NASHVILLE — An endorsement from a Tennessee congressman, who in a recorded phone conversation urged a mistress to get an abortion, has vanished from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s website.
Freshman Representative Scott DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, told a Nashville talk radio show Thursday that while there were many difficult elements to his 2001 divorce, ‘‘there was no pregnancy, and no abortion.’’
But DesJarlais did not dispute the transcript of a recorded phone conversation in which he urges the woman to terminate a pregnancy more than a decade ago.
DesJarlais’s endorsement of Romney still appears on the congressman’s website, but a link to the presidential campaign site returns an ‘‘access denied’’ message.
The Romney campaign did not immediately comment.
The DesJarlais campaign has dismissed the details as ‘‘old news’’ that emerged in the last election cycle. But while the 2010 campaign did feature allegations raised during his divorce that he intimidated his former wife with a gun, the abortion element was not public knowledge until this week.