"Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg wrote.
Then, this morning, presumably after some polling came through and his campaign realized that it's August and non-Republican voters are paying attention to what they say, Mitt Romney has suddenly become more forceful about Akin's comments:
Mitt Romney condemned the comments about rape and abortion by Representative Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, calling them “insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong.”...“Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive,” Mr. Romney told the online magazine.
First of all, if this Akin story broke in February of this year when the Republican primaries were still going, Romney would have—at best—released that first statement in the dead of night. Now that we're in general election territory and women are voting, Romney has to take a stand. Second of all, yesterday marks a drastic policy change for Paul Ryan. Salon points out that Ryan has always been against all abortion—including abortion in the case of rape or incest. He's described himself " as pro-life as a person gets," sponsoring bills that would require women to undergo ultrasounds before abortions and changing the requirements for federal funding for abortion from "rape" to "forcible rape." This is quite a policy change, and I'd expect Ryan to make some sort of a speech outlining his change of heart. You can't just issue a statement in the dead of night that contradicts everything you're on the record as believing without explaining to your supporters why you're changing your mind.