The Saga of the Blunt Bill, In Three Parts

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 29 2012 8:06 PM

The Saga of the Blunt Bill, In Three Parts

ACT ONE: Mitt Romney arrives in Ohio, still glowing from his Michigan win. He gives an interview to the Ohio News Network report Jim Heath, who asks about Rick Santorum and about an amendment that would allow any employer to nix birth control coverage if there was some sort of moral objection at the top.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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 (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.
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ACT TWO: The Romney campaign claims that the question was asked in a mixed-up, screwed-up, no-good way. Why, the Blunt bill wouldn't "ban" birth control. "Regarding the Blunt bill, the way the question was asked was confusing," writes spokeswoman Andrea Saul. "Governor Romney supports the Blunt Bill because he believes in a conscience exemption in health care for religious institutions and people of faith."

ACT THREE: Rick Santorum's campaign blasts out a late press release -- after 7 p.m. eastern time -- bringing everyone up to date.

MITT ROMNEY'S FIRST REACTION IS TO SAY HE'S OPPOSED TO A BILL THAT PROTECTS RELIGIOUS FREEDOMS - KNOWING ROMNEY'S RECORD, IT'S TROUBLING

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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