Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz tangled with CNN’s Anderson Cooper yesterday over how much Mitt Romney had to do with the GOP platform on abortion that is broader than the candidate’s personal views.
“Mitt Romney’s words are very nice. But the bottom line is that, his campaign just directed the Republican Party platform to include the most restrictive constitutional amendment that would say to women that you would have no opportunity to make your own reproductive choices under any circumstances even in the case of rape or incest,” Wasserman Schultz said.
“Mitt Romney did not design or direct the writing of the Republican Party platform. The line — in particular, the language on abortion is virtually the same as has been for years. Are you saying that he wrote in 2000 and 2004?” Cooper argued. “And 2008? Because it’s the same language and according to our reporters who were in the room as the platform was being discussed. People could suggest changes, and the Romney did suggest changes to a few sections but they didn’t say anything about the abortion language. You can fault them as you did for not pushing their position. But you can’t say that they designed the abortion section.”
“In fact, Anderson, we definitely can say it,” Wasserman Schultz retorted. “Because even in the previous platform, Mitt Romney has embraced previous Republican Party platforms and embraced that language, and said he’d be delighted to support a constitutional amendment banning all abortion. He supported personhood amendments.”
Cooper noted that “for years, you have to acknowledge, he has for years publicly said that he supports abortion in the case of rape, incest and where the life of the mother is at stake.”
“I can certainly acknowledge that he says that out loud,” the DNC chairwoman replied. “And I think it’s very clear that Mitt Romney talks the talk, certainly doesn’t walk the walk.”
Cooper then went after Wasserman Schultz for misquoting the media to go after Romney in an abortion-themed attack ad. “I’m sure the L.A. Times doesn’t like being misquoted to back up your political position,” he said. “I don’t understand why you would need to do that.”
“Anderson, there is no getting — I’m sorry,” she said. “There is no getting around that Mitt Romney, when he accepts his party’s nomination for president of the United States next week, and they adopt that platform, which has no exception for rape and incest in it, that is Mitt Romney’s platform. And you know, to suggest anything else is absolutely ludicrous and it would be different than any other previous party convention.”
Still, Cooper hammered Wasserman Schultz, defended Romney’s exceptions for rape and incest, and tried to get her to acknowledge that Dems misquoted the paper in their ad, which says that the Times reported the GOP platform was “written at the direction of Romney’s campaign” when the paper never reported that.
“It’s my job on both sides to point out things that are inaccurate, is in a fundraising e-mail to misquote some thing to serve your argument, just doesn’t seem in the long term to serve your argument very well,” the host said.
“I understand your point but I think we — I mean, the balance of the e-mail makes the case very clearly, and the main thrust of the information we’re trying to convey is that Mitt Romney is disingenuous when it comes to his position on a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices and he’s extreme, and has embraced an extreme position and we want women to know that,” Wasserman Schultz said.