EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

September 30, 2012

Column: Obama could teach a master class on the art of the flip-flop

Almost nothing is out of bounds in a political campaign. But at least one blob of mud ought to be, since it could be lobbed at both presidential candidates the so-called flip-flop.

That is not what we’ve been hearing so far, from the supposedly neutral mainstream media. In recent interviews on “60 Minutes” with both President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who was the only one to get prodded about his changing stance on issues? Romney, of course.

It’s perfectly legitimate to ask Romney about abortion. He has sometimes declared his support for “choice” (that Orwellian term still amuses me, because of course it doesn’t mean support for letting a woman choose anything except abortion), and these days he claims to be solidly pro-life.

But to say, or even imply, that this wavering on one of the most significant social issues of our time means Romney stands alone as a craven politician who has no core principles, who will “say anything to get elected” and who plays to the political winds is absurd.

He has plenty of company in President Obama. On abortion, Romney even has company from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, the liberal icon who accused him in a 1994 debate of being “multiple choice.”

It’s a shame Romney, or his campaign staff, hadn’t done much homework on Kennedy, because he was also multiple choice on abortion. He was on the record as opposed to it as late as 1971.

In a letter to Catholic League member Tom Dennelly, which for some reason has never gotten much play in the past 40 years, he wrote: “Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages,

has certain rights which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”

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