Time's Scherer Blasts Obama Ad That Skews Mitt Romney's Position on Abortion

July 13th, 2012 12:45 PM

As we noted previously and to its credit, the Washington Post has been critical of misleading Barack Obama attack ads on Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Now Time magazine has taken to fact-checking an Obama ad which hits Mitt Romney on a hot-button social issue: abortion.

Time magazine's Michael Scherer -- no Romney backer he -- slammed the Obama spot as "centered on a clear untruth," and delved into the comments the ad took wildly out of context in order to appeal to women voters on the basis of a "scary falsehood" (emphases mine):

Here is the part that is false: “Romney backed a law that outlaws all abortion even in cases of rape or incest.” Romney has not backed a law like that.

His stated position since 2005, when he went from being a pro-choice politician to a pro-life politician, is that he supports an exemption for rape, incest and risk to the life of the mother. He said it here to the Des Moines Register in December of 2011, and here in the National Review in June of 2011. He said it all through the 2007 campaign. He even said it in 2005 in a Boston Globe Op-Ed announcing the end of his pro-choice approach to politics. “I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother,” he wrote. Not much nuance there.

But the hobgoblin of a politician opposing abortion with an exemption for rape and incest is far less scary than the hobgoblin of a politician who believes a raped woman must bring the resulting child to term. So the Obama campaign has made up a scary falsehood. They justify the falsehood by pointing to this single exchange from a 2007 debate, in which Romney says he would hypothetically like the idea of an America with a broad consensus that all abortion was a bad thing.

You may recall that in January 2010, Scherer attacked Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Martha Coakley for "gutter" politics for her misleading ads on emergency contraception targeted at Republican opponent Scott Brown.

You can read the full July 11 post here.


Kudos to Scherer for his fact-checking. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that the major broadcast networks nor cable news networks will devote significant on-air segments to alert viewers of the untruths that are doubtless being aired during their commercial breaks.