This evening, Buzzfeed posted one of the juiciest political gotchas of the new year, the entire 200 page opposition research file from the 2008 McCain campaign on one Willard “Mittens” Romney. The theme is pretty simple:
Romney Has Been Criticized For Sending “Mixed Messages” And Having “Seemingly Inconsistent” Positions
The bulk of the file consists of news clippings highlighting his ever shifting views on abortion, immigration, campaign finance reform, education, and pretty much every other topic salient to the 2008 Republican Primary.
While much of it concerns his record as Governor of Massachusetts, and statements made during his runs for the Senate in 1994 and the 2008 primary campaign, there is a particularly epic overview of his work with the infamous firm, Bain Capital.
There is just too much good stuff in here to post all of it, but here are some highlights from the file on abortion.
- In 1994, Romney Claimed He Supported Legalizing Abortion Before Roe v. Wade Decision. ROMNEY: “I joined my mother in 1970 when she said she was in favor of legalizing abortion.” (Scot Lehigh, “Romney Labeled A 'Pretender' On Abortion Rights,” The Boston Globe, 10/12/94)
- As Romney Considered Run For Office In Utah In 2002, He Told Local Paper He Did Not “Wish To Be Labeled Pro-Choice.” “After Romney lost the Senate race, he decamped to Utah to run the Winter Olympics. When it was rumored he might seek political office there, he wrote this in a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake City Tribune: 'I do not wish to be labeled prochoice.'” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney's Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)
- Announcing For Massachusetts Governor In 2002, Romney Reaffirmed His Pro-Choice Position. “[A]s Governor of the Commonwealth, I will protect the right of a woman to choose under the law of the country and the laws of the Commonwealth.” (Joan Vennochi, “Romney's Revolving World,” The Boston Globe, 3/2/06)
- Romney Says He “Simply Changed His Mind” On Abortion One Day In November 2004. “On abortion, Romney says he simply changed his mind. He recalls that it happened in a single revelatory moment, during a Nov. 9, 2004, meeting with an embryonic-stem-cell researcher who said he didn't believe therapeutic cloning presented a moral issue because the embryos were destroyed at 14 days. 'It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life,' Romney says.” (Karen Tumulty, “What Romney Believes,” Time, 5/21/07)
- The Doctor, Harvard's Douglas Melton, Claimed Romney “Mischaracterized My Position.” “Governor Romney has mischaracterized my position; we didn't discuss killing or anything related to it. … I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases.” (Scott Helman, “Romney's Journey To The Right,” The Boston Globe, 12/17/06)
- Republican Strategist Keith Appell Said Romney Airing Pro-Choice Views After Abortion “Epiphany” Begs Question: “How Many Epiphanies Have You Had?” “If he was still taking actions that appear to reflect his old, 'pro-choice' views after November 2004, it raises an important question for Republicans, Appell said. 'It's part of Romney's challenge: How many epiphanies have you had?' he said.” (Rick Klein and Jake Tapper, “Romney's Pro- Life Conversion: Myth Or Reality?” ABC News, 6/14/07)