On CBS, Norah O'Donnell Grills GOP Strategist; Takes Romney's Abortion Quote Out of Context

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Norah O'Donnell hounded Republican strategist Mike Murphy on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, repeatedly hinting that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the issue of abortion during his Tuesday interview with The Des Moines Register. O'Donnell conspicuously failed to mention that during the same interview, Romney promised to "reinstate the Mexico City policy....that foreign aid dollars...would not be used to carry out abortion in other countries."

O'Donnell raised her select quote from the Register's editorial board's interview of the Republican presidential nominee in the last minute and a half of the segment with Murphy, and badgered her guest about Romney's supposed flip-flop in giving that answer:

NORAH O'DONNELL: ...He [Romney] was talking about abortion rights. And he said this – quote, 'There's no legislation, with regards to abortion, that I'm familiar with that would be part of my agenda.' Then, several hours later, his spokesperson said, 'Governor Romney would, of course, support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.' What's with the Mitt Romney positions going back and forth on different issues? He's not on the same page with his own campaign.

MIKE MURPHY: Well, hopefully, the campaign will get on page with him, because I think he's doing great. Here's – here's – this reminds me of back when he was governor-

O'DONNELL: He said, during the Republican primary debates, that he would work to overturn Roe versus Wade, and he would defund Planned Parenthood. Now, he says there's no legislation on abortion rights. Which one is it?

MURPHY: Well, he's pro-life - no doubt about it. I'm sure he would support pro-life legislation. But when he was governor – and he ran as a pro-lifer. People, kind of, forget this. I mean, we did a poll on it. People knew he was pro-life. But what he said to the people in Massachusetts was, look, my focus is going to be the economy. I'm not going to be changing those laws-

O'DONNELL: But Mike, isn't this another one of those issues where Mitt Romney says something, and then, he says something different? What does he truly believe?

MURPHY: Well, I think he-

O'DONNELL: Is he going to go – is he going to be someone who gets into office and supports anti-abortion legislation - yes or no?

MURPHY: Well, you can ask Mitt Romney. What I believe as an analyst- I'm not a campaign-

O'DONNELL: Someone asked him, and he said, no, and then, his spokesperson said –  I mean, I just think it's one of these examples where it's not clear what his position is.

MURPHY: Well, look, the President changes his position on Guantanamo Bay. Politicians all change their position. But I think Romney is - and he would tell you, if he were here - he's pro-life. Does that mean it's the number-one priority of his administration during a time of fiscal crisis? Probably not. You'll have to ask him.