Mitt Romney got a surprise endorsement on Saturday from the Rev. Morris Hurd, chairman of the Iowa Christian Alliance, a prominent conservative Christian group in the state, as he introduced the former Massachusetts governor at a rally tonight.
Officials with the group typically avoid making public endorsements because of their tax-exempt status, but Mr. Hurd blurted out his decision tonight in what felt like a bit of an accident.
“I’ll tell you a little secret,” he told the audience of more than 200 people. “I haven’t told anybody else this. I’ll tell this secret out here. Next Thursday, when I go to the caucuses, I’m going to cast my vote for Governor Mitt Romney.”
“I don’t think I’m supposed to endorse a candidate,” said Mr. Hurd afterward, when the Caucus approached him. “I hope I don’t get in trouble.”
Mr. Hurd downplayed the weight of his endorsement, but Tim Albrecht, Mr. Romney’s Iowa campaign spokeman, called it a “huge validator.”
Team Romney also blasted back at Mike Huckabee’s attacks made this morning on Meet The Press:
To correct Governor Mike Huckabee’s misstatements on “Meet The Press” today, Governor Mitt Romney released the following statement reiterating his support for our pro-life and pro-Second Amendment platform:
“Just days before the people of Iowa begin the process of selecting the Republican nominee, I want to reiterate my commitment to our party’s pro-life and pro-Second Amendment values. I am proud to be firmly pro-life. As Governor, every decision I made came down on the side of life and I will be a pro-life President. When it comes to protecting the Second Amendment, I do not support any new gun laws including any new ban on semi-automatic firearms. As President, I will follow President Bush’s precedent of opposing any laws that go beyond the restrictions in place when I take office. The laws I do and will support include decades-old restrictions on weapons of unusual lethality like grenades, rocket launchers, fully automatic firearms and what are legally known as destructive devices and would include similar restrictions on new and exotic weapons of similar or even greater lethality. I am proud of my record of defending life and the Second Amendment.”[# More #]
MYTH: On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Governor Huckabee Questioned Governor Romney’s Pro-Life Record. GOVERNOR HUCKABEE: “…[W]hen he comes on and says he’s pro-life and yet he signed a bill that gives a $50 co-pay for an elective abortion in his state’s health care plan.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 12/30/07)
FACT: Governor Romney Has A Record Of Siding With Life:
Governor Mitt Romney Is Pro-Life And Believes “Abortion Is The Wrong Choice.” (Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “Why I Vetoed The Contraception Bill,” The Boston Globe, 7/26/05)
Governor Romney: “Every decision I have made as Governor in a very liberal state has been on the side of favoring life.” (Robert Behre, “Romney Gets S.C. Support,” Charleston Post-Courier, 1/30/07)
- Governor Romney Vetoed Legislation That Would Have Provided For The “Morning After Pill” Without A Prescription. (Governor Mitt Romney, Op-Ed, “Why I Vetoed The Contraception Bill,” The Boston Globe, 7/26/05)
- Governor Romney Promoted Abstinence Education In The Classroom. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, “Romney Announces Award Of Abstinence Education Contract,” Press Release, 4/20/06)
- Governor Romney Vetoed Legislation That Would Have Changed The Longstanding Definition Of The Beginning Of Human Life From Fertilization To Implantation. (Governor Mitt Romney, Letter To The Massachusetts State Senate And House Of Representatives, 5/12/05)
- Governor Romney Supports Parental Notification Laws And Opposed Efforts To Weaken Parental Involvement. (John McElhenny, “O’Brien And Romney Spar In Last Debate Before Election,” The Associated Press, 10/29/02)
- Governor Romney Supports Adult Stem Cell Research But Has Opposed Efforts To Advance Embryo-Destructive Research In Massachusetts. (Theo Emery, “Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Vetoes Stem Cell Bill,” The Associated Press, 5/27/05)
Governor Romney Has Been Recognized For His Pro-Life Leadership In Massachusetts. “Mitt Romney was a great Governor, who served with honor and distinction. But most importantly, he was a pro-life Governor. He vetoed a number of pro-abortion pieces of legislation and made many pro-life appointments. He was always there for us. He’s a busy man these days and we are extra fortunate that he and his wife Ann could be with us. Governor, you have been an inspirational leader in many ways. And if I may say so, Mitt, you’re looking very presidential. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming our friend, Governor Mitt Romney, to the podium as our 2007 Mullins Award Winner for Outstanding Political Leadership.” (Kevin Jourdain, Remarks, Agawam, MA, 5/10/07)
