By Sam Baker - 08/21/12 04:22 PM EDT
Mitt Romney doesn't have to take ownership of the Republican Party's abortion platform, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday.
Ahead of the Republican convention next week, the party's platform committee is set to endorse an abortion plank that calls for a constitutional amendment restricting abortion — without exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
Romney supports those exceptions, and Preibus said on MSNBC that Romney will run on his own beliefs.
The party adopted the same platform language in 2004 and 2008, but it's drawing particular attention now because of Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) controversial statement that women cannot get pregnant from "legitimate rape."
Republican leaders have condemned Akin's comments and pressured him to withdraw from his Missouri Senate bid challenging vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). But Democrats are trying to tie the entire party to Akin's view — and are seizing on the party platform to do it.
"I think as far as the details of some of these things, like an exception for rape or life of the mother, these are not uncommon differences that candidates have and don't share some of the detail on some of those exceptions," Priebus said.