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by Marielena Montesino de Stuart
March 12, 2010
Copyright © Marielena Montesino de Stuart. All rights reserved.
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The following article was published in the March 18, 2010 Edition of The Wanderer (Page 2) under the title “Mitt Romney Gives Uncertain Answer On Roe Opposition.” It was available online on March 12, 2010 at 1:00PM Eastern Time. Here is the entire text published in The Roman Catholic World, covering Mitt Romney’s visit to Naples, Florida on Tuesday-March 9, 2010.
During a beautiful March evening in Southwest Florida, Mitt Romney managed to sign several hundred copies of his book No Apology —as he sat on the second floor of the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Naples. His comportment appeared to be that of a man at ease with himself.
Romney is an experienced and successful businessman, who from 1984 to 1999 led Bain Capital into the LBO (leverage buyout) business. Bain Capital brought much success to its investors— but it also brought about the loss of many jobs. Howard Anderson, a senior lecturer (and Bain investor) at the MIT Sloan School of Management, described Romney’s leverage buyout business as follows: “Bain represented capitalism at its finest—and at its worst.” (The Boston Globe, 2008).
UPDATE: Howard Anderson is now a senior lecturer at the Tuck School of Business (Dartmouth College).
Mitt Romney served as “pro-choice” Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.
In 1998 Ave Maria University’s Tom Monaghan (and occasional Naples resident) sold 93% of Domino’s Pizza for an estimated $1 billion to Romney’s Bain Capital.
In 2008, Monaghan enthusiastically endorsed Romney during the presidential race, and said in a press release (January 9, 2008):
“… I had firsthand experience of Mitt’s effectiveness and expertise during the sale of Domino’s Pizza to Bain Capital.”
Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney, was governor of Michigan, Chief Executive Officer of American Motors and presidential candidate.
Romney comes from a long-line of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) dating back to Joseph Smith, the founder of LDS. There is no question that Romney is not only a seasoned businessman, but has had the benefit of a religious environment. He spent two years of his life in France as a missionary, trying to turn wine-loving Frenchmen into ascetic, no-alcohol, no-caffeine Latter-Day Saints.
At approximately 8:00pm access to the book-signing line was cordoned off and it was announced that Mr. Romney would be bringing to an end his visit to the popular Naples bookstore. Knowing his entrepreneurial background and his opinion about the U.S. deficit– and the fact that Romney is projecting himself as an economic problem-solver for this nation, I introduced myself and The Wanderer (as America’s oldest Catholic newspaper) and decided to ask Mr. Romney the one question that remains unclear:
MARIELENA MONTESINO de STUART: If you run for president, will you fight to overturn Roe vs. Wade?
MITT ROMNEY: I am pro-life, but I am not going to make any comments about my plans, because I haven’t decided whether or not to run, but I have indicated that I am pro-life.
I was not surprised by his answer and the absence of clear commitment against abortion. His political record is riddled with inconsistent statements, least of which is the following one in Iowa, 2007:
“I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I’ve said that time and time again. I’ve changed my position.”
In 2002, as a 56-year old father of five, having grown up in the world of politics and religion Mitt Romney went hard-core on “pro-choice” (pdf) when he completed questionnaires for Planned Parenthood, NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League– now called NARAL Pro-Choice America) and Republicans for Choice. Romney also made statements to get NARAL’s support as a “sensible” Republican.
On December 16, 2007 Romney told ‘Meet the Press’:
“But each law that was brought to my desk [as governor of Massachusetts] attempted to expand abortion rights and, in each case, I vetoed that effort. I also promoted abstinence education in our schools. I vetoed an effort, for instance, to give young women a morning after pill who did not have prescriptions. So I took action to preserve the sanctity of life. But I did not violate my word, of course” [to uphold a woman’s right to choose abortion].
In essence, Romney’s history regarding his stance on abortion is as varied as the colors of the spectrum. His stance on embryonic stem cell research is not clear either—as to the use of “discarded” frozen embryos. To his credit, he has admitted that, “the greatest mistake was when I first ran for office, being deeply opposed to abortion, but saying ‘I support the current law.’ [Iowa Straw Poll Debate August 5, 2007].
A politician’s penchant for uncommitted language in order to outsmart his opponent does not lead to credibility when the defense of innocent human life hangs in the balance. In Ave Maria, Florida we have seen up-close the erosion of the definition of “pro-life” in Tom Monaghan’s Ave Maria University recent honoring of New York billionaire / politician Tom Golisano—who has a scandalous record of supporting hard-core pro-choice politicians and institutions—while claiming to having always been “pro-life.”
Mr. Romney’s discomfort with those who have been consistently committed to defend human life– referring to them as “holier-than-thou” does not inspire confidence [Iowa Straw Poll Debate, August 5, 2007]:
“…I get tired of people that are holier-than-thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have.” — Mitt Romney
Source: 2007 GOP Straw Poll Debate
Much like Romney would sternly interrogate his Bain Capital managing team in order to gain clarity on leverage buyout business decisions—so do pro-life supporters have a right to interrogate Romney in order to gain clarity on his pro-life stance.
A seasoned businessman like Romney should know that human beings create resources that lead to innovation. The greater the population, the faster the rate of innovation– and innovation is what fuels man’s dream for a better economic future.
In a world where population is only above replacement level in sub-Saharan Africa, it would follow that Romney should understand why a clear commitment to the defense of human life is essential to any successful economic plan.
PS: By the way… Happy Birthday, Mr. Romney.
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© Marielena Montesino de Stuart
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