Romney supports abortion exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is endangered; Ryan does not.
“Mitt Romney’s going to be the president,” Ryan said. “The president sets the policy. His policy is exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. I’m comfortable with it because it’s a good step in the right direction. I’ll leave it at that.”
The Romney campaign has stated that Romney’s policy will be the one followed by a Romney administration. But as the controversy surrounding Akin, the Missouri congressman who is running for the Senate, and his comments about “legitimate rape” has ramped up, Democrats have sought to put the political spotlight on Ryan’s staunchly conservative views on social issues.
Asked about his co-sponsorship of legislation that tightened restrictions on abortion— and initially used the term “forcible rape” — Ryan told reporters, “That bill passed I think by 251 votes. It was bipartisan. . . .I’m proud of my pro-life record.”
Ryan also acknowledged that he had phoned Akin to encourage him to drop his Senate bid.
“It’s as you would imagine,” Ryan said of the phone call. “And I’ll keep it between us. But I agree with Roy (Blunt) and Jack Danforth and all the rest of the people from the Missouri delegation, current and former, that he should’ve dropped out of the race. But he’s not. He’s going to run his campaign, we’re going to run ours.”
The presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee made his remarks to reporters in an unannounced visit to the back of his campaign plane. He was asked about his plans for his speech at next week’s GOP convention in Tampa.
“Good, good,” Ryan said of the preparations. “I spend a lot of time working on these things. You know me, I’m into making sure I can give good speeches, and I want to make sure it’s well done. Everybody said that this would drain me, the road. You know, it’s not. It’s great. It actually gives you energy. I’m keeping a good routine, which is great. This is fantastic — the encouragement from the crowds is just amazing. It’s an infectious enthusiasm.”
But he declined to give a preview of his remarks.
“You’ll see when I give it,” he said.
Earlier Wednesday in a visit to a hardware store in Roanoke, Ryan took aim at President Obama for the “you didn’t build that” remark the president had made in the city last month.
He also seized on a local bakery owner’s decision last week not to host Vice President Biden and his entourage.
In his sixth event in the Old Dominion since being named Romney’s running mate, Ryan was introduced by Chris McMurray, owner of the Crumb and Get It Cookie Co., about an hour away in Radford, Va.