Massachusetts Citizens For Life Executive Director Marie Sturgis: “Having Governor Romney in the corner office for the last four years has been one of the strongest assets the pro-life movement has had in Massachusetts.” (Kathryn Jean Lopez, “An Early Massachusetts Primary,” National Review, 1/10/07)
FACT: Under The Bill Signed By The Governor, The Health Care Benefits Package Was Developed By The Connector Authority-An Independent Body Separate From The Governor’s Office:
The Commonwealth Care Package Is Designed And Administered By The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. “The Connector administers two separate programs; Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice. Commonwealth Care offers subsidized insurance to people whose annual incomes are up to 300% or the Federal Poverty Level.” (Commonwealth Connector Official Website, www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)
- The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority Is An Independent Public Authority And Their Decisions Were Made Separate Of The Romney Administration. “The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is an independent public authority created to implement significant portions of the new landmark health care reform legislation. The Connector assists qualified Massachusetts adult residents with the purchase of affordable health care coverage if they don’t already have it.” (Commonwealth Connector Official Website, www.mass.gov, Accessed 2/5/07)
FACT: Under State Law And Court Precedent, If The State Is Funding Health Care Benefits It Cannot Refuse To Provide Abortion Coverage:
In 1981, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ruled That The State Constitution Required Payment For Abortion Services For Medicaid-Eligible Women. (Moe v. Secretary of Admin & Finance, 1981)
- According To The Decision, When A State Subsidizes Medical Care, It Cannot Infringe On “The Exercise Of A Fundamental Right” Which The Court Interpreted As Access To Medically Necessary Abortion Services. (Moe v. Secretary of Admin & Finance, 1981)
- In 1997, The Supreme Judicial Court Reaffirmed Its Position That A State-Subsidized Plan Must Offer “Medically Necessary Abortions.” (Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Attorney General, 1997)
MYTH: On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Governor Huckabee Questioned Governor Romney’s Commitment To The Second Amendment. GOVERNOR HUCKABEE: “…[W]hen he claims that he’s really for the Second Amendment, but he-on this show he talked about how he supported limitations and restrictions on lawful, law-abiding citizens having gun ownership rights, those are not the marks of a person who’s pro-life and pro-Second Amendment.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 12/30/07)
FACT: Governor Romney Has A Strong Pro-Second Amendment Agenda:
Governor Romney Strongly Supports An Individual’s Right To Keep And Bear Arms Under The Second Amendment. Governor Romney believes in safe and responsible gun ownership. He recognizes there are people in this country who want to remove all guns in our society and he thinks they’re wrong. Washington needs to distinguish between law abiding gun owners and those who misuse guns.
- Governor Romney Has A Distinguished Record As Governor of Massachusetts In Defending Our Second Amendment Rights. His efforts on behalf of gun owners have been lauded by gun rights and sportsmen’s advocates.
Governor Romney Believes The Second Amendment Protects Essential Freedoms And Supports The Constitutional Right Of Law Abiding Citizens To Keep And Bear Arms. “As president, I’ll honor the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms in defense of their families and property and for all other lawful purposes, including the common defense.” (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
- Governor Romney Believes The Second Amendment Is About More Than Just Self-Defense Or Sport; It’s About The Basic Freedom Of Lawful Citizens To Live Their Lives. The Second Amendment was enshrined by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to protect the rights of our citizens to own firearms. Bumper sticker gun control does not protect the individual but instead takes away protections and penalizes law-abiding citizens. Criminals do not buy guns in stores nor subject themselves to background checks. Law-abiding citizens certainly have a right to protect their homes and their families.
- Governor Romney Believes We Need To Focus On Enforcing Our Current Laws Rather Than Creating More Laws That Burden Lawful Gun Owners.
