Posts Tagged ‘National Right to Life Committee’

… As we talked, I began a question, “If I could separate stem cells from abortion — “ writes Byron York of the formerly conservative NRO in a story titled Mitt Romney: “I Changed My View. Is that So Difficult to Understand?” The candidate talks about his efforts to convince voters that his pro-life conversion is real

Romney quickly interrupted. “You can’t, can you?”

“Well, there are laws that deal with stem cells,” I said, “and then there is Roe itself.”

“Well, they both relate to the sanctity of human life.”

“But your position was, as far as a woman’s right to have an abortion is concerned, that you would protect that and that you believed that Roe should be protected.”

“I’m not sure what your question is,” Romney said, growing visibly irritated. “I changed my view. Is that so difficult to understand?”

One source of skepticism about Romney is his habit of occasionally pushing his argument a little too far, of cutting a few corners with his record. Take that award from the Massachusetts Citizens for Life. It was presented in May 2007, not by the state organization of Massachusetts Citizens for Life but by the Pioneer Valley Regional Chapter, which represents the western part of the state. When Romney began to cite it in his campaign appearances, group officials in Boston issued a statement “to make clear that the local award did not constitute endorsement by the state organization.” The statement went on to give a mixed view of Romney, saying he had taken “a politically-expedient pro-abortion position,” but that “admitting that he was wrong took rare courage.” So what Romney points to as the stamp of approval from a pro-life group is really a bit less … etc.

These lines speak volumes. The emphasis is ours. Answer: Yes, Romney, your change-of-view is difficult to understand, terribly difficult. Here is how Silverstein puts it:

… The problems holding him back were all identified in the campaign’s PowerPoint presentation: the Massachusetts background, the image of slickness, the fears about his religion, and, above all, mistrust of his ideological transformation. Romney and his handlers portray him as having undergone a political conversion, but they can’t point to any convincing catalyst. There was no religious epiphany (as, for example, with George W. Bush) or political awakening (as with Ronald Reagan, a New Deal Democrat who joined the Republican Party in 1962 and backed Barry Goldwater for president two years later, which at the time was hardly a politically savvy move). With Romney, there’s merely been the recent espousal of positions diametrically opposed to his earlier ones, feeding the suspicion that his political shifts are more reflective of his ambition than of his convictions …

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


“The Romney campaign may be disappointed because they didn’t get the endorsement from National Right to Life but maybe the organization had a look at the following videotape,” writes David Brody of the eponymous Brody File in a post titled Why Romney Didn’t Get the Right to Life Endorsement

… This video has been out before but I bring it up because in it, [Romney’s] speaking directly to the endorsement issue and arguing vigorously against it. This is what is known as “political baggage”. It also speaks directly to why Romney has some problems with pro-lifers, especially at the grassroots level. For them, it’s not that he was pro-choice. It’s that he argued so forcefully for the position

The emphasis is ours.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“I feel comfortable saying, based on conversations with NRLC members, that Jim Bopp’s attack on Sam Brownback did not help the Romney team with the NRLC,” writes Erick in a Redstate post titled Paul Weyrich Comes Unglued [Updated and bumped]

… Paul Weyrich coming unglued and accusing Thompson of bribing NRLC for their endorsement is really not going to help Romney at the grassroots level. [reported here]

Weyrich can say what he wants, but (a) it’s not true and (b) it’s not helpful. I would suggest that if they don’t think Thompson is a threat, the Romney camp might not want to get bogged down on this. The latest poll numbers in Iowa and South Carolina are certainly not painting a pretty picture for the Thompson camp. But, this endorsement just might help …

Erick links to these comments by Jennifer Rubin titled Does this Help?

Listen, there is room to debate which candidate should have gotten the NRLC nod. But isn’t accusing Thompson of in essence paying money to get the endorsement just beyond the pale? That’s what Romney supporter Paul Weyrich says here … Does any of this help Romney with social conservatives or reflect well on him? … etc.

Also see: “NRLC disavows Bopp’s Brownback statements”

Our question: Why the head-scratching? Why is anyone surprised? This is how Romney and his flatterers always behave when their sense of entitlement gets challenged.

Our own conclusion: Weyrich, like Bopp, is through, over, spent, finished, no longer a player—he sold out to the Romneys but failed to deliver on his promises or accomplish any of his tasks—no one followed him—so now he is useful to precisely no one, not the Romneys, not the pro-life movement. His last gasp—the death rattle of his lost reputation—consists in issuing accusations and rationales for why everyone walked away from him and, by implication, his imperious master, Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Klein hits on the prime issue regarding Romney and the NRLC. Romney, for all his business skill, is too good of a salesman. People watch his debates from 1994 and 2002 and don’t just see someone promising to uphold the law, but someone who is not only persuasive, but passionate and convincing. Now, fast forward to this year, you have Romney passionately and convincingly arguing for the pro life cause,” writes the estimable Tommy Oliver as he attempts to divine the intentions of the NRLC board of governors in a post titled National Right to Life Committee to Endorse Fred Thompson, Here [be] why ...

eye of, OTOH, speculates on the meaning of the endorsement itself in a post titled NRLC goes with Fred Thompson

… It has been conventional wisdom for a while that Romney and Thompson are fighting over the same voters. You can expect the mailboxes and phones of those voters to light up with detailed explanations of why Mitt Romney is not the right man to be president, or at least our nominee. From a very credible outside group. I have long asked who is actually going to attack Romney. We have our answer. In the end, this will move numbers.

