Lisa de Moraes
Lisa de Moraes
The TV Column

Ann Romney discusses abortion views on ‘The View’

Lou Rocco/ABC - THE VIEW - “The View” welcomed Ann Romney, wife of Governor Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for President, who made her first solo appearance on the show.

One week after conquering an overtly hostile kitchen on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Ann Romney bravely rushed in again where her husband apparently feared to tread, sitting with the sharp-tongued, non-conservative Ladies of ABC’s daytime talker, “The View.”

What are her views on abortion? the Ladies wanted to know.

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Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites.

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How does she explain to widows of war dead that neither her husband nor any of her five sons served in the military?

And: Why doesn’t she watch TV?

“The good news is, I’m not running for office and I don’t have to say what I feel,” the GOP first-lady hopeful said pointedly, scoring off “The View” den mother, Barbara Walters, something good in reply to Babs’s abortion question. Point made, Romney then added that she’s “happy to say” she’s “pro-life.”

Speaking for her husband, who is the former governor of Massachusetts, Romney said: “Mitt has always been a pro-life person. He governed, when he ran, as a pro-choice, but when a decision came across his desk . . . to use embryos for experimentation, he could not have [that] on his conscience, creating human life for experimentation. And that’s when he came out with an editorial saying he was pro-life.”

Mitt Romney was scheduled to speak for himself on Thursday’s “The View,” but his camp called last weekend to cancel, citing scheduling issues, Babs reported on Monday’s episode.

The much-anticipated visit was booked last month, after Mother Jones released a tape of Romney at a private fundraiser saying that, among the TV talk shows he would avoid during the campaign, “The View” fell into the “high-risk” category, “because, of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative.”

But it was not to be. So Thursday morning, Ann Romney was on the couch in one of her trademark red dresses, surrounded by “The ­View”-esses.

“We wish we had the governor on, as well,” Babs began, recounting the “sharp-tongued non-conservative gag” he’d made “when he didn’t think he was being heard,” except by campaign contributors in private.

Ann Romney corrected Babs. “He said ‘sharp and young,’ ” she insisted, looking directly at Babs.

Babs simpered. The other ladies giggled.

It was Whoopi Goldberg who asked about the Romney men’s military record.

“I believe your religion does not allow you to fight,” Whoopi began.

“No, that is not true. We have many members of our faith serving in the armed services,” Romney replied.

Whoopi said she’d read somewhere that the reason Mitt Romney did not serve in the military “in Vietnam was because it was against the [Mormon] religion.”

“That is not correct. He was . . . serving his mission,” Mitt’s wife said. “And my five sons have also served missions. . . . So we find different ways of serving, and my five boys and my husband did serve missions and did not serve in the military.”

“I sent them away boys, and they came back men,” she said. “And what the difference was, and I think this is where military service is so extraordinary, too, where you literally do something where you’re helping someone else, you’re going outside of yourself, and you’re working and helping others.”

As the chat was winding down, Ann Romney acknowledged that she does not watch TV, while insisting she’s “a big TV fan.”

“I don’t want to watch the ads,” she explained.

And by ads, she means campaign ads. In swing states.

“The audience in swing states are sick of them!” she emoted.

And, apparently, she is, too. They put her in a bad place. Go figure.

“I just opted to stay in a good place. A happy place. A positive place,” she said.

“I don’t watch television for the moment.”

‘Animal’ detraction

Crystal the Monkey has been told to turn in her stethoscope.

NBC announced Thursday that it’s pulling Crystal’s show, “Animal Practice,” from its Wednesday time slot after Nov. 7. The series stars (in theory) Justin Kirk as a hotshot vet at a New York animal hospital; Crystal — a movie star whose credits include “The Hangover II,” “Night at the Museum” and “We Bought a Zoo” — plays Dr. Rizzo, an assistant and bookie.

NBC is replacing “Animal Practice” with its benched Whitney Cummings comedy, “Whitney,” on Nov. 14.

“Animal Practice” was given the impossible task of opening up Wednesday nights for NBC. Serious students of TV know that asking a new series to kick off a prime-time night at 8 is generally risky, if not foolhardy — particularly when the competition includes ABC’s hot comedies, CBS’s “Survivor” and Fox’s “The X Factor” — unless that new series includes some major pre-sold commodity.

Like, it stars Ryan Gosling.

Or it’s about a popular DC Comics superhero who has been around for decades and is played by an actor hired for his ability to give women the vapors.

CW’s “Arrow,” for instance, which was unveiled at 8 two Wednesdays ago and both times beat “Animal Practice” among advertiser-preferred 18- to-49-year-old viewers. That did in “Animal Practice” — no Big Three broadcast network enjoys getting beat by CW.

Obama on ‘The Daily Show’

Stating the obvious, President Obama on Thursday told Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, that he had an “off night” during the first presidential debate and that his “presentation was not what it needed to be.”

His opponent “makes a good presentation,” but the “fundamentals of what [Mitt Romney] is calling for are the same policies that got us into this mess,” Obama said during taping of that night’s episode.

Stewart asked how many times a week Veep Joe Biden comes to meetings in a wet bathing suit. “We had to stop that,” Obama responded, adding, “I gotta say, though, he looks pretty good.”

To read previous columns by Lisa de Moraes, go to washingtonpost.com/tvblog.

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