Video: Does Romney oppose Blunt’s amendment to overturn Obama’s new contraception rule? Update: “Of course I support the Blunt amendment”

posted at 6:00 pm on February 29, 2012 by Allahpundit

This would be the same amendment that’s co-sponsored by presumptive VP nominee Marco Rubio. Another damaging stumble the morning after a big primary victory? Sure sounds like it, says lefty Greg Sargent, citing an Ohio TV reporter:

I just got off the phone with [ONN-TV's Jim] Heath, and he graciously played me the audio. Heath asks Romney if he’s for the “Blunt-Rubio” amendment, and defines it. Romney replies:

“I’m not for the bill. But, look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”

That’s pretty remarkable. If Romney knew what he was saying, the Senate GOP caucus, which is set to vote on this amendment tomorrow, may feel as if Romney has pulled the rug out from underneath them. And this has become an important issue for conservatives. So it’ll be interesting to see how the base reacts to this, particularly since the GOP primary is anything but over and Rick Santorum — who’s perceived as a more reliable social conservative — is likely to use this to attack Romney, who will be under continued pressure to connect with social and religious conservatives.

Now here’s the video, via BuzzFeed. Watch how Heath “defined” it, then read on:

Blunt’s amendment, co-sponsored by Rubio, would allow employers to opt out of covering medical treatments to which they have a conscientious objection; Rubio’s own narrower amendment would limit the exemptions to sterilization and birth control for religious groups. Heath describes Blunt’s amendment as “allowing employers to ban providing female contraception,” which is kind of right but also confusing insofar as it omits relevant context about health insurance, the HHS mandate, etc. Looks to me like Romney blanked on what he was referring to, heard “ban … contraception” and panicked, and quickly dismissed it before moving on. You can hit him for not knowing the Blunt bill well enough to fill in the reporter’s gaps (although he has been awfully busy lately), but I don’t think he opposes it on the merits. In fact, as soon as Twitter started buzzing about this, his team issued a statement affirming his support. Even an outfit as socially conservative as Life News takes him at his word, instead slapping the reporter for trying to trip him up. Seriously, how likely is it that Mitt would throw Senate Republicans under the bus on this when even Democrats are crossing the aisle to vote for it?

Exit question: Purely hypothetically, could he have gotten away with opposing the Blunt bill if he had backed Rubio’s bill as an alternative? It’s arguably a better bill on the merits and boosting Rubio would have soothed conservative rage at him for disagreeing with Blunt. It would also distinguish him from Santorum as somewhat more socially moderate and yet it would confirm his opposition to Obama’s birth control mandate on religious liberty grounds. Second look at Romney opposing the Blunt amendment?

Update: People are noting on Twitter that the reporter also screwed up by referring to “Blunt-Rubio” when there really isn’t a Blunt-Rubio bill. Rubio has co-sponsored Blunt’s bill, but he’s pushing a separate bill of his own. Romney might have been confused about that too.

Update: Via BuzzFeed, Romney tells Howie Carr he misunderstood the question and thought the reporter was asking about some Ohio state law. I guess he really did blank on “Blunt-Rubio.”

Update (Ed): Just spoke to a contact on the Romney campaign, who was present when this exchange occurred.  He stressed to me that framing it as a question about “banning” contraception made Romney think that the reporter was referencing something on the state level, not the Blunt amendment in the Senate — which doesn’t have anything to do with banning contraception.  When you do as many interviews as these candidates do a day, miscommunications occur.  At any rate, Romney has been consistent about scoffing at the idea that anyone seriously wants to ban contraception (recall the way he shut down George Stephanopoulos in the New Hampshire debate), and that his support for the Blunt amendment is not a “flip flop,” as some are alleging on Twitter, but his consistent position all along.


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Palinoids, Palindrones, Palinbots, Palintologists, Palinfreaks…and I’ll bet you never once objected, did you? Nahhhhhhh.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

No objections from me about those terms BECAUSE you all behave so grossly about Romney, among others, and anyone who isn’t rolling around hatin on the guy.

I’ll also reaffirm here that I long ago lost any respect for your *group* after experiencing the destructiveness in comments by the lot of you.

Good luck. I hope you enjoy the TV series.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Well, if that’s actually the case, then why don’t you inform the Romneybots to stop bashing Santorum and start promoting

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Well we do… on other sites. But this is HA and most commenters here are like those WWII Japanese soldiers on remote pacific islands.

