Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.
Jim Cole  /  AP
Presidential hopeful, former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., serves himself dinner at the Sullivan and Merrimack County annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Newbury, N.H., Sunday, April 15, 2007.
updated 4/17/2007 2:42:33 PM ET 2007-04-17T18:42:33

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is wrong when she contends that "it takes a village" to raise a child, though he told a newspaper in 1998 that Clinton was "very much right."

Critics have cited reversals on positions as Romney runs for president, including support for abortion rights and gun control. He recently called himself a lifelong hunter but later acknowledged making few hunting trips that required a license.

During a speech to New Hampshire Republicans last weekend in which he touted the need for strong American families, the former Massachusetts governor said, "I think it's time for us to recognize every child deserves a mother and a father."

Asked by The Associated Press after the speech if he disagreed with Clinton's view, expressed in her 1996 book "It Takes a Village," that raising children requires a community-wide effort, Romney said he disagreed and added, "It takes a family."

However, in 1998, Romney told The Boston Globe: "Hillary Clinton is very much right, it does take a village, and we are a village and we need to work together in a non-skeptical, no-finger-pointing way."

On Monday, Romney's campaign said his Globe comments were about public-private partnerships, not families. Romney was referencing corporations, not parents, the campaign said.

A Clinton spokeswoman said she was not surprised by Romney's latest remarks.

"To be safe, you might want to wait and ask him again tomorrow," Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said. "He tends to change his positions pretty often."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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