MSNBC "Super Tuesday"-Transcript


Date: Sept. 25, 2007
Issues: Abortion

MSNBC "Super Tuesday"-Transcript

MR. SHUSTER: And let's turn to the presidential candidate who comes in first in the Republican polls in the crucial first caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Mitt Romney, as we just mentioned, has been spending more money on advertising there than any of his opponents, and he's aggressively trying to leverage the current news cycles focused on Iran, as we were just talking about with Pat Buchanan.

So here's the radio add Romney is now running.

(Begin audiotaped segment.)

MITT ROMNEY (former governor of Massachusetts): We should be tightening our sanctions against Iran, not welcoming him to the world stage. And I've called on the secretary-general of the United Nations to withdraw that invitation. What we should be doing is indicting Ahmadinejad under the genocide convention.

VOICEOVER: As governor, Mitt Romney did what was right, not what was politically correct. As president, he'll do the same.

MR. ROMNEY: I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message.

(End audiotape.)

MR. SHUSTER: Joining us from Washington, D.C. is Congressman Kay Granger, Republican from Texas, who has just endorsed Mitt Romney. And Congresswoman, in that ad there's a reference to former Iranian President Khatami. He was a moderate, wasn't he?

REP. GRANGER: He was, yes, if that's the way you put it. But I think what Mitt Romney is saying is that we need to take on the hard issues and make some hard calls. I think it's a great ad because I've gotten to know Mitt Romney. That's why I've endorsed him. And I understand --

MR. SHUSTER: But how is it a hard call to deny police to an Iranian president visiting Harvard when a lot of people would say, "Well, wait a second. This is a guy we ought to be building up relationships with." I mean, it would have been a lot better to have Khatami continuing as president than Ahmadinejad, right?

REP. GRANGER: What he is saying is that we need to address issues that are global issues as well as domestic issue, and what he's trying to say is that I'm going to address the issues of the day, the issues that are the most important, and not kind of pussyfoot around some issues.

MR. SHUSTER: Congressman, are you comfortable with the senator's (sic) sort of evolving position on abortion?

REP. GRANGER: I am very -- I wouldn't be endorsing him if I weren't comfortable with it. That's an issue that's a difficult one for a lot of people and a lot of people because of the situation they find themselves in. I am very comfortable with it because he is very comfortable with his position. That's the way he is, I say.

He came to my city of Fort Worth a couple of weeks ago. That was the third time I met with him. So I talked to him about some -- the things that we're facing: policy issues, global issues and the issues that he's most involved with domestically, like health care. And I was very, very excited to meet with someone who says, "This is what I'm going to do, this is what I believe in. And I'm going to do it not based on polls, but what I think is right." That's who the man is.

MR. SHUSTER: And clearly what Mitt Romney thinks is right is to allow the states, like Texas, to make their own law regarding abortion rights. So if Texas, in fact, had that opportunity, and Texas decided that they were going to make abortion illegal, as it looks like the legislature would if they had that opportunity, what should be the penalty, in your mind, to a woman who has an abortion?

REP. GRANGER: Well, you're talking to someone who doesn't have that opinion, first of all.

MR. SHUSTER: You don't have an opinion, but you --

REP. GRANGER: No, I said I don't agree with that. I said my opinion -- I am a pro-choice Republican. So one thing I think that also is important is that Mitt Romney is saying that he has a place for a lot of people and a lot of opinions, but that is the position he is going to take, which I think again a very strong -- a strong person who knows who he is.

MR. SHUSTER: So you're comfortable with giving this to the Texas legislature? Knowing them as you do, and what they might do with this issue that you're pro-choice on, you're comfortable with kicking it back to them?

REP. GRANGER: (Chuckles.) No, no, I didn't mean for this interview to be about me and my position, but I've always said that is a situation that I think a woman makes a decision with their own self and her own physician, her own family.

MR. SHUSTER: Congresswoman Kay Granger, who has just endorsed Mitt Romney. She is a pro-choice Republican from Texas, as you just heard.

And Congresswoman, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.

REP. GRANGER: Thank you.