By Justin Sink - 03/14/12 04:20 PM EDT
"Mitt Romney will say and do anything in his continued race to the far-right," the DNC said in a statement released Wednesday. "Now he's gone even further — committing to 'get rid' of Planned Parenthood — a critical affordable health care provider for millions of American women — in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. Mitt Romney believes borrowing trillions of dollars from China for tax breaks for the wealthy is critically important — but that 0.01 percent of the federal budget going to an organization that provides health services for women like cervical cancer screenings, birth control and mammograms is not."
The ad features a comment made by Romney Tuesday on the campaign trail in Missouri. The former governor was asked what programs he would eliminate or defund to balance the federal budget.
The Romney campaign says Democrats are taking the former governor's comments out of context to argue that he wants to shut down Planned Parenthood entirely.
"It would not be getting rid of the organization. They have other sources of funding besides government appropriations, but in order to achieve balance we're going to have to make some tough decisions about spending … as I said, the test Mitt Romney is going to apply, is this program so worthwhile and so valuable that we're willing to borrow money from the Chinese to pay for it?" Romney adviser Erich Fehrnstrom told CNN Tuesday.
The DNC ad focuses more on the repercussions of reducing or eliminating federal funding, contrasting Romney's "we're gonna get rid of that line" with on-screen text listing Planned Parenthood services like cancer screening, birth control and prenatal care.
Democrats seem to believe that they have a political winner with the issue, evidenced by their strong backing for the mandate on employers to pay for contraception in healthcare plans.
"Romney also supported the Blunt Amendment, which would allow any employer to drop coverage for health care services like contraception because of personal beliefs," the DNC said in a statement. "The more Mitt Romney panders to the far-right by supporting the Blunt-Rubio amendment, extreme personhood amendments, or saying he will 'get rid of' Planned Parenthood, the more it becomes clear that American women cannot trust Mitt Romney to stand up for them."