The EFM Feature

Thanks the recent round of coverage in the New York Times (addressed by Charles here) and to the efforts of folks at PAC, it seems that some of Romney’s most dedicated (obsessed?) opponents on the web–including Gary Glenn and Patrick Hynes–think that the Governor is finally exposed as either a closet liberal or a hypocrite. Apparently, the Governor’s lack of credibility as a social conservative is now so obvious that our “conscience has to kick in.”
I think we can all stipulate that in 1994 the Governor ran on what I would describe as a liberal platform on both abortion and homosexual issues. I profoundly disagree with his 1994 statements on abortion and “gay rights.” But I was fully aware of these statements and positions when I began supporting the Governor, and none of these recent revelations constitute a “gotcha” moment for me (or anyone else at EFM).
You see, I believe that some of the most persuasive and effective leaders are people who have actually–after reflection and experience–changed their positions on issues. If our Republican ideal is “once pro-choice, always pro-choice” or “once pro ‘gay rights,’ always pro ‘gay rights,’” then our voice will be small indeed.
The fact of the matter is that a man who leads a nation of 300 million people must be capable of more than simply preaching to the choir. All other things being equal, who is more persuasive to those in the political center or those who are wavering on a given issue: A man who says, “I’ve always been pro-life, and here’s why” or a man who can say, “I was once where you were, and through hard-earned experience, I came to realize that we must uphold a culture of life?”
I for one am sick to death of a polarized nation and late-night, contested elections. I would actually like to see someone win the presidency who can not only advance and protect the values I hold dear but also persuade Americans and grow the conservative coalition. The story behind Governor Romney’s transformation on cultural issues can be powerful asset to a campaign. He has seen what it looks like when the left dominates the culture of a state, and he can warn us against walking down that path.
So the media and Gary Glenn and Patrick Hynes can keep sending me lurid quotes from 1994 (or posting screen shots of homosexual newspapers from the same period), but all of these quotes and all of these pictures cannot change the following facts:
1. At a key moment in American history, Governor Romney stood for traditional marriage, and he did so in a way that was honorable, courageous, and persuasive;
2. As Governor, Mitt Romney defended life, and his personal story of transformation on the life issue can and will persuade Americans to rethink their own views on the issues; and
3. When faced–in the case of the homosexual activists’ assault on Catholic Charities–with a direct conflict between “gay rights” and fundamental religious liberties, Governor Romney made the right choice and defended religious freedom.
And we should never forget that he did all those things while pulling Massachusetts out of a fiscal black hole, leading the state to top national results in education, and creating an innovative solution to an emerging health care crisis.
Now that’s a record to run on.

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