Romney said he would defund Planned Parenthood but he never said why

Obama controlled moral issues


The following story by Austin Ruse appeared November 19 on the Crisis Magazine website.

Television and the blogosphere were alive the day after the election with conservative pundits calling for the GOP to forget social issues, to walk away from abortion and marriage, because these issues lost Romney the election.

Big time political consultant Mike Murphy said on MSNBC that the GOP does not know how to appeal beyond its base. He specifically complained about the issue of homosexual marriage.


Another GOP big foot consultant, Matthew Dowd, said on CNN that the GOP had to drop the social issues in order to appeal to the Obama coalition of young people and women.

Former Democrat and senior Bush adviser Mark McKinnon said he joined the GOP because he was attracted not to the social issues but to George Bush’s innovative thinking on education and that the GOP stance on moral issues is a turnoff.


Michael Walsh, former Time Magazine writer and current contributor to National Review’s blog The Corner, wrote,  “…lay off the social issues. Let me be blunt: Conservatives have lost that war, and last night’s defeats are just the beginning.  As with Griswold and Roe, the times they are a’changing when it comes to sex. Furthermore: It doesn’t matter. True, the eternal verities remain, well, eternal verities, but quoting random passages from the Old Testament to justify contemporary American mores is just nuts…” Can Walsh please show us exactly who in the pro-life movement is quoting random passages from the Old Testament?

The editors of National Review posted an editorial that asserted, “There is certainly no reason for Republicans to stop defending the right to life, and little prospect that they will. Too many social conservatives have, however, embraced a self-defeating approach to politics—falling, to take a painful example, for Todd Akin’s line that his withdrawal from the Missouri Senate race would be a defeat for their causes. It would have been an advance. And while we continue to believe same-sex marriage is a grave mistake, calls for a constitutional amendment against it are now quixotic.”


This is such an odd thing to write. I don’t know of any pro-lifer who “fell” for any such Akin argument, and I don’t know of any group that is actively campaigning for a federal marriage amendment any longer.

I wonder if these folks experienced the same campaign as the rest of us? Exactly when did Mitt Romney campaign, I mean really campaign on the life issues? What ads did he run? Perhaps they were thinking of the Romney ad meant to quell pro-choice concerns, the one telling folks they shouldn’t worry because he still favored abortion for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother? And perhaps these conservatives could show us the ads Romney ran supporting historical marriage, because I missed those and I live in what was one of the hottest of swing states, Virginia.

I might be able to understand these comments if Romney had actually run as a social conservative, but his race was first, last and always about the economy, smaller government, lower taxes, things to warm the cockles of almost any fiscal conservative. But where and when did he actually campaign as a social conservative?

Sure, sure, these things were in the party platform, and when asked about them he would parrot some ill thought out talking points. He said while he was against abortion he favored the exceptions for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.  He was so unpracticed on this issue that he seemed not to know that the health exception in Doe v Bolton was what got us to abortion on demand in the first place.

He also said he had no legislative plans on the life issues but that he would reinstate Mexico City Policy and defunding of UNFPA. Is this really what his adviser gave him to say? I dare say that most rank and file pro-lifers have never heard of either Mexico City Policy or UNFPA. Such easy promises are held out as the tiniest of sops to pro-life leaders but in no way give anyone pro-life credentials.

Romney did say he would defund Planned Parenthood but he never said why. He could have pointed out that there are several thousand Title X clinics not connected to Planned Parenthood that do everything Planned Parenthood does except abortions. He could have pointed out that Planned Parenthood raises a billion dollars a year and in time of fiscal crisis perhaps our money is spent better elsewhere. He could have said Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms no matter what they say. He could have said losing federal funding would hardly close Planned Parenthood down. But he didn’t say any of these things.

The decision not to run a campaign on social issues was made at the top and was ruthlessly imposed all the way to the smallest of campaign events. My wife spoke at a very small event on one of those religious freedom days. In her talk she mentioned that abortion would be included in the HHS mandate. This was by no means a pro-life talk and it was in front of no more than ten people. Afterwards the low-level Romney campaign twerp berated the event organizer for allowing abortion even to be mentioned.

Whether Team Romney knew it or not, there were three straight up pro-life votes in the states this time around. Two of them passed including one in liberal Massachusetts. And while it’s true historical marriage lost for the very first time in at least three states, in each of these very liberal states, pro-marriage forces ran ahead of Romney at the polls.