Like President Bush, Governor Romney Would Have Signed The Assault Weapons Ban Extension At That Time. As Governor Romney stated on CNN and “Meet the Press,” had he been President and had the Assault Weapons Ban extension reached his desk, like President Bush, he would have signed it. That bill did not pass Congress. Governor Romney has stated that he would not reinstate that Assault Weapons Ban. In fact, Governor Romney does not support any new gun laws including a ban on semi-automatic firearms. He would consider limitations on weapons of unusual lethality like grenades, rocket launchers, fully automatic firearms and what are legally known as destructive weapons. (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 12/16/07; CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 11/26/07; The Des Moines Register, 10/23/07)
Governor Romney Supports Court Decisions That Strengthen The Second Amendment. “Finally, let me say that one of the most active fronts in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights today is being waged in the courts. Lawsuits have been filed seeking to take away the individual’s right to bear arms. We have to look no further than the Parker case. I hope the Roberts court takes the Parker case and upholds the Bill of Rights to protect gun owners everywhere. I’ve made it clear that I’ll appoint judges who believe in strictly interpreting the Constitution, judges in the mold of Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas. It’s simply wrong for judges to legislate from the bench. They should follow the law in the Constitution, not make new law.” (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
Governor Romney Supports The Rights Of Pro-Second Amendment Groups To Be Involved In The Political Process. “And I’ll ask Congress to repeal the McCain-Feingold law which sought to impose restrictions on the First Amendment rights of groups like the NRA to advocate for issues we care about. Some parts have already been declared unconstitutional. We ought to get rid of the entire bill.” (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
Governor Romney Opposes Backdoor Attempts To Ban Guns. “We need tort reform as well. That’s the way we fight the backdoor attempt to ban guns by bankrupting manufacturers.” (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
FACT: Governor Romney Repeatedly Sided With Massachusetts Gun Owners And Sportsmen In Defending Second Amendment Rights:
On The 31st Anniversary Of Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL), Governor Romney Declared May 7, 2005 As “Right To Bear Arms Day” In Massachusetts. (Gun Owners’ Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
- The Boston Globe: “Also, in 2005, Romney designated May 7 as ‘The Right to Bear Arms Day’ in Massachusetts to honor ‘the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms in defense of their families, persons, and property and for all lawful purposes, including the common defense.'” (Scott Helman, The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)
In July 2006, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Reversing Burdensome Regulations For The Makers Of Customized Target Pistols. “Governor Mitt Romney today signed legislation approving an exemption for the makers of customized target pistols, who due to a provision within state law have found it increasingly difficult to do business in Massachusetts.” (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, “Governor Romney Approves Exemption For Target Pistols,” Press Release, 7/26/06)
- GOAL Executive Director James Wallace: “Target shooters are an important part of our membership and I know they will be very pleased with this change.” (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, “Governor Romney Approves Exemption For Target Pistols,” Press Release, 7/26/06)
In November 2005, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Clarifying The Definition Of A Loaded Muzzleloader. “Governor Mitt Romney today signed legislation aimed at providing one clear definition of a loaded shotgun or rifle for the state’s hunting enthusiasts. … ‘Today, we are simplifying the gun laws in Massachusetts,’ Romney said. ‘With this legislation, our hunters will know precisely what is expected of them.’ … Hunters now no longer face the lengthy, complex and unnecessary task of cleaning the barrel every time they encounter a public way, nor will they unknowingly violate the law by only removing a gun’s priming device.” (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, “Romney Resolves Long-Standing Conflict In State’s Firearm Law,” Press Release, 11/22/05)
- GOAL Executive Director James Wallace: “This new law addresses a conflict that had previously caused great concern in those who use traditional muzzle loading rifles and shotguns. Now they confidently know what is expected of them and can enjoy their heritage without the fear of being prosecuted for violating a poorly written law.” (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, “Romney Resolves Long-Standing Conflict In State’s Firearm Law,” Press Release, 11/22/05)
Governor Romney Signed Into Law A Provision Providing Free Replacement Licenses. (Gun Owners’ Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
In 2005, Governor Mitt Romney “Suspended ‘Administrative Fees’ To The Natural Heritage And Endangered Species Fund Of Massachusetts.” (Gun Owners’ Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
In July 2004, Governor Romney Signed Major Legislation Supported By Gun Owners That Reformed The State’s Onerous Gun Laws. “The bill enjoyed the support of Massachusetts gun owners because it also encompassed several measures they favored-including a lengthening of the terms of firearm identification cards and licenses to carry.” (Scott Helman, The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)
- NRA Website: “NRA and GOAL supported this bill because it did not ban any guns, and because it made much-needed reforms.” (NRA Official Website, www.nraila.org, Accessed 10/16/07)
- NRA Website: “…NRA members should be very pleased in knowing that their efforts to educate and work with their local representatives and senators resulted in a successful reform action. Thanks to you and the Gun Owners’ Action League, lawful gun owners can now take advantage of this first set of real reforms in over five years.” (NRA Official Website, www.nraila.org, Accessed 10/16/07)
The Law Governor Romney Signed Made A Number Of Improvements To Help Sportsmen, Including:
- Establishing The Firearm License Review Board To Review Cases Of Those Applying To Have Their Firearm Licenses Restored.
- Extending The Term Of Firearm Licenses From Four Years To Six Years.
- Re-Instating A 90-Day Grace Period For Citizens Trying To Renew Their Firearm License.
I don’t get the sense that Team Romney will be taking New Year’s Day off.