"Mitt Romney Refused to Answer"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 9 2012 1:32 PM

"Mitt Romney Refused to Answer"

Ashley Parker is one of the best reporters on the 2012 beat. This is the kind of story that reveals why, while also revealing the limits of the minute-to-minute narrative. W

Mitt Romney refused to answer questions on same-sex marriage, a topic about which President Obama is expected to speak this afternoon, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC.
“Not on the rope line,” Mr. Romney said, when pressed after an energy event by reporters to comment on the president and gay marriage.

After this, the Romney campaign promises to consider a presser about gay marriage and the North Carolina initiative, then welshes and leaves "without taking questions from the national media." And Parker puts it all in there, demonstrating Romney's dodge-and-grin strategy.

But this is where the story falters.

Asked by Fox News’s KDVR-TV about a bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples in Colorado, which died late Tuesday night, Mr. Romney reiterated his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

We're still asking this? Romney's signature is on the National Organization for Marriage Pledge, which commits him to a federal marriage amendment, defense of DOMA, and a "presidential commision on religious liberty" to defend the funders of anti-gay marriage

For all the derision it got, Eric Fehrnstrom's theory that Romney could evolve when the general election began -- the "etch a sketch" theory -- is being borne right out. Romney's on record supporting an aggressive anti-gay marriage agenda. And yet he gets to approach the issue as if he was teleported into politics one week ago.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.