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Update: “Of course I support the Blunt amendment”

Mitt…but will you tomorrow?

jersey taxpayer on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Wait a second…aren’t you that freak who sat here one night for about 10 hours going on about Palin’s “poofy hair”? Was that you?

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Well we do… on other sites. But this is HA and most commenters here are like those WWII Japanese soldiers on remote pacific islands.

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Where? MittRomneyCentral? ROFL…

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

There isn’t any middle among the ‘bots. The two choices I mentioned are the ones they’ve laid down time and time again.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:43 PM

So you’re a ”bot?

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Palinoids, Palindrones, Palinbots, Palintologists, Palinfreaks…and I’ll bet you never once objected, did you? Nahhhhhhh.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:45 PM

And I believe it is profusely documented at this rate that your “Mittbots” denigration appeared first, like, say, last election, about Romney and anyone who wasn’t snarling about him.

So you all have earned the various names. “Mittbots” is not merited, people with comments aren’t machines, we aren’t software programmed to spam the internet, we’re human individuals with our own opinions. The flippant putdowns (“Mittbots”) just don’t work beyond the emotional age of sixteen or earlier.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

So you’re a ”bot?

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

No, that would be you, ‘bot.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Well we do… on other sites. But this is HA and most commenters here are like those WWII Japanese soldiers on remote pacific islands.

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Where? MittRomneyCentral? ROFL…

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

My point. There are countless other political sites on the net, believe it or not.

Go RBNY on February 29, 2012 at 9:53 PM

\“Mittbots” is not merited…

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Here, Mittbot. Have a Kleenex.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Wait a second…aren’t you that freak who sat here one night for about 10 hours going on about Palin’s “poofy hair”? Was that you?

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Guess who I “sat here” with? A dozen or more Palinfreaks all aghast that someone dared to challenge her ridiculous bouffant.

I recall writing about that “poof” on her head once or twice, remarked about it, asked why she was wearing such — it’s actually a comical, cartoon affect, it makes me wonder what she was going for there — and then ten, fifteen, eighty pages of comments ensued from you “upset” Palin people.

Take her hair (and her) a tad too seriously, now, do you?

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Psst…the post is about Mitt Romney.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Well, if that’s actually the case, then why don’t you inform the Romneybots to stop bashing Santorum and start promoting their candidate?

Then again, maybe they’re still bashing Rick because there’s not much to promote? Maybe that’s why Romney’s ads are nothing but attacks on his opponents? He has nothing positive to say about himself?

Nah. I think we should just all bow down to our betters, and jump on the Romney bandwagon, because anything less is supporting Obama. He will no doubt squish his way to the presidency. Any concern about him is obviously ill-founded and rooted in hatred of Mormonism or something.

Nevermind!
/Emily Litella mode

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I wish I had written that . Great smack down.

fight like a girl on February 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Guess who I “sat here” with? A dozen or more Palinfreaks all aghast that someone dared to challenge her ridiculous bouffant.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

LOL. You’re the fuh-reeeeeeek.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Here, Mittbot. Have a Kleenex.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Well, I can see reason and any calm attempt at discussion utterly fails a rabid animal, so I’ll leave “ddrintn” to continue to freak out all on her own.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:56 PM

What “gossip”? My criticisms of Romney have been policy-based, not talking about his kids like a bunch of KosKiddie-cum-Mittbots.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:48 PM

hwy, easy with the koskiddie insults, they are the ones who organized the Dem get-out-the-vote for Santy last night in MI…if anything you are indebted to them :-)…Santy wouldn’t have gotten half the delegate votes he did in MI without the Dem votes :-)…

jimver on February 29, 2012 at 9:57 PM

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

You need the kleenex the most my internet cuddlebuddy. Been a rough month for you indeed. First Newt implodes and now Santy nosedives.

Was a little worried you might not be able to get out of bed this morning…

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Take her hair (and her) a tad too seriously, now, do you?

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

It’s the Bump Lourdes it’s not an unheard of hair trend.

Dr Evil on February 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

RomneyCare is either a disaster to be blamed on the Dem legislature, or it’s the best thing since night baseball. Which is it?