Here’s the thing. Most young people are pro-life. Most young women are pro-life. Most African-Americans are both pro-life and pro-family. These are three of the demographic groups Obama went after and won. Talk to African American pro-lifers. They were aching to help Romney but Romney was not interested in them. And they are livid. Team Romney left lots of voters behind who were eager to help and now the pundits blame them for Romney’s loss.

All along there was a war over women and it was fought exclusively by Barack Obama. There was a campaign run on the social issues but it was run exclusively by Barack Obama. Mitt Romney ceded the entire ground of the moral issues to Barack Obama and he ran right over Mitt Romney and his timid advisers.

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  1. John Feeney says:

    Every time the Republicans lose, the money worshipper “Republicans” say the party should drop the social issues. So Mike Murphy, Matthew Dowd, Mark McKinnon and Michael Walsh, how many dead babies will it take to satisfy your perverted political blood lust? What other perversions do you favor?

  2. I give thanks that Mitt Romney for a very good campaign. He got 48% of the vote with no stealing and no gifts such as ObamaPhones, Food Stamps, 2-year unemployment insurance, permanent disability gifts to millions, free abortions for Women, marriage for Gays, and Amnesty for illegals.

  3. We’re in a political gulag of a rigidly enforced 2 party system, maintained long after the Founders have fallen into disrepute. Carroll Quigley, Bubba’s favorite Georgetown professor, said that the House of Morgan ran both parties’ presidential candidates in two elections. If prolifers are ever to escape the American duopoly, they will have to give their allegiance to a dedicated prolife political group that doesn’t run candidates but does give targeted enforsements to candidates, who’d better do our bidding on prolife or else. This is what PPFA, NARAL & the National Abortion Federation have got over us.

    • You make a good point. The other side knows how to run a campaign. Take social media for instance; Obama spent nearly $47mm on social compared to Romney’s $7+ million give or take on each. People in the 18-35 age group don’t read many papers or watch mainstream tv. They get their new off Twitter, off their phones or tablets. Obama went after the young vote and got it. Romney went after the old white male vote and got it. Obama ignored those voters because they don’t represent the mainstream voters any more. If Republicans want to win the next election they must go after the African-American voters, the Hispanic voters, the single women voters, etc. It can be done but not with a fox news or Rush L. mentality. As for the Churches, they seem to be becoming more irrelavent in each succesive campaign.

      • You’re exactly right. The weak simpletons who are constantly whining and crying about “the media” simply don’t get it and probably never will. Young people couldn’t care less about Rush Limbaugh and Fox News—or MSNBC for that matter; these old dinosaurs are headed straight for the La Brea Tar Pits. This election shows that conservatives can either continue to wallow in self-pity and join Rush in self-extinction or they can “man up” and get with the program. Which will it be?

        • What program would that be, just abandoned what we believe in and become liberals… to get the woman vote should we support abortion, to get the Latino vote should we support amnesty….I will stick with individual liberty, a huge distrust of government…and as for conservatives it should be known that the Republican establishment has chosen Dole, McCain and Romney and look at what happened.

    • Actually, if our party leaderships could be rigid, as in Europe, dissenters would be forced out into their own parties. It’s our own “big tent” mentality and “let’s get together as Americans” attitude that cause us to freeze up when third parties are mentioned. We could have them any time we wanted.

      But the Republicans would pay more attention to us if in, say, one election, we were to give them 70-90% of our vote as Left gives the Democrats. Our hemming and hawing over the welfare state lets many in the party write US of as unreliable even as we complain of THEM as unreliable.

      • As a school boy decades ago, I recall being hammered year after year with the “Compromise is the American Way” ideology.

  4. Larry from RI says:

    I was not too enamered with Mr. Etchy Sketchey but to imply that the electorate could not see the difference between Potus Obama and Romney on the major issues seems to miss something.Is it they didn’t see the difference or they didn’t want to see the difference.One of the main reasons for Romney’s loss was Potus Obama’s propaganda machine consisting of the lamestream media and all the leftist progressive cultural outlets in our country.Potus Obama is not a “good man”. A good man does not hide his background and does not support infanticide.

  5. Romney didn’t campaign on life issues because he doesn’t believe in them. He is no different than Obama.

    • That’s ridiculous!

    • Oh, Romney is different, all right: when running against Obama he suddenly changes his “positions” on several life issues just to get more votes!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        how dare anyone judge Romney….maybe it’s people’s hypocrisy that got Obama re-elected! How foolish to even compare Romney to Obama, that is twisted and sick to me! If you want to compare Obama to someone,,,,pick someone who really matches him.