On a deeper level, though, one wonders if this is a split in the conservative movement. With so many people going so many different ways, a shatter seems inevitable. There are a number of endorsements left, but you almost wonder if this is a direct challenge to James Dobson. Does Dobson dare to come out now, challenging NRLC and setting up a deep split? After all, Dobson actually can move votes and money, as can NRLC. But if the ultimate goal is to stop Rudy, then perhaps they need, at least, implicit agreement.

The other question is what happens if Romney really fights for this turf. Can he undermine the interest groups? Can he go back to his pragmatic self after his strange rightward lurch[?] …. etc.

Team Romney has failed at every task it set for itself—e.g. it has failed to secure its right flank, and it has failed to consolidate the religious right. It clings tenaciously to its “early state” strategy, but this move by the NRLC—a move that “has juice” according to eye, as it comes with money, volunteers, and organizational resources on the ground—could effectively open another front for Romney in Iowa and even New Hampshire, especially if it forces Dr. Dobson’s hand.

Fascinating, wouldn’t you say? Why, it’s almost as if Romney faces a rival who has mastered the art of dividing his opposition. But no, this couldn’t be. A far simpler hypothesis: Romney has failed, and continues to fail, to make his case.

but still

how hizzoner brings the fight to Romney—Romney caught in a punic pincer

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Also see:

Giuliani can win without S.C., campaign says—yes, OK, this is true on its face, but here is what the campaign is not telling you—they are active in the early states, including SC, only indirectly, as evidenced above. To understand the former Mayor of NYC, you need to understand the Byzantine character of NYC politics and the art of balancing players off of one another. Romney, the data-driven, linear-thinker, now faces his point-for-point antithesis. Romney has no idea what he’s up against.

“Yesterday, Jim Bopp, a supporter of Mitt Romney and former General Counsel (they actually spend text clarifying that he is the former) to the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) attacked Sam Brownback for saying something nice about Rudy Giuliani,” writes eye in a post titled NRLC disavows Bopp’s Brownback statements

Turns out that he was nasty enough that NRLC disavowed his statements. I have obtained a copy of a letter that NRLC’s President, Executive Director, and Legislative Director, [in which] they apologized for Bopp’s statements.

Please go to and review the full text of the letter.

That the NRLC would issue so stern—if indirect—a reproof to Bopp neither surprises nor interests us—no one who sells their credibility to the Romneys escapes unpunished. What interests us is Bopp’s own expression of pain and anguish.

1. How could eyeon08 get so much wrong in just so few words? First, the Romney campaign did not ask me to speak about Brownback, I did on my own accord. Second, NRLC did not apologize for what I said, they just disagreed with it. There was no reason for NRLC to apologize for what I said, since I was speaking on my own accord. Third, I am now, and have been since 1978, NRLC’s general counsel, but I have never been an employee, have many clients and was speaking on my own accord. This is exactly what NRLC explained in their letter – so how did eyeon08 get it all so wrong? by jboppjr on 2007-10-29 at 9:12 am

Our comments and speculations:

A. It is the NRLC—not eye—who clarifies their policy with respect to endorsements with respect to Bopp’s unwise comments about Brownback. It is the NRLC that is attempting to distance themselves from Bopp’s comments. Hence: It is the NRLC who deserves Bopp’s rage, not eye.

B. The NRLC never uses the term “apology”—follow the thread of the NRLC’s narrative:

    • paragraph i: A political website quotes Bopp criticizing Brownback’s meeting with Giuliani
    • paragraph ii: Mr. Bopp suggested that Brownback had put personal benefit head of his commitment to pro-life cause
    • paragraph iii: These remarks do not represent the NRLC—we disagree with [Bopp]—and we recognize your commitmentparagraph iv: We reject anyone’s suggestion that you sell out the interest of the unborn for personal benefit
    • paragraph v: Mr. Bopp is our general counsel; he has many clients; hence: his views are his own; he represents only himself

      Bopp is right: the letter is not an apology; but neither does it reflect mere “disagreement”; rather, the letter constitutes a stern if indirect reproof. Translation: Bopp speaks for himself. As for us, we flatly and unequivocally reject anyone’s suggestion [e.g. Bopp’s] etc.

      C. eye suggests that Bopp spoke for the Romneys—a reasonable surmise what with the context of the discussion—an avowed Romney supporter attacking the motives and intentions of another candidate. We, however, disagree. Based on Bopp’s own confusion on the issue—first attacking Brownback, then suddenly embracing Giuliani in a hypothetical general election, all in the same conversation—we conclude that Bopp was indeed acting on his own. Why would the Romneys reach out to Bopp at all?—Bopp is spent, Bopp is played, and the right-to-lifers and the social conservatives in general remain divided and dispersed among the candidates. We provide our account here:

      Romney’s James Bopp “lashes out at Brownback for Pro-Rudy comments,” promises to vote for Giuliani in the general election—say what?

      Our highly speculative conclusion? Alone, confused, estranged, conscious of his alienation for ever having associated with the Romneys—Bopp is on his own now, rudderless, friendless, and bereft, as further evidenced by the NRLC letter.

      yours &c.
      dr. g.d.

      P.S. Update: eye responds to Bopp’s rejoinder with clarity, brevity, frankness, and with all due respect.

      Mr. Bopp, I admire you and what you have done. But let’s be clear. You are an attorney and a politician. And your client has publicly repudiated your statements.