Obama’s campaign quickly seized on the latest ad as another example of Romney’s effort to erase the conservative stands he took during the GOP primaries. Obama’s strongest moments in Tuesday’s debate came when he accused Romney of not being honest about his own positions. The president hopes to use Romney’s new ad in the same way; Obama talked about women’s health issues at a rally in Iowa on Wednesday afternoon and is expected to do the same at an event in Ohio.
At the rally here, Obama told a boisterous crowd of about 2,000: “Governor Romney didn’t want to talk last night about how he wants to end funding for Planned Parenthood. He didn’t want to talk about it because he can’t sell it. I don’t think your boss should control the health care you get. I don’t think insurers should control the health care you get. I certainly don’t think politicians should control the health care you get.”
Romney’s new ad, called “Sarah,” features a young woman speaking into the camera, saying that Obama ads accusing Romney of wanting to ban all abortions and contraception “concerned” her. “So I looked into it,” the woman says. “Turns out, Romney doesn’t oppose contraception at all. In fact, he thinks abortion should be an option in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life.”
Finally, the woman pivots away from social issues — something that Romney would like all voters to do — with this last comment: “This issue is important to me,” she says. “But I’m more concerned about the debt our children could be left with.”
Several Romney spokespeople declined to say anything on the record about the ad. It’s not clear where it’s playing, but copies are available on YouTube, captured from TV screens in the Washington area, where campaigns often make small ad buys to capture the attention of political journalists or to reach vote-rich Northern Virginia.
The Obama campaign, however, was eager to talk about “Sarah.” Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith issued a lengthy statement noting Romney’s positions on abortion and contraception, including his support for the so-called ”Blunt Amendment,” a failed measure that would have allowed employers to opt out of a mandate to cover contraceptives in employee health plans.
Smith also noted Romney’s statement during a Republican primary debate in December 2007 that he would “welcome” a law calling for no abortions “at all, period.” Romney also has called Roe v. Wade a “bad law.”