Did Mitt Romney misunderstand the question about Sen. Roy Blunt's contraception amendment? Or did Romney change his view?
Blunt, R-Mo., has proposed an amendment to a transportation bill that would permit employers to refuse to offer health services that conflicted with religious or moral beliefs. A Senate vote is expected Thursday.
President Barack Obama's admimnistration caused an uproar earlier this year when it said it would require most health insurance programs to provide certain women's health and reproductive services. Many argued his plan, which he later softened, crossed the line separating church and state.
Romney, campaigning in Ohio Wednesday, was asked about his view by Ohio News Network's Jim Heath. Here's the transcript:
HEATH: “He’s brought contraception into this campaign. The issue of birth control, contraception, Blunt-Rubio is being debated, I believe, later this week. It deals with banning or allowing employers to ban providing female contraception. Have you taken a position on it? He (GOP candidate presidential Rick Santorum) said he was for that, we’ll talk about personhood in a second; but he’s for that, have you taken a position?”
ROMNEY: “I’m not for the bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a women, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”
HEATH: “Surprised that he went there?”
ROMNEY: “You know, I made it very clear when I was being interviewed by George Stephanopoulos in a debate a while ago: contraception is working just fine, let’s just leave it alone.”
Some conservatives were livid. Shortly thereafter, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul issued this clarifer:
“Regarding the Blunt bill, the way the question was asked was confusing. Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith.”
Romney tried to clarify during an appearance on radio's Howie Carr show.
"Of course I support the Blunt amendment," Romney said. "I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception so I was simply — misunderstood the question and of course I support the Blunt amendment."