  6. Cole Thornton says:

    Post election surveys indicate that Romney lost the election BECAUSE CONSERVATIVE ‘RIGHT WING’ TYPES DIDN’T COME OUT TO THE POLLS AND VOTE FOR HIM! Was it a mistake that Romney DIDN’T talk strongly about the moral social issues? Is that why those people didn’t support him? Did they see him as mushy?

  7. Romney lost because he’s a liberal who recast himself as a “moderate” and no one believe him.

    Every time the Republicans nominate a “moderate” he loses, and yet the next election we are assured we need to nominate another “moderate” because they are “electable”.

    History disproves this: Ford ’76 … Bush ’92 … Dole ’96 … McCain ’08 … Romney ’12 … All “moderates” … All “electable” … All losers.

    • Maybe their point in these nominations is not to win. There are two sides to winning, one being the public appearance and the other being their primary motives. Just putting forth an analytical position here. After all, motives are not always obvious and often devious, especially in politics.

    • Mark from PA says:

      President George H. Bush was elected in 1988 by a comfortable margin (he carried 40 states). Part of his loss in 1992 was due to his making a deal to raise taxes. Because of this, by the year 2000, the deficit was nearly greatly reduced. President Bush made a difficult decision that actually was for the good of the country and he paid a political price for it. I always thought that he was a very good President and was disappointed when he wasn’t re-elected in 1992.

    • Reagan also ran as a moderate. Note his running mate pick, for example. Anyone who was there can remember that Reagan’s main challenge was to appear temperate. He ran no where as far to the right as Romney did this year.

    • Actually, Romney was a moderate who miscast himself as a conservative and was the best chance the Republicans had this year. The party is simply going to have to become either less dependent on white votes or get 2/3 of them.

      However, as regards your list, Ford (76) and Bush (92) were incumbent presidents! No other Republican could have that huge advantage, while there was never anything electable about Dole or McCain – both were Dead on Arrival, while Bush II was elected as a moderate – remember his pledge for a “humble” foreign policy, the “compassionate conservatism”, and his “No Child Left Behind” legislation that had him hugging Edward Kennedy?

  8. Great post, Juergensen! Couldn’t've articulated it any better myself. I probably would have used more words, but your reasoning is concise and clear! And so, how about all those who are social pro-life conservatives like myself and obviously Juergensen, how about we create ourselves a THIRD PARTY to finally counter counter all these R.I.N.O.’s who’ve arguably taken over the G.O.P.? DOES ANYONE AGREE THAT THE TIME IS RIPE AND NOW FOR THE CREATION OF SUCH A PARTY? How about the SOCIALCON PARTY, “S.O.O.P.A.R”. for short? I’d help fund such an entity, and see if Palin would be interested in helping run it (please, no Palin-haters respond, there’s been way too much piling on from all manner of religious and otherwise conservative people, the woman IS Godly) And she look s-o-o-o-o-o much better than Pelosi or Hillary. Actually there’s a lot of MEN who look so much better than Pelosi or Hillary. Any takers? GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

    • Markrite, I have been reading your comments for some time. I never knew you had such a good sense of humor. Good for you!

      • Anton L. Seidl says:

        A third party is a fool’s errand. Does anyone remember Ross Perot who gave us eight years of the Clintonite moral rot that the country has never been able to purge from its national blood stream. You want permanent liberal governance, go third party. The progressives will bless you!

  9. It amazes me that people did not vote for Romney because he wasn’t this or too much of that. Look at what we end up with. The light speed that liberal programs will be pushed through will spin your head. The supreme court nominations will nauseate you. The increased taxes and fees will take away any extras that you now enjoy. The really rich will always be o.k. The poor eke by on their welfare. It’s the middle class who will suffer the most. Too rich for government programs and too poor for investments.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Viva Cristo Rey!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      You are dead-on right!

