Rough on Romney: Wallace Forces Mitt to Admit Abortion Position "Evolved"

Anyone who thinks Fox News goes too easy on Republicans would have to think twice after watching Chris Wallace's rugged cross-examination of GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on this morning's 'Fox News Sunday.' Wallace cornered and confronted Romney until he was eventually forced to admit that his position on abortion had "evolved" in a manner that suggests political opportunism.

Wallace began by noting that Romney has been accused of "flip-flopping on the issue of abortion." He put Romney's own words up on the screen from the time he was running for governor of largely pro-choice Massachusetts: "I believe women should have the right to make their own choice."

Observed wallace: "But now that you're considering a race for president [and will need to persuade conservative GOP primary voters], you say you're a pro-life governor who [wants] the laws of the nation to reflect that view."

Wallace was implacable when Romney stretched credulity by suggesting that somehow his own view of when life begins was crystallized in the context of a recent debate in his home state over stem cell research.

Wallace didn't hide his skepticism: "I don't understand governor. . . the question of harvesting eggs to be used for stem cells, that isn't why most women get abortions. There's a division there, isn't there?"

Hoping to change the uncomfortable subject, Romney suggested that he was "happy to talk about stem cell research." Unfortunately for Romney, Wallace wasn't. "But I'm asking about abortion. And the vast majority of women aren't getting an abortion so they can sell their fetus."

He again reminded Romney that when running for governor, "you did say women should have the right to make their own choice." Then, clearly skeptical, Wallace asked: "Are you saying you only came to the conclusion about when life begins - this has been an issue for 30, 40 years - in the last three years?"

Romney, cornered, was finally forced to admit:

"I'm saying my position has evolved and it changed from where it was before."

It was a bravura cross-examination by Wallace. You almost expected him to turn to the judge and dismissively state: "Your Honor, I have no further questions for this witness."

Finkelstein lives in Ithaca, NY. 'Right Angle', the TV show he hosts, was recently named 'Best of the Best' among public-access shows in his area. Contact him at: mark@gunhill.net

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.