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Political Notebook

Jane Romney says brother, Mitt, will not allow a ban on abortions

Mitt Romney’s oldest sister, Jane, said Wednesday a federal ban on abortion is “never going to happen” on her brother’s watch if he is elected president.

“He’s not going to be touching any of that,” Jane Romney told the National Journal after a “Women for Mitt” event in Tampa, where the Republican National Convention is being held this week. “It’s not his focus.”

On Tuesday, the Republican Party adopted a platform that calls for a constitutional amendment banning abortions in all cases.

Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee, has said he opposes abortions in most cases but favors exceptions for victims of rape and incest and for women whose lives are endangered by their pregnancies.


At other times, Romney has sounded less open to abortion, such as when he said on Fox News in October that it would be “wonderful” if the country could “agree we’re not going to have legal abortion in the nation.”

President Obama’s reelection campaign has cited statements like that in accusing Romney of wanting to deny abortion services to rape victims.

“That’s what women are afraid of,” Jane Romney told the National Journal, “but that’s conjured. Personally, I don’t think abortion should be used as a football in the political arena.”

Unlike Romney’s brother, Scott, and other family members, Jane Romney has maintained a low profile throughout the campaign and has not served as his surrogate.

She told the National Journal she is working as an actress in Los Angeles, adding she is in Tampa to support her brother.

Jane Romney said her brother understands the backlash that could follow if he were to lead enactment of a federal abortion ban.

“Women would take to the streets,” she said. “Women fought for our choice. We’re not going to go back.”

Callum Borchers, Globe Correspondent


With congressman’s rise, delegates from Wisconsin revel in the spotlight

TAMPA — Beer, bratwurst, and a polka band greeted the new royalty at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday afternoon. When you are from Wisconsin, you do not put on airs. Instead, you break out aluminum trays of “hot dish’’ casserole and Rice Krispies treats.

The state’s delegation gathered under a huge tent near the convention hall to revel in their sky-high influence. Wisconsin Republicans have a congressman, Paul Ryan, on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee; another homegrown son, Reince Priebus, who serves as chairman of the Republican National Committee and is in charge of the convention; and a governor, Scott Walker, whose national profile soared after he weathered a union-backed recall election in June.

“What you see is what you get,’’ with Ryan and the rest of the Wisconsinites, said Maripat Kruger, a delegate from Menomonie.

Ryan, who briefly appeared at the event, will do more than deliver Wisconsin to the GOP, she said.

Working the back of the tent was Wisconsin Representative Sean Duffy, a former competitive lumberjack who won office after showing off his log-rolling skills in campaign spots. Duffy is familiar with Boston, having appeared in the MTV reality show “The Real World: Boston,’’ in the 1997 season.

Ryan, said Duffy, has won the respect of conservatives and liberals alike for his command of budget detail and his cordial and substantive debating style. And now Wisconsin has won new respect at the convention, he said.


This year its delegation has prime floor space in the Tampa Bay Times Forum and is staying in a bank of hotel rooms in the downtown Hyatt Regency Tampa, a few blocks away.

Christopher Rowland, Globe Staff

Christopher Rowland

Magazine bags Paul Ryan for hunting profile

Voters, meet Paul Ryan, “diehard deer hunter.”

Branded as a budget hawk and policy wonk, Mitt Romney’s running mate is re-introducing himself as an avid outdoorsman and bow-hunter in an interview for the October edition of Deer & Deer Hunting magazine. The upcoming issue — whose cover declares a camouflaged Ryan to be a “diehard deer hunter” — will not hit newsstands until Sept. 4, but the magazine published an online preview of the Ryan interview on Wednesday, the day he will accept the GOP vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Ryan gave the interview before Romney announced his selection of the Wisconsin congressman earlier this month. But the timing of its release dovetails with the Romney campaign’s effort to market Ryan, in part, as a candidate whose support of gun rights is rooted in personal experience — an image Romney has tried unsuccessfully to project on his own.

In remarks at his hometown high school in Janesville, Wis. Monday — billed as a preview of his convention speech — Ryan cast himself among those who “cling to guns or religion,” as President Obama described some voters in 2008.

“From a guy who goes to St. John Vianney over there, whose tree stand is over about six miles that direction and that direction, this Catholic deer hunter is guilty as charged and proud of that,” Ryan said, drawing cheers from supporters at his alma mater.


In the magazine interview, Ryan described his fascination with “deer strategy and habitat,” saying he owns a “whole row of books” on the subject. In Ryan’s basement are “some big chest freezers . . . for my pheasants, ducks, deer, and other game.”

His heroes include Chuck Adams, a member of the Bowhunters Hall of Fame, the first archer to shoot and kill all 27 species of North American big game — an accomplishment known as the “super slam.”

Romney has tried in the past to portray himself as an active hunter. In 2007, during his first White House run, Romney told a New Hampshire man wearing a National Rifle Association hat, “I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life.”

Later, Romney acknowledged he had been hunting only twice in his life: once when he hunted rabbits with his cousins in Idaho at age 15 and again when he shot quail in Georgia with major donors to the Republican Governors Association in 2006.

Callum Borchers, Globe Correspondent

Callum Borchers

For just a while, romance takes over the political arena

TAMPA — It was not all politics at the convention. There was time for romance, too.

Republican National Convention production manager Bradley Thomson, 32, proposed to Laura Bowman, 27, on the convention stage Wednesday morning. Thomson led Bowman onstage, where the screens were filled with pictures of the couple and their dog. Thomson got down on one knee, and Bowman immediately accepted.


She later said that the engagement was a surprise, although she knew something was up. ‘‘I thought there was something fishy when he said that there was a sound problem, because there never is,’’ Bowman said.

Associated Press

Associated Press

Callum Borchers