BC-US--GOP Convention Platform, 4th Ld-Writethru,685
GOP platform draft at odds with Romney on abortion
AP Photo PAMR127
Eds: Updates throughout with outline of party platform. With AP Photos.
By THOMAS BEAUMONT and TAMARA LUSH
TAMPA, Fla. • A GOP committee outlined a party platform Tuesday with positions on key social and entitlement issues far more strict than the presidential candidate they plan to nominate next week.
The platform panel of the Republican National Committee voted to propose a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion without specific exceptions for rape or incest, a position at odds with presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.
The decisions in Tampa, as delegates began making their way to Florida for next week’s Republican National Convention, are a reminder that, despite months of effort by Romney to project party unity, he is out of step with his party’s most committed activists.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the RNC’s Committee on Resolutions, said the platform "reflects the views of the grassroots leaders of the Republican Party."
Romney’s opponents during the nominating campaign complained that the former Massachusetts was not sufficiently conservative.
The platform committee also adopted a position on Medicare in line with Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who supports turning the federal health insurance program for seniors into a voucher-like system.
Romney opposes abortion, but he supports allowing exceptions in cases of rape. He also supports allowing seniors to opt to buy private insurance, but he has not fully embraced Ryan’s more aggressive approach.
The platform is set to be adopted Monday by the Republican National Committee. Romney is set to be nominated for president at the Republican National Convention, which begins Monday.
"The committee and Gov. Romney agree on the main things involving the economy," platform committee member Russ Walker of Oregon said. "There are some subtle differences."
Committee member Barbara Ann Fenton of Rhode Island voted against the abortion plank. A supporter of legal abortion, she said the GOP risks marginalizing itself with younger voters by espousing positions she considers out of step with most Americans.
"If we seek tolerance on some of these social issues, it will lead to a stronger Republican Party," Fenton said.
National polls show a majority of Americans favor legal abortion in most cases. Likewise, a small minority of Americans say abortion should be illegal in most cases, according to Gallup.
A Gallup poll last year found that 75 percent of adults say abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest.Next Page >
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