Mitt Romney's Shifty Social Conservatism

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The Times traces the former Massachusetts governor's foot-steps from pro-choice to pro-life:

In 2002, as a candidate for governor, Mr. Romney filled out a questionnaire for Planned Parenthood declaring that he supported "the substance" of the Supreme Court's 1973 landmark abortion rights decision, Roe v. Wade. Six weeks before he was elected, he sat for an hourlong interview with state officials of the advocacy group now known as Naral Pro-Choice America. Mr. Romney promised to maintain the status quo, keeping intact the rights that already existed under state law. 

At the end of the private session, when it became clear that the group was going to endorse Mr. Romney's Democratic opponent, he surprised its leaders by saying he could be a "good voice" and the most effective national Republican leader on abortion, said Melissa Kogut, a former Naral official who has detailed notes from the meeting. 

"I thought, 'That's interesting. He's running for governor, and he's trying to convince us to get behind him because of the role he is going to play on the national stage,' " she said. "We left the meeting feeling pretty good."

My sense from the article is that Romney actually was pro-life, in his heart, but had no hope of winning with such a position in Massachusetts. So he lied, claimed to be pro-choice, and has now flipped back again.

That seems par for the course in presidential politics. I don't see much difference between this and the president's "evolving" position on gay marriage.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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