BOSTON – An adviser to Gov. Mitt Romney (search) who was quoted in a political magazine as saying his boss is "faking it as a pro-choice friendly" on abortion said the phrase was taken out of context.
Political adviser Michael Murphy said the quotation in the latest National Review magazine was made as he was "discussing a characterization the governor's critics use."
"I regret the quote and any confusion it might have caused," Murphy said in a statement Thursday.
The magazine quoted him as saying of Romney, "He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly."
A first-term Republican, Romney has said he personally opposes abortion (search) but would do nothing to roll back abortion rights in Massachusetts as governor.
Romney spokeswoman Julie Teer said the governor has kept his promise not to tamper with the state's abortion laws.
But his political foes have said he is trying to tailor a more conservative message on social issues as he weighs a possible run for president in 2008.
During the 2002 election, Romney said that although he personally opposes abortion, he would support state and federal laws that guarantee abortion rights. He also said his position was no different from that of his Democratic opponent, then state Treasurer Shannon O'Brien (search), an abortion rights supporter.
Romney told USA Today for an article published last week that he is "personally pro-life," but declined further comment on his abortion views.
"I choose not to elaborate on those because I don't want to be confusing to the people in my state," Romney told the newspaper.