Bob Enyart, a local anti-abortion radio-show host, is planning a national campaign to convince GOP primary and caucus voters of this: "When Mitt Romney says he's a pro-family, pro-life conservative, he is a liar to the base that he needs for the nomination."
"We plan on doing again what we did four years ago, starting in December," Enyart told me. "We began running TV ads in the early contest states, where there's a significant pro-life voter bloc. We skipped New Hampshire, and we plan on skipping New Hampshire again, and focusing on Iowa and South Carolina. Florida is such a huge state, and it's very expensive. But we'll try to get more money for Florida this time, but we had a pretty effective strategy for Florida last time."
Enyart crusaded for Colorado's failed Personhood Amendments and similar causes. Today, for example, his website says he's in Durango protesting at a Catholic hospital that allegedly allows one of Enyart's targeted doctors to treat patients there.
Eyart contends that Romney "singlehandedly instituted homosexual marriage in Massachusetts, and he used tax dollars to pay for surgical abortions on demand," making Romney "low-hanging fruit" for his campaign.
"Romney has done more to further those two goals [gay marriage and government-funded abortion] than Barack Obama has," Enyart believes. "Romney instituted homosexual marriage, never mind Obama's uncertainty on the issue. Romney funded abortion on demand with tax dollars. Barack Obama may dream of doing those things but hasn't yet."
Enyart, whose radio show airs locally on "Colorado Christian Station" KLTT 670 AM, spent "tens of thousands of dollars" in 2008 and expects to spend more this time. The money went to grassroots educational activities and commercials, which were used other groups as well, he says.
"We're very effective at convincing rank-and-file Republican base voters that Romney is the enemy," Enyart told me.
"How so?" I asked.
"The message is effective," he replied with confidence. "Romney got trounced in Iowa. He had boots on the ground for a year and a state-wide organization, and he got slaughtered. And the number one reason given by Republicans for voting against him in the caucuses was that he was lying about being pro-life."
I couldn't find an exit poll showing that caucus attendees thought Romney was lying about being pro-choice, but plenty of polls show that evangelicals are a major GOP voting bloc in Iowa.
In 2008, ABC News described its exit poll of Iowa caucus goers this way:
While a range of factors rumbled through the Democratic race, the Republican contest was essentially about one thing: religion. Evangelical Christians accounted for a remarkable six in 10 GOP caucus-goers, and they favored Huckabee, a Baptist minister, over Mitt Romney, who's Mormon, by a broad 46-19 percent.
And for hardcore anti-abortion Republicans, the abortion issue often blows every other concern off the table.
Even rabid anti-abortionist Dan Caplis, co-host of KHOW's worthwhile Caplis and Silverman show, told Enyart June 21 he wouldn't vote for Romney, even over Obama, if it turns out he's not sufficiently anti-abortion. Caplis, who "likes Mitt Romney," said:
If I'm missing something about him, factually, historically, if he truly is not pro-life, well then, I wouldn't vote for him. So, if there's a question out there, I want to find the answer to it. There have been all sorts of candidates out there who call themselves pro-life and then don't act that way. I as a consumer want to make sure that I'm not fooled.
So are Enyart's claims about Romney true?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the allegation about Romney instituting gay marriage in Massachusetts appears to be false. I looked through news coverage around time that the gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, and Romney was described as powerless to stop it, and he was quoted as an ardent opponent of gay marriage throughout. It appears that Romney was not in a position to stop gay marriage there.
Enyart says his claims about Romney's acceptance of publicly-funded abortion are fully documented on his website ProlifeProfiles.com.
I looked through Enyart's site, but did not have time to determine for sure if Romney's state-wide health insurance plan, so-called RomenyCare, simply extended Massachusetts' existing abortion laws or expanded access to abortion. This is a complex issue that I'll have to revisit later.
Meanwhile, look for Enyart to stick his face directly in front of the GOP establishment on this issue. Anne Counter even hung up on him, and I'm sure she won't be the last.
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