Or so says NRO’s Byron York in a great article. There are a bunch of really important parts to this article. The first is about how Romney is using his religion to cover for his record:
Oran Smith, pro-life, questions Romney’s explanation in a more subtle way. In talks with conservative Christians, Smith points out, Romney has often addressed the issue of his Mormon faith by saying something to the effect of, “Our faiths are different, but they bring us to the same positions on the issues.” But by all accounts, Romney was a faithful Mormon when he was solidly pro-choice, and he is a faithful Mormon today when he is solidly pro-life. How, precisely, did his faith bring him to different positions, then and now? “Christians generally like for someone to have a conversion experience and a mea culpa moment,” says Smith. “But he doesn’t have that to turn to. He can’t say, ‘My faith changed, and therefore my views changed.’ That’s the normal thing with Republicans who move to the right on some issues — they claim to have had some spiritual transformation.”
In other words, Romney raises the issue of his religion to imply he’s a conservative (when he or his staff doesn’t just lie about it outright) I have said before that it is better for Romney to talk about Mormonism than it is to talk about his record. Article 6 Blog tried to sell this same proposition today by saying that Mormons and Southern Baptists have more in common, politically, than people who share similar theology, like Southern Baptists and the Sojourners crowd. Romney’s problem is that his politics haven’t been driven by his belief, as the quote above demonstrates.
The other just speaks for itself. Remember, Romney’s conversion is not that he’s changed positions but rather that his stem-cell conversion experience made him stand up for what he believed in more. But that’s not what one pro-choice activist saw:
Pro-choice activists who interviewed Romney at the time remember an unmistakable commitment to abortion rights. “He was very clear about wanting to make clear that he was pro-choice,” recalls Melissa Kogut, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “He clearly was convincing us that he was pro-choice, and he was aggressive about it.”
In the end, the real point is:
“When it becomes a pattern, that’s what causes people to be fearful,” says Oran Smith, head of the pro-life Palmetto Family Council, who has not committed to any candidate in the race. “The Reagan thing, the abortion thing, the gay thing — if you mix all of that together, is there a pattern?”
A number of people have commented that Romney is lucky that this is happening now, but I’m not so sure. His supporters are detecting that there’s a pattern, and I have heard rumors that people are beginning to bail in California and Michigan.