    • The middle class has always been an affront to the so-called upper class and ‘intelligensia’. The term’ middle class’ has been used as a derogatory adjective since Karl Marx and basically reflects a deep seated distrust and contempt for people who dare assume their God-given rights and dignity and seek a life based on moral values rather than financial ones. That is the spirit in which my parents raised me and the insidious rich, like Soros, Gates, Jane Fonda’s ex-husband whose name eludes me, et al truly despise people who think like that because we do not hold them in awe, but rather in disgust. I remember when people were able to discuss ideas and had to back them up with logic and a certain disinterest to prevent emotion from distorting the argument. I remember when political candidates respected us, the middle class, and felt they had our interest at heart and wanted what we had for the poor, as well. I remember when as a young person, the people we looked up to were statesmen, scientists and religious leaders.
      I remember when being middle class was fun and full of promise and the future was limitless if you just worked hard enough and kept at it. But the socialists have always loathed the middle class and have just about leached all that was good from it by mocking us, twisting our and our children’s minds so that we feel the same contempt for our parents values. This socialist mentality is so superficially superior with its arrogant indoctrination that totally lacks self-examination, humor or the ability to listen to opposing thought. That is why it is so difficult to counteract as the victims are blinded to logic and grace.(faith and reason) , I’ve often felt that socialism is truly a disease…a social disease like the Officer Krupke scene in West Side Story. Socialists, whether they be movie stars, billionaires or politicians always reflect those weaknesses. You’ll never hear Soros laugh at himself, or obama use rational logic in a debate or some of the contributors to this website actually ‘listen’ and ‘learn’ from other contributors. Socialism by its very nature, kills creativity because it stifles free thought and a free economy and a free love of God. Socialism is like hardening of arteries and the body finally dies from lack of nutrients and air. I am proud of being in the middle class tradition of my ancestors, free men!…the creative, innovative class. You can ‘t name many artists, musicians, scientists etc that came from the upper classes…Rembrandt, Bach and Mozart were from the middle class. Without a middle class your have what we’re seeing happening in this country…the haves and the have nots.

    • Abeca Christian says:


    • Abeca Christian says:

      You are correct lisag, it’s going to be painful in the next four years….I don’t want to hear their complaints…those fools who didn’t vote for Romney. I am so tired of this…people do not contain enough common sense. Being at the bottom of the middle class classification, it is a struggle…even the poor who do work and are honest, they too get sucked in…you would have to be practically homeless to receive any support but who wants it from an evil government!

      My friend was telling me that Obama wants everyone to either work for the government or depend on the government…PERIOD. It’s sick.

  10. I agree with Austin Ruse”s evaluation of the Romney campaign and would add two further considerations: The Catholic and Pro LIfe voting public have done little to convince the Republicans to stand firm on the life issues and on the economic interest issues. Also, the Catholic Bishops and their state Catholic Conference Directors, esp., in California, have encouraged, through political apathy, the Democrats to retain abortion and family planning funding by their continual focus on restorative justice for prisoners, green energy interests, and illegal immigrants rights while sidetracking the life and death issues for babies, the fragile elderly and the disabled..

    • ” Also, the Catholic Bishops, esp. . . . . in California, have encouraged, through political apathy, the Democrats to retain abortion and family planning funding by their continual focus on restorative justice for prisoners, green energy interests, and illegal immigrants rights while sidetracking the life and death issues for babies, the fragile elderly and the disabled. ” – yes CA Bishops have their priorities upside down.

  11. Anton L. Seidl says:

    Quibbling over who is a better Republican and who is a RINO deflected our attention from the essential point of this election, the pro-life issue. The contrast between Gov. Romney and Pres. Obama could not have been more clearly delineated. Those of you hesitating and fidgety conservatives looking for the perfect candidate rejected a good man and allowed the worst possible alternative to retain the White House. Obama will have a chance to appoint at least two supreme court justices and set back the pro-life cause for decades to come. You ought to be proud of yourselves!

  12. Maryanne Leonard says:

    Romney would have defunded Planned Parenthood, and Obama defends it. Amazing how one little vowel changes everything, embracing a baby’s precious life, vs. murdering unborn babies, slashing them to bits with silver knives and snuffing it out with fatal chemicals, in attacks in no way different from chemical warfare, except that one’s opponent is defenseless. A vote for Obama is a vote against unplanned parenthood and for murder. It is impossible for me to understand how anyone who voted for Obama can call themselves Catholic. Clearly they are pro-murder of babies. This is against the 10 Commandments and everything we are taught as Catholics to be right and true. These people are just hypocrites of the worst variety, the accomplices of murderers, and/or closet atheists with a church-going habit. I refuse to recognize them as my fellow Catholics unless they go to confession, repent, and resolve sincerely never sin against innocent unborn babies and the concept of freedom of religion in America ever again. If I were a priest, I’d be in trouble for my stated beliefs, but thankfully I’m free to call ‘em as I see them.

  13. The Republicans lose not because they support pro-life issues. The problem is they narrow pro-life issues to a select few and regularly fail how destructive the laissez-faire economic policies they support undermine all other pro-life issues. You can’t oppose abortion and deny the impact rising costs of healthcare pushed by a select few in the industry world with deep-pockets have on women/families giving birth. You can’t oppose abortion and neglect the spiraling cost of housing. You can’t oppose abortion and You can’t oppose euthanasia and likewise turn your back of healthcare for the seriously ill or senior citizens.

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