Ann Romney, the wife of the GOP presidential nominee, took to "The View" Thursday to talk up her husband as an advocate for women, though she wouldn't get into many details about her own political positions.
Asked whether she, like her husband, had changed her stance on abortion, Ann Romney demurred.
"The good news is, I'm not running for office and I don't have to say what I feel. But I am pro-life. I'm happy to say that," the candidate's wife said.
Mitt Romney has been criticized for changing positions on the issue of abortion, dating back to his run for governor of Massachusetts. During that campaign, in 2002, he expressed full support for abortion rights for women. Ann Romney said Thursday he was anti-abortion all along, but governed from a pro-abortion rights stance.
This cycle, the Republican candidate has expressed his opposition to abortion, with the exception of cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk.
On "The View" Thursday, Ann Romney explained her husband changed his mind on abortion when legislation crossed his desk as governor regarding stem cell research.
"He could not have, on his conscience, creating human life for experimentation," Romney said. "That's when he came out saying he was pro life. I think we all have to understand this is an issue that is so tender and there are people on both sides of the issue, with very good conscience, coming with a different opinion."
The top issue for women, Mrs. Romney said, was the economy. Asked by Joy Behar whether access to abortion amounted to an economic issue, she again ceded to her husband.
"You know, again, I would love it if you'd get my husband on the couch, Joy, and you could go down with that all you want," she said.
Romney was originally scheduled to be a guest on the program with his wife, but canceled his appearance earlier this week. His campaign said the booking "was no longer going to work in the campaign schedule."
According to a campaign spokesman, the GOP nominee is spending Thursday doing debate prep and working on his speech for Thursday's Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner, a black tie event that's a ritual for presidential nominees. He has no public campaign events.
At a surreptitiously recorded campaign fund-raiser in May, Romney called the ABC morning talk show "high risk," pointing to the political affiliations of the co-hosts. Whoopi Goldberg, Behar and Sherri Shepherd have all expressed decidedly liberal standpoints, though Elisabeth Hasselbeck is an outspoken conservative.
"'The View' is high risk because of the five women on it. The other four are sharp tongued and not conservative, Whoopi Goldberg in particular," Romney told donors in Boca Raton, Fla., earlier in the summer.
Asked about those comments Thursday, Mrs. Romney joked the hosts had misheard her husband.
"No, he said sharp and young," the candidate's wife said to laughs.