Mitchell Reports | August 21, 2012
>>> with regard to my own view, i made it very clear i'm pro-life but i believe there should be exceptions in the case of rape and incest and when the life of the mother's at stake. in those circumstances, i think abortion may be appropriate.
>> that was mitt romney just moments ago during an interview with our nbc affiliate in columbus, ohio. once again, he condemned in that interview todd akin 's controversial remarks on rape and he stated his own position on abortion rights which do not match the position we should point out of the proposed republican platform which is being debated today in tampa, will be voted on tonight and voted on finally at the convention on monday. akin's remarks of course have revived the gender wars. stephanie is the president of emily's list, a group of women working to recruit democratic women to run for elected office. how are you doing in that regard in getting democratic women into these races?
>> 2012 has been an extraordinary year for emily's list. already we've had a historic number of women stepping up to run for the united states senate . we have endorsed ten women already this year. historic numbers in the house running. it's really been an incredible opportunity for women to step up and in this environment, they really have a strong position and policy both on economics and on social issues to run on.
>> of course, the romney camp has said all along that women are focused mostly on jobs, on the terrible economy, on unemployment, and that they will deal more with that than with these gender debates over health issues, over abortion, over planned parenthood .
>> well, it's interesting that the romney /ryan camp say that, yet the republican party keeps bringing up these social issues. the democratic party is very much right on top of the issues women want to be talking about, and we now are seeing a presidential ticket who brought on paul ryan and the budget that he proposed, a budget that has really been a cradle to grave attack on the economic opportunities for women , from head start, pay equity , medicare. these are huge important issues for women voters across the country. this is why we're going to see this gender gap continue to grow, not just on the reproductive rights which is clearly after what we've heard from todd akin and the republican party in the last 48 hours , a huge issue.
>> mike huckabee has just heard on the radio he's staying in the race, he's not getting out.
>> here's what's so disappointing to me as an american woman in this. it's not just todd akin and his comments. we really have a republican party right now that has moved so far to the right, as you just mentioned, the republican platform being debated today --
>> it's the same platform they had four years ago and four years before that.
>> they keep just driving this and driving this and i think what is happening is american voters and women are hearing more and more about this platform and here's what's really terrifying. congress in the last 18 months, legislatures around the country have been enacting these laws or trying to, introducing those. keep in mind, todd akin and paul ryan were co-sponsors of a piece of legislation just in 2011 that would have redefined rape, meaning that some rapes matter more than others. this is an actual piece of legislation that this republican party , these house republicans, paul ryan , todd akin and 200 of them stood by already in the last 18 months.
>> this is another part of that interview with our affiliate in columbus, ohio. mitt romney talking about planned parenthood .
>> i've never had the posture of saying we're going to get rid of planned parenthood . what i said is we're not going to have the federal government funding planned parenthood . planned parenthood is a private institution and like any private institution is certainly welcome to generate revenue from fees and from charitable contributions but what i think is not the right course is to have the tax payers paying for planned parenthood which as you know is one of the leading, if not the largest provider of abortion services in the country.
>> your reaction to that?
>> this is precisely why women across the country are going to vote for barack obama this november and democrats and particularly democratic women up and down the ticket. planned parenthood is an incredibly important institution in this country providing health care , basic health care , mammograms, pap smears, the basic things that we need, cancer screenings for millions and millions of women , and this is something that society should be supporting and we have seen the outcry of americans to support planned parenthood in the last 18 months and we will see that right through this election. the republican party led by romney is just wrong on this issue.
>> thank you very much. we should point out we have been trying to get the romney campaign to join this debate today and they have said they don't have an appropriate spokesperson but we will keep trying. thank you very much for being with us.