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Many conservatives were shocked by Ann Coulter’s recent endorsement of Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy, but her support for Romney extends back at least five years. While this author enjoys her books and her scathing critiques of liberalism, Coulter’s views on both the 2008 and 2012 presidential race reveal a blind spot that raises serious questions about her commitment to conservatism.
It has now become obvious that Coulter is oblivious regarding Mitt Romney’s long record of support for liberal causes. Indeed, she has spent much time and effort attempting to sanitize his record in various writings and media appearances. Both in 2008 and in 2012, Coulter has repeatedly insisted, “Romney should be our nominee because he is manifestly the best candidate.”
Strangely, she appears not to be concerned with the long history of how RINO presidential nominees have so disillusioned the conservative GOP base, they almost always lose to the Democratic nominee.
An early indication of Coulter’s hero worship of Romney occurred at the March 2007 Conservative Political Action Conference, while backstage conversing with Romney. Unaware she was being videotaped, the audio reveals a person who embarrassingly sounds like a star-struck little girl: “You have great answers on everything. The Reagan position on abortion is brilliant. … No, they don’t understand; we hate these liberal atheists. You can’t get these sectarian wars going with us. We’re all Christians. … You’re SO wonderful.”
This exchange is revealing not only due to Coulter’s idolizing of Romney, but it also demonstrated her ignorance on a number of issues. She’s complimenting Romney for comparing his flip-flop on abortion to Reagan’s alleged switch on this issue. However, this is disingenuous as the two situations have little in common. Reagan supported a pro-abortion bill in 1967, but later apologized for doing so, saying he was misled on the bill and then wrote an entire book on the sanctity of life while president.
In contrast, Romney spent a career promoting abortion and was the author of a health insurance plan that massively subsidizes abortion. He also appropriated funds for a Planned Parenthood clinic, allowed Planned Parenthood to dominate sex-ed policy in Massachusetts schools, appointed pro-abortion judges, opposed efforts to save Terri Schiavo and advocated certain forms of stem-cell research – and all this occurred after his alleged pro-life “conversion.” Nor has Romney ever written or spoken on the evils of abortion as Reagan did.
After the CPAC video went viral, this writer had a number of exchanges with Coulter about Romney that confirmed her hero-worship of Romney had seriously compromised her objectivity. For example, she wrote, “The only issue on which Romney had changed his position was abortion,” and on another occasion wrote that “Romney governed as a pro-lifer.”
But she had to know both statements were false. Coulter had received a copy of the “Mitt Romney Deception” report produced by Massachusetts’ leading pro-family group, MassResistance, documenting at least a dozen flip-flops covering virtually every key issue. Coulter did receive the report, since she responded, “Excellent – Thank you.”
This writer then sent her a message about Romney’s abortion record, and she responded, “I looked up the claims of the first article that Romney dissed family groups on sex education, and it’s completely wrong.”
But it was Coulter who was wrong. Romney, during his gubernatorial campaign, announced his support for the Planned Parenthood “comprehensive sex-ed” approach and as governor, never opposed the various radical sex-ed bills proposed by the Planned Parenthood crowd. Nor did Romney ever have a problem with schools passing out condoms, stating that, “If the community feels that condom distribution is a helpful thing, then that community should be able to do that.” Incredibly, Romney even personally contributed $10,000 to a radical, anti-abstinence, “have-sex-with-anyone-anytime” group call the AIDS Action Committee.
Coulter then argued in an email message to this writer that Romney was pro-life because he vetoed a bill requiring all private hospitals to provide the abortion pill for rape victims – but what Coulter didn’t realize is not only did the legislature notify Romney in advance that his symbolic veto would be overridden, but a few days later, he reversed his position and said ”I think, in my personal view, it’s the right thing for hospitals [referring to private hospitals] to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape.” Hardly a profile in courage.
Moreover, after this bill became law, Gov. Romney had the executive power to exempt private Catholic hospitals from complying, but he refused to do so, even though the Catholic Church begged him to do so based on existing religious conscience protection statutes on the books. Romney’s action, or lack thereof, led to an unprecedented assault on freedom of religion.
Coulter’s favorite ploy during the ’08 campaign was to portray candidate Mike Huckabee as the most liberal Republican in the race, apparently to divert attention from Romney’s liberal record. But Huckabee’s record was clearly more conservative than Romney’s record. In a bizarre column titled “There’s a Huckabee born every minute,” Coulter attacked Huckabee on the evolution issue because he allegedly didn’t favor rewriting all science books. But Huckabee’s only campaign statement on this issue was his view that public school teachers should be able to discuss different theories without being fired or penalized, a fact Coulter left out.
Coulter also bashed Huckabee for a statement made on a radio show that he supported the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision abolishing anti-sodomy laws. But Huckabee had already made clear that the caller had confused him with inaccurate information and that he absolutely opposes this decision. Given Huckabee’s long record of opposing the homosexual agenda as governor, it is likely he was telling the truth.
But it was Romney’s views on anti-sodomy laws that Coulter needed to scrutinize. He actually made statements in opposition to anti-sodomy laws in a 2002 interview with a gay newspaper. Coulter was sent this information but ignored it. On the evolution issue, Romney openly said on the campaign trail “I believe he [God] used the process of evolution to create the human body,” and was opposed to teaching any other theories in science class. Again, Coulter chose to ignore the actual record on these issues and repeatedly used her column to attack Huckabee for liberal positions that were in fact held by Romney. Bizarre.
Regarding the landmark Goodridge homosexual marriage decision, Coulter wrote messages to the effect she believed Romney acted properly, but once again, she is ignorant of the basic facts regarding this case. The court did NOT order Romney to initiate gay marriage, and indeed, the Massachusetts Constitution specifically reserves the right to determine marriage policy to the legislative branch. And the legislative branch refused to change the marriage statutes, which, to this day, remain focused on male/female marriage. Romney unilaterally, and without any legislative authority, ordered justices of the peace to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples. Over a dozen constitutional scholars have stated that Romney improperly implemented what was clearly an unconstitutional decision.
When radio talk-show host Steve Deace of WHO radio started to discuss how Romney implemented same-sex marriage, Coulter went ballistic, screaming, “That’s a lie … it’s a bald-faced incompetent lie. … This is equivalent to the 9/11 Tower-7 conspiracy. … I’m sick of talking to your crazy anti-Romney fanatics.” Since then, Coulter has joined the board of GOProud, a pro-gay marriage group, which causes many observers to view her pro-Romney efforts in a different light.
In another email, Coulter attached an article supposedly illustrating how Romney was conservative on immigration issues, adding that any allegation Romney supported amnesty for illegal aliens “is a bald-faced lie.” But Romney was a supporter of the McCain amnesty plan, calling it “reasonable” and defended it at length in a Boston Globe article.
On taxes, Coulter was sent a list of taxes Romney had raised; she responded by claiming, “not according to Cato …” referring to the libertarian Cato Institute. But Cato said that Romney’s claim to have not raised taxes was “mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees. He later proposed $140 in business tax hikes through the closing of ‘loopholes’ in the tax code.”
The Cato Institute added, “If you consider the massive costs to taxpayers that his universal health-care plan will inflict once he’s left office, Romney’s tenure is clearly not a triumph of small-government activism.”
To confuse things further, Coulter, at the 2011 CPAC, said, “If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee, and we will lose.” But just a few months later she decides to endorse Romney, the candidate she had said could not win. Strange.
Steve Baldwin is a former California state legislator, former executive director of the Council for National Policy, and author of many articles and two books, including the WND Books-published “From Crayons to Condoms.”