In the frenetic push to win all-important Ohio, Mitt Romney’s campaign is saying a lot of things to a lot of people. And on Monday, a top Romney surrogate told a group of Jewish voters in the Buckeye State that the landmark Supreme Court decision granting women the right to an abortion is in no danger of being overturned should Romney become president.
“President Bush was president eight years, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed. He had two Supreme Court picks, Roe v. Wade wasn’t reversed,” former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) told a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Beechwood, Ohio. “It’s not going to be reversed.”
Video of Coleman’s remarks, captured by Quinn Bowman of FeatureStoryNews:
Coleman is on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group aimed at increasing the GOP share of the Jewish vote. Sheldon Adelson has been a major financial backer of the group. Coleman has also served as a top Romney surrogate and adviser, particularly on national security issues.
His point about Roe v. Wade — made in response to a question “regarding what he would say to voters who are worried about the influence of religious conservatives on the Republican Party,” according to Bowman — may come as news to Romney’s supporters in the anti-abortion community, who see him as their opportunity to finally overturn the decision they see as a travesty.
For his part, Romney has said overturning Roe is a personal goal.
“My view is that the Supreme Court should reverse Roe v. Wade and send back to the states the responsibility for deciding whether it’s is legal or not,” Romney said at a candidate forum hosted by Mike Huckabee last year. On his campaign website, Romney calls Roe v. Wade “a case of blatant judicial activism.” In September, Romney promised to appoint justices “that will follow the law and the Constitution” when asked about Roe.
At the same time, Romney tried to sound a similar tone to Coleman’s in the days after Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remark catapulted abortion rights to the forefront of the political debate. Abortion rights advocates dismissed it, pointing to his previous attacks on Roe and promise to pick justices that share his values.
Asked about his comments by the AP, Coleman said he wasn’t speaking for Romney.