Night baseball stinks.What were the choices again?

gerrym51 on February 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

This story illustrates the problem with Romney. Nobody trusts him. It was pretty easy to believe that this could have been his position. The focus and positions of a potential Romney presidency are completely unpredictable.

besser tot als rot on February 29, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Night baseball stinks.What were the choices again?

gerrym51 on February 29, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Not as much as Romneycare.

besser tot als rot on February 29, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

ad to that the realization that Santy is the last of the ABR mohicans, they’ve been through all of them, no one left…and that makes it even more dramatic…guess it’s down to the classical stages of grief now: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance…yawn…wake me up when the acceptance phase kicks in…

jimver on February 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

jimver on February 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Last phase will be after Romney wins and the going sentiment soon to be gospel will be “we conservatives carried his tired old ass across the finish line — you owe us”.

Not mentioned are the refusals to donate to the cause with cash or time….

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Psst…the post is about Mitt Romney.

Lourdes on February 29, 2012 at 9:55 PM

John Edward’s he had serious political hair….Romney’s hair knows it’s place.

Dr Evil on February 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I’m a Palinista. I don’t mind being called that. And I’ll continue to use “Mittbots” and “‘bots” and “Paulnuts” and the like. Choke on it.

ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:40 PM

Yeah, I have noticed that some of the people who whine about others pigeon-holing certain Romney supporters as Mittbots, are the same ones who had no problem pigeon-holing anyone who said one positive word about Palin as a “cultist.” What goes around comes around, as they say.

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 10:11 PM

ad to that the realization that Santy is the last of the ABR mohicans, they’ve been through all of them, no one left…and that makes it even more dramatic…guess it’s down to the classical stages of grief now: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance…yawn…wake me up when the acceptance phase kicks in…

jimver on February 29, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Did it ever occur to you that not all of the people who don’t support Mitt are ABR people? You paint with a very broad brush in order to ridicule Santorum supporters. Methinks you may be engaging in a little projection.

This primary is far from over. If it were, you Mittbots wouldn’t still be so busy bashing Santorum.

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Sale on sweater vests at Big Lots 10$ for a dozen!!

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Did it ever occur to you that not all of the people who don’t support Mitt are ABR people?

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM

umm, I must admit that it didn’t…and mainly because it’s hard to believe that anyone genuinely believes that Santorum can actually be president (I can see how some like Gingrich though), other than as part of an all encompassing ABR ‘philosophy’ or mindset…so, no, I can’t really empathize with you on this matter…

jimver on February 29, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Anyone wanna pass this Blunt Amendment around?

Apologetic California on February 29, 2012 at 7:40 PM

only with the funny weed please.

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on February 29, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Last phase will be after Romney wins

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Romney…wins…LOL, good one, Bradky. He’ll be lucky to do as well as McCain did in ’08.

ddrintn on March 1, 2012 at 6:51 AM

People need to get their facts straight before they jump on Romney here..I know that usually does not stop people, but in the end you would not look so foolish..this is the actual exchange:

HEATH: He’s brought contraception into this campaign. The issue of birth control, contraception, Blunt-Rubio is being debated, I believe, later this week. It deals with banning or allowing employers to ban providing female contraception. Have you taken a position on it? He (Santorum) said he was for that, we’ll talk about personhood in a second; but he’s for that, have you taken a position?

ROMNEY: I’m not for the bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a women, husband and wife, I’m not going there.

HEATH: Surprised that he went there?

ROMNEY: You know, I made it very clear when I was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos in a debate a while ago: Contraception is working just fine, let’s just leave it alone.

HEATH: And the Personhood Amendment could potentially be on the ballot in Ohio this fall. What’s your position on this effort, Personhood?

ROMNEY: Well it’s interpreted differently by different states, so I’d have to look at the particular provision. We had a provision in my state that said that life began at conception, that’s a provision that I protected. The legislature passed a bill saying that no longer would life be determined to begin at conception, I vetoed that. So we can have a provision that describes life beginning when it in fact begins. At the same time, allowing people to have contraceptives.

The question was convoluted and should actually have been two questions..Should Romney have been more careful in his phrasing? Probably, but to anyone who actually listened to what he said his meaning was clear.

Terrye on March 1, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Last phase will be after Romney wins

Bradky on February 29, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Romney…wins…LOL, good one, Bradky. He’ll be lucky to do as well as McCain did in ’08.

ddrintn on March 1, 2012 at 6:51 AM

I do not know if Romney can win or not..but he has a better chance than that fruit cake Santorum..at least the Democrats sure thinks so.

I have been listening to all these purists carry on about how conservative the candidate has to be and all I can think of is that these are the same people who shilled for folks like O’Donnell and Sharon Angle to win the primaries and go on to run for Senate and needless to say they got their asses handed to them..in states that could have gone GOP. There would not even be an Obamacare to repeal if people like Mark Levin had not gone out of their way to promote unelectable candidates and with Rick Santorum they are doing exactly the same thing all over again.

