Wires

Obama campaign: Romney dishonest on abortion

By Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - The Obama campaign onWednesday said Mitt Romney's most recent comments on abortionwere examples of the Republican presidential candidate'sdishonesty and deception.

Romney told the Des Moines Register late on Tuesday that"there's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'mfamiliar with that would become part of my agenda."

A few hours later, the National Review reported Romneyspokeswoman Andrea Saul said "Governor Romney would of coursesupport legislation aimed at providing greater protections forlife." Then CNN quoted her as saying "Mitt Romney is proudlypro-life, and he will be a pro-life president."

That led to a blast from Obama's campaign on Wednesday.

"We saw proof of Romney's dishonesty yesterday when hedidn't tell the truth about his extreme position on abortion andthen got fact-checked by his own campaign," said StephanieCutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama, on acall with reporters. "He's trying to hide his real position, butthere's no hiding when you're president."

Obama's campaign has hounded Romney since last week's debateabout misrepresentations it says he made during last week'sdebate against the president. For example, Obama aides notedthat Romney claimed his healthcare plan would cover most peoplewith pre-existing conditions. Shortly after the debate Romney'scampaign acknowledged that it would not.

Abortion is especially sticky for Romney. Republicans havelong fought to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Waderuling legalizing abortion, while Democrats have protected it.His Republican primary rivals questioned Romney's commitment tolimiting the procedure, given that he supported keeping abortionlegal when he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002.

The 2012 Republican Party platform added a line to itslongstanding anti-abortion clause saying the party supports a"human life amendment" to the Constitution that gives unbornchildren the same right to life as all Americans.

Cecile Richards, the Planned Parenthood Action Fundpresident who is volunteering for the Obama campaign, said itwas disingenuous for Romney to say abortion is not part of hisagenda.

"There's no way for him to hide from his positions he'staken repeatedly over the years - his support for overturningRoe, defunding Planned Parenthood, and ending birth controlaccess for women through their insurance plans," she said."Women frankly can't trust Mitt Romney and the American peopleclearly can't trust him to be honest and just direct about wherestands."

(Editing by Doina Chiacu)

((lisa.lambert@thomsonreuters.com))

Keywords: USA CAMPAIGN/ABORTION