CINCINNATI, OH –- Newt Gingrich today tried to link Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as one in the same when it comes to their stances on birth control for religious institutions.
“Romneycare and Obamacare they're too similar,” Gingrich told the crowd inside Price Hill Chili Restaurant at his first campaign event in the Buckeye State this morning. “There's been a lot of talk about the Obama administration's attack on the Catholic Church. Well the fact is, Gov. Romney insisted that Catholic hospitals give out abortion pills against their religious belief when he was governor.”
Gingrich was referring to a Feb. 3 Boston Globe article, which reported that Romney -- in Dec. 2005 -- "required all Massachusetts hospitals, including Catholic ones, to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, even though some Catholics view the morning-after pill as a form of abortion."
More from the article: "[Romney] said he was acting on his legal counsel’s interpretation of a new state law - one passed by lawmakers despite his veto - but he also said that 'in his heart of hearts,’ he believed that rape victims should have access to emergency contraception."
Since Jan. 30, Gingrich has relentlessly criticized the Obama administration for including a provision in the health-care law that requires all religious institutions to cover birth control in their insurance plans, despite religious teachings.
“The Obama administration is engaged in a war against religion,” the former House Speaker, who converted to Catholicism, told supporters at a rally in Jacksonville, FL two weeks ago after hearing the letter sent by Catholic Bishops to churches read at mass. “Their decision last week that they would impose on every Catholic institution, every Jewish institution, every Protestant institution, the Obamacare standard of what you have to buy as insurance. It is a direct violation of freedom of religion and an example of the increasingly dictatorial attitude of this administration.”
Yesterday in Colorado, Romney jumped in the battle, calling the Obama administration’s coverage for contraception a "violation of conscience” and has written in the past that he "stands with" the Catholic Bishop’s opposed to the mandate in the health care law.
But today, Gingrich argued that when Romney was governor, he made religious institutions cover birth control as well.
“Over and over, you get the same pattern. And I think that a Massachusetts moderate finds it very hard to draw a sharp contrast with somebody who is an Illinois radical," Gingrich told the 150 person crowd in the Buckeye State.