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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama Hits Back With New Abortion Ad

A day after Mitt Romney released a television commercial that seeks to soften his position on abortion rights and contraception, President Obama is out with a response that all but accuses the Republican nominee of lying.

The new advertisement uses a clip from a CNN debate in 2007, when Mr. Romney was running for the Republican nomination for the first time and answered a question about whether he would sign a bill to ban all abortions.

“Let me say it: I'd be delighted to sign that bill,” Mr. Romney is shown saying with a grin. For dramatic effect, the ad uses subtitles and repeats Mr. Romney's sound bite.

But the commercial notably leaves out the rest of Mr. Romney's response, in which he said that he did not believe that the country was ready for a ban on abortion.

His full response is more nuanced than the Obama ad suggests. “Let me say it: I'd be delighted to sign that bill. But that's not where we are. That's not where America is today. Where America is is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade and return to the states that authority. But if the Congress got there, we had that kind of consensus in the country, terrific.”

The ad also extrapolates something from Mr. Romney's answer that he never said and was never asked: that he would ban abortion in cases of rape, incest and even to save a mother's life. In fact, Mr. Romney has long said that he believes abortion should be legal in those circumstances.

The Obama campaign said the ad would be running in Virginia, where the Romney campaign started running its ad on Wednesday.

Follow Jeremy W. Peters on Twitter at @ jwpetersNYT .