Terrye on March 1, 2012 at 7:07 AM

I have been listening to all these purists carry on about how conservative the candidate has to be and all I can think of is that these are the same people who shilled for folks like O’Donnell and Sharon Angle to win the primaries and go on to run for Senate and needless to say they got their asses handed to them..

Terrye on March 1, 2012 at 7:07 AM

Both Angle and O’Donnell led in the polls. That, of course, was before moderate purists in their own party slimed them non-stop and THEN crowed about what unelectable jokes they were. We’re just going to return the favor. OK?

This would be the same amendment that’s co-sponsored by presumptive VP nominee Marco Rubio.

Rubio as VP nominee? I can’t wait for 6 weeks or so of “natural born citizen” debate from the nutters to be picked up by the Dems. It will go on and on.

ddrintn on March 1, 2012 at 7:36 AM

I do not know if Romney can win or not..but he has a better chance than that fruit cake Santorum..at least the Democrats sure thinks so.

Terrye on March 1, 2012 at 7:07 AM

By the way, the polls don’t say so.

ddrintn on March 1, 2012 at 7:37 AM

his support for the Blunt amendment is not a “flip flop,” as some are alleging on Twitter, but his consistent position all along.

And yet, you helped the feeding frenzy and advanced the cannibalism.

Marcus Traianus on March 1, 2012 at 8:13 AM

I listened and I heard they reporter says it Bans Contraception, and that is what Romney heard, he was not asked about Religious liberty, and he did not know the name of that bill.

You are letting the opposing side call this a banning contraception bill if you go along with the phrasing of this question.

Not a single conservative journalist was willing to wait until they asked personally, they like to run with stories of Romney being on the wrong side of issues, when plainly he has said he is for religious exemptions. This was purposefully confusing, and purposefully mis interpreted to play gotcha the day after a Big Double Win for Romney.

Fleuries on March 1, 2012 at 8:24 AM

ddrintn on March 1, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Hey, ddrintn: Why don’t you consult your betters before you embarrass yourself again.

Romney has shown in Michigan as elsewhere a capacity to win votes in affluent areas—which is exactly where (at least in the North) Republicans have been weak in presidential general elections over the last 20 years.

“…would enable a nominated Mitt Romney to carry Michigan in 2012. And for similar reasons the electoral votes of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, might not be out of reach (New York, Massachusetts and Barack Obama’s Illinois would still, I think, be unavailable, but Ohio would be more available than in 2000 and 2004, when Bush carried it). I think the ingredients for this may be present.

Affluent suburbanites are not a target group anyone has focused on much. But there are plenty of them and they tend to be in states with lots of electoral votes currently considered unavailable to Republicans. Mitt Romney’s showing in Michigan, on top of his proven appeal to this demographic—and particularly to affluent women—suggests they could make a difference in November 2012.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/romney-appeal-affluent-suburbs-could-change-map/400536

mountainaires on March 1, 2012 at 8:56 AM

When did the Conservative media become the mainstream media?

Awful, awful reporting in their haste to tear down Romney. Methinks they are going to look back on this primary cycle and regret a few things.

Zybalto on March 1, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Wait a second…aren’t you that freak who sat here one night for about 10 hours going on about Palin’s “poofy hair”? Was that you?
ddrintn on February 29, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Aw, Bitter Clinger holds quite the grudge, still can’t get over people commenting about Palin’s hair. No one ever says anything negative about Mitt’s hair. Oh wait! The difference? We don’t whine like mewling children every time a candidate’s hair is mentioned.

Buy Danish on March 1, 2012 at 9:18 AM

So he was for it before he was against it, is that what he is saying?!

Just like I have thought, Romney the RINO will go whichever way the wind is blowing. And some of you people support him for president??

Sterling Holobyte on March 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

So he was for it before he was against it, is that what he is saying?!

Sterling Holobyte on March 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

No. Is your reading comprehension really that poor? Or do you just “read” what you want to?

Well, if that’s actually the case, then why don’t you inform the Romneybots to stop bashing Santorum and start promoting

JannyMae on February 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

You people call ME a “Romneybot” even though my candidate of choice has been Santorum. Obviously, the only thing it takes to be considered a “bot” by you people is to truly try being intellectually honest about Romney.

CanofSand on March 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

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