Court that will follow the law and the constitution.  And it would be my preference that they reverse Roe v. Wade and therefore they return to the people and their elected representatives the decisions with regards to this important issue.

So Romney's most recent position is that this settled-for-some-time-in-the-courts issue should be settled in the courts again, and Romney is hoping to appoint activist judges who will re-settle this settled issue. Because even though every politician, including the ones running for dogcatcher of Podunk, takes a position on reproductive rights, Romney is such a coward that he'd really rather leave it up to someone else. Or forbid reporters from asking him any questions at all. No wonder the Republican Party is running in fear from the issue they usually love to discuss.

Romney's latest—gosh, I sure hope the Supreme Court decides this for me—is yet another shift from the other various positions he's taken, but since Gregory apparently isn't aware that Romney has said anything on the issue since 2007, he obviously is in no position to ask Romney any further questions on the issue—like, oh, say, "What the hell are you talking about? You just said last month that this is a settled issue!"

We'd run out of internet space if we listed all the other follow-up questions Gregory failed to ask—like how Romney plans to protect women's lives if his activist judges overturn Roe v. Wade, just to name one of a million. That Mitt offered yet another take on this issue escaped Gregory completely, but at least Gregory got to check his "social issue" question off the list and Mitt got to offer a bunch of incoherent nonsense without being called on it. Guess that's a win for Gregory and a win for Mitt. As for those voters who might be interested in an actual answer? Too bad, but it's not like this interview was really for them anyway. And besides, they can just wait for Mitt to come up with a new answer. Shouldn't be a long wait.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 09:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos, Pro Choice, and Abortion.

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