First Rudy Giuliani gave to Planned Parenthood. Now Ann Romney did. The Romneybots thought Rudy’s donations were a big deal. (I tend to agree) Now they think that Romney’s donation isn’t. Their argument is that it was a long time ago, it wasn’t much money, and it was Ann, not Mitt.
I don’t buy it. Let me push back.
First, Mitt Romney uses his wife as a political weapon. In 2002, he deployed Ann to be a spokesman about him being pro-choice enough. In 1994, when he was running for the US Senate his wife gave money to Planned Parenthood. The idea that Romney, whose wife is center-stage in his campaign, should not be held accountable for the actions of his wife is absurd. Furthermore, this was almost certainly a joint bank account. And I would be surprised if the donation was not recorded from "Ann and Mitt Romney" or somesuch.
Second, this was in 1994, the year that Romney ran for office. Perhaps this was part of a strategy to try to get (buy?) Planned Parenthood to not be too harsh? I did a Lexis search, and Planned Parenthood did not speak out against him much in 1994, although they did endorse Kennedy. Last year Romney gave $15k to Mass. Citizens for Life. And he’s getting an award and dinner for that. The evidence is clear that Romney has used his donations strategically. I think that it is fair to suggest that this was a donation with a political agenda. That is clearly Romney’s modus operandi.
Third, we know that Romney was pro-choice, just as we know that Rudy is pro-choice. Perhaps Rudy’s donation makes him more of an activist, but the real problem is that it challenges his line that "he hates abortion." This has a similar impact for Romney. He says that, "I’ve always been personally pro-life." This is further evidence that this is not true. In addition, it feeds into the narrative of him being dishonest, in addition to the narrative of him giving money for endorsements or support.
This is not a resolved question, and there will be more questions to ask. Some places to start:
- Was the check from a joint bank account? Is there any record of who the check was "from"?
- Has Romney also given to NARAL or other liberal groups? That would be consistent with his strategic giving
- Will Romney release his tax returns? Both personal and foundation?