Preview of Friday's TIME: Mitt Romney Explains Abortion Switch -- and 'Flip-Flop' Coverage in Press

By: E&P Staff Proving he has reached true contender status in the 2008 race for the White House, former Gov. Mitt Romney makes the cover of TIME magazine, due out on Friday. So how did he come to shift his views on abortion?

Romney tells national political correspondent Karen Tumulty that he changed his views on abortion in 2004 because, ?It hit me very hard that we had so cheapened the value of human life in a Roe v. Wade environment that it was important to stand for the dignity of human life ?We learn with experience. We gain perspective over time, but the principles remain the same. I have a number of principles, and the principles remain the same.?

Asked about the perception that he is something of a "flip-flopper," Romney responds: ?You can make the same statement, and if someone?s going to write a story, they?ll cover one part of the sentence instead of the other, and they?ll say, Oh, it?s different now ? That?s the nature of politics. I don?t particularly mind that.?

On his Mormon faith: ?There are caricatures that pick some obscure aspect of your faith that you never even think about and assume that it was the central element of the church.?

On growing up Mormon in Michigan: ?My faith was not a burden to me. I didn?t smoke and I didn?t drink and that was about it ? I think it?s a helpful thing for the development of the character of a young person to be different from their peers. It?s a blessing to be different and stand up for that.?

Tumulty discuss Romney and his father, former governor and presidential candidate George Romney, and compares this to the Bush family, father and son: ?If there?s anything the psychodrama of the two Bush presidencies should have taught us, it is that what fathers bequeath their sons is complicated ? Now Mitt is the Romney who wants to be President?and once again it comes at a moment that has the potential to redefine the Republican party ? Beyond the appearance and the r?sum? lies perhaps an important difference from the earlier Romney. Whereas George stood firm and true against the prevailing political winds, Mitt seems as if he can dress himself as a politician for any season.?


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