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Mitt Romney flip flopping heads
Just try to figure out what Romney's position is. Just try.
With less than a week left before the election, the Romney campaign is still trying to have its "pro-life" abortion cake and eat it moderately, all because no one trusts Mitt Romney on reproductive rights. That's why you're not allowed to take any statements on abortion made by the campaign as, you know, a statement on abortion made by the campaign. And that includes anything said by the candidate himself.

The latest is the wink wink to Jewish Republicans from former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, one of the "Republican luminaries who will be in attendance at the big Romney rally on Friday" that "save for the absence of actor Clint Eastwood, is shaping up as the sequel to the Republican National Convention."

So yes, the Romney campaign believes Coleman is a valuable asset to its attempt "to inject new energy into their Ohio campaign and to launch the Republican ticket on its final, frenetic three days of barnstorming before Election Day." But that doesn't mean Coleman speaks for the campaign—especially when Coleman assures Jewish voters "who are worried about the influence of religious conservatives on the Republican Party" that Roe v. Wade isn't really at risk under Romney. Translation: Romney isn't really the fire-breathing "severely conservative" nutjob he's pretending he is, and for those of you who worry that a Romney presidency would usher in the official reign of the American Taliban—nah, it's cool, he's not really like that.

Yes, well, that's a little off script, so Romney campaign surrogate Coleman has now clarified:

In an interview on Tuesday, Coleman told The Associated Press he had been speaking on his own behalf, and not for Romney.

He said he meant that the decision is longstanding precedent, and that Republicans would fight over issues like parental notification and partial birth abortion rather than Roe v Wade itself.

Right. The former senator is so popular that he's got people lining up to hear what he has to say about Romney and the election—but he was just pontificating for himself. He was not in any way representing the campaign that he officially represents. Nope.

Naturally, even his correction wasn't quite right. The official Romney campaign position on abortion is that Romney believes in a woman's right to make her own health care decisions and will uphold Roe v. Wade. Wait, no, that was his position in the '90s. The current position is that he would love to sign a constitutional amendment banning abortion in all cases. Wait, no, that was a year ago. The current position is that abortion is acceptable in some cases, and he's offended by any Republican who disagrees. Wait, no, that was in August. The current position is ... heck, it's whatever you want it to be as long as you vote for Romney.

No wonder the "pro-life" groups would rather not talk about it:

Former Christian Coalition chief Ralph Reed, who's currently criss-crossing Ohio drumming up social conservative votes for Mitt Romney, declined TPM's request for comment regarding former Sen. Norm Coleman's (R-MN) remarks in which he told a group of voters that Roe v. Wade will survive a Romney presidency.

"I think we'll pass," a spokesperson for the Faith & Freedom Coalition -- Reed's new group -- told TPM Tuesday when asked about Coleman's comments.

Goal Thermometer

Yes, much safer to take a pass on what the hell the Romney campaign's position on abortion is this particular second—which is different from what it was one second ago and may well change in the next second. As the "pro-life" groups know. Which is why they don't trust Romney either. Because they, like the rest of us, know that there's really only one position Romney really believes in: He's running for president, for Pete's sake. And he'll do and say anything to win.

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Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:31 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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