Marc Ambinder’s got an Atlantic Monthly piece out that includes this:
So—Romney compared himself to Reagan by qualifying Reagan’s “Reagan” essence. That’s hard for Reagan admirers to swallow. Romney also missed the historical point: Mr. Reagan became pro-life against the consensus of his party, and did so years before he ran for president.
Interestingly, though, the Feb. 13 Los Angeles Times says Reagan’s conversion was in 1975–just one year before he nearly toppled President Ford in the 1976 primaries, and seven years after he allowed himself to be pulled into the 1968 race. And both those races, of course, occurred in the wake of his signing, in 1967, a liberal abortion law.
Marc tells us he meant to say that Reagan’s conversion came years before he was elected president. That’s fine–we just thought the record was worth clearing.
And it occurs to me that it’s worth noting that while Reagan may have become pro-life “against the consensus of his party,” he certainly didn’t do so against the consensus of the constituency he had always courted as his base–conservatives.