August 22nd, 2012
07:17 PM ET

Ryan or Romney – who's the boss?

OutFront tonight – who's the boss?

Mitt Romney's stated position is that abortion should be illegal except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in serious danger. Today, his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan called it "a good step in the right direction."

Now, here's one thing we know for sure about Ryan. He's precise. He likes his facts, his figures, his numbers. He's written 4 budgets totaling hundreds of pages. He thinks before he speaks, and even bragged about that today. So that statement, that his boss's position heading in the "right direction," could only mean one thing.

On abortion, Paul Ryan's record is very consistent. he received a score of zero from NARAL Pro-Choice America, meaning he has voted against every pro-choice piece of legislation that group has backed.

And he has a 100 percent rating from the National Right to Life Committee, meaning he's backed every piece of anti-abortion legislation that group has supported.

As the Wisconsin State Journal simply reported in 1998 when Ryan first ran for Congress: "Ryan said he opposes all abortions."

And Ryan told The Weekly Standard in 2010: "I'm as pro-life as a person gets. ... I'm never going to not vote pro-life."

Ryan makes up his mind and sticks to it. He's long said he only supports abortions if the mother's life is at risk but not in the cases of rape and incest. But now that's changing – on this issue, he says he's deferring to his boss.

But where does his boss really stand? After all, Mitt Romney has gone back and forth on this very issue. In 1994, when Romney was running against Ted Kennedy for his senate seat, he not only said that he believes in a woman's right to choose, he said that Roe v. Wade should be sustained.

Fast forward 13 years, to 2007. Romney was competing with his fellow Republicans for the GOP presidential nomination and this time called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. And just yesterday, in an interview with CNN affiliate WCMH of Columbus, Ohio, Romney called himself "pro-life" with exceptions in the cases of rape and incest.

This makes us wonder. Will Paul Ryan, even though he's the #2, be the one convincing Mitt Romney to change his mind? We're talking about abortion right now, but what about Medicare? Social Security?

There are a million other issues this question could pertain to. So should Romney win, is Paul Ryan going to be a lot more powerful than your average vice president? After all, this guy is a policy wonk who has dedicated his professional life to very specific causes and views of how America should be run.


Filed under: Deconstruct • Election 2012 • Politics
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