How important are women voters to President Obama’s re-election strategy? The incumbent’s latest ad once again focuses on reproductive rights – the seventh ad the Obama campaign has launched on this issue in recent months.
In this spot, we see Romney during a Republican debate, saying he’d “be delighted to sign” a bill that would ban all abortions in the United States. The ad is intended to refute the latest Romney commercial that presents him as some kind of moderate on women’s health.
Obama’s ad concludes with this tagline: “Trying to mislead us? That’s wrong. But ban all abortions? Only if you vote for him.”
Every time the Obama campaign references this “delighted” quote, the Romney campaign is outraged, insisting that it’s been taken out of context. Do the Republicans have a point? Not really – the larger context shows the candidate adding, “That’s not where America is today.”
In other words, he’d sign the bill, but Romney doesn’t think it’s politically realistic, since the American mainstream isn’t prepared to take such a drastic step.
As a matter of public opinion analysis, that’s accurate, but when it comes Obama’s ad, the context isn’t exculpatory. Romney claims to support limited exceptions to his ambition to curtail reproductive rights, but given a choice, he would sign into a law a bill that would eliminate the right altogether. Whether he thinks the nation is prepared for such a move is irrelevant – Romney’s position is that he’d “be delighted to sign” a bill that would ban all abortions in the United States. Period. Full stop.