After criticizing Mitt Romney’s abortion flip-flop last week, John McCain has struck again. A blog entry at the New York Times discusses the McCain campaign’s latest allegations that Mitt Romney flip-flopped on the hot-button issue of public funding for embryonic stem cell research.
On abortion, Romney has clearly switched his position — it’s up to the individual voter to decide if he flip-flopped or if he changed his mind for non-political reasons. But do these stem cell charges hold water?
The McCain campaign’s charge relies on this video of a March 2005 press conference:
Then-Governor Romney repeatedly states that he supports stem cell research within “ethical boundaries” and that (in Massachusetts at least) it should be researched as part of a broader approach:
ROMNEY: I’m looking forward to seeing what bill comes forward, I believe that stem cell research is important for our state and for our nation, and I also believe that there should be ethical lines drawn around the appropriate research, but stem cell research is important, and I’ll support it, and I’m gonna continue to encourage ethical lines to be drawn in a way that respects human life.
Asked whether both public and private funding should go to stem cell research, Romney responded with a focus on economics rather than the usual social politics: