A viral video from 2007 shows Gov. Mitt Romney vehemently defending his faith and politics regarding abortion and sex education.
On the video — made during an interview on WHO radio in Des Moines, Iowa — Romney explains the Mormon view of abortion: While the church prohibits it, "other people," presumably non-Mormons, are allowed to make their own choices.
Romney says that he has acted throughout his political career to stay in line with his personal beliefs that abortion shouldn’t be an available choice for people.
“I don’t like coming on the air and having you go after my church,” Romney said. He added, “You’re trying to tell me that I’m not a faithful Mormon... I’m not running as a Mormon.”
The video features Romney sparring verbally with radio show host Jan Mikelson over the Mormon Church’s explanation of the second coming of Jesus Christ, and whether anything he’s done related to abortion counters with Mormon teaching.
According to Romney, his record reflects the pro-life position that he, and his church, promote.
“I disagree with [the church’s] view,” Romney said. “Politically, I look at that and say, ‘You know what, that’s wrong.’ It’s not a Mormon thing, it’s a secular position to say, ‘I was wrong, we should have, as a society, a prohibition on abortion in the following circumstances.’ But I’m not violating my faith, let me assure you.”
Romney said he was “beaten up” in Boston for telling young women who needed abortions to choose adoption instead, and told Mikelson that he signed every seemingly pro-choice bill that crossed his desk.
The video, taken during Romney’s appearance on Mikelson’s show in 2007, is popping up in the closing days of the presidential election season, which Patrick Mason, a scholar of Mormon studies at Claremont Graduate University, told the Washington Post was suspect.
Though Romney has “learned to talk in such generic terms that he could be a methodist,” Mason said he has seen a lot more discussion of the candidate’s religion in recent days and thinks it could be indicative of a move by Democrats trying to affect the election.
“A lot of people are saying this is a last-ditch effort by people who oppose Romney to bring out the Mormon card, to bring out the weirdness,” said Mason.
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