(Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)
After Mitt Romney said that he would "get rid" of Planned Parenthood during his presidency, Democratic groups and the Obama campaign have launched a barrage of attacks against the Republican candidate, accusing Romney of playing to the extreme portions of his party.
The furor began after Romney outlined his plans to cut government spending during an interview on Tuesday with Missouri television station KDSK-TV.
"The test is pretty simple," Romney said. "Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that."
Senior Romney adviser Eric Ferhnstrom later clarified that Romney's plan was not to destroy Planned Parenthood outright, but to cut its federal funding.
"They have other sources of funding besides government appropriations," Ferhnstrom explained.
According to a 2009 report, Planned Parenthood receives about a third of its funding from government funding and grants at both the federal and state levels.
It did not take long for the Obama campaign to pounce upon the comment, with associate campaign director Stephanie Cutter sending out an email blast released on the same night.
"Mitt Romney's comments today that he would 'get rid of' Planned Parenthood show how low he is willing to go to pander to the most extreme elements of the Republican base," Cutter wrote.
Democratic National Committee chairwoman Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz echoed Cutter's words, claiming that Romney wanted to "pander to the far right wing of his party."
The DNC has also already released a 30-second ad focused on the interview, which accuses Romney of "Cutting preventative health care for millions of women to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
Romney's camp, however, has continued to insist that the funding cut is about saving money, not about women's healthcare.
As Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul told ABC News, "Mitt Romney believes it is morally irresponsible to spend more money than we take in, and he is certainly not willing to borrow money from China to fund our nation's leading abortion provider. The real question should be why President Obama thinks that is the right course for our nation."