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Michael Steele is now pro-choice except when he's pro-life

March 12, 2009

Jake Turcotte/AP photo

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Mark your calendars. This could be the first time Republicans are saying "Chris Matthews is right."

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No, Matthews wasn't donning a "Drill, Baby, Drill" T-shirt or anything last night. Rather, the Hardball host expressed bewilderment at something said by GOP chair Michael Steele.

Abortion

Mainly Steele's position on abortion rights. He said he was pro-choice. Well, pro-choice until he put a statement out saying he was pro-life.

Matthews was discussing an interview GQ magazine's Lisa DePaulo had with the embattled Republican chief.

After reviewing the interview, Matthews said, "I have no idea what this man is saying."

What?

Take a look:

How much of your pro-life stance, for you, is informed not just by your Catholic faith but by the fact that you were adopted?
Oh, a lot. Absolutely. I see the power of life in that—I mean, and the power of choice! The thing to keep in mind about it… Uh, you know, I think as a country we get off on these misguided conversations that throw around terms that really misrepresent truth.
Explain that.
The choice issue cuts two ways. You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life. So, you know, I think the power of the argument of choice boils down to stating a case for one or the other.
Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?
Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice.
You do?
Yeah. Absolutely.
Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?
I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.
Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?
The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

In summary

So Steele appears to be saying he supports an individual's right to choose, adding that the outcome of Roe v. Wade was wrong. Further, he's pro-choice in the states that would allow choice. But not in other states. Right?

Wrong.

Oops

Following the latest trend of Republicans issuing statements clarifying what they meant, the GOP chair issued a statement clarifying what he meant.

"I am pro-life, always have been, always will be," Steele said. "I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a 'choice' before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances."
"The Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life," Steele continued. "I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law."

Oh. We get it. In other words, Chris Matthews is right.