(The morning after the 2008 Republican National Convention, that is)
By Colleen Parro, Executive Director of RNC for Life
Pro-life Republicans are being wined and dined, courted and wooed by an ever-growing assortment of candidates for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. They all want us to think they are pro-life, or at least pro-life enough to garner our support in this or that presidential primary. Those who are flipping and flopping serve as testimony to the power and influence pro-life activists have within the Republican Party. They need us. They need us to win the nomination and, because the American people are split right down the middle, they need us to win back the White House.
While it’s nice to know we’re needed, and that finally the establishment politicians have been forced to recognize that, let’s be careful to not get carried away. There are a few true-blue pro-lifers seeking the Republican nomination, and there are others who will say what they have to say to get where they want to go. We have to let them know that we are not interested in platitudes. We want to know what they are actually going to DO to advance the cause of life.
The case of Senator John McCain comes to mind. Senator McCain, who justifies abortion for babies conceived through rape or incest and who supports research that requires the killing of human embryos, visited South Carolina on Sunday, February 18, where he told a crowd of 800 in Spartanburg, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.” (The Dallas Morning News, 2/19/07) His PR people made certain that that quote appeared in news items across the country.
The February 20, 2007 USA Today editorial had this to say:
“The three Republican front runners — former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuiliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — have at various times held positions at odds with conservative orthodoxy. All three are adjusting those positions now, generating what might be called “that giant sucking-up sound.”
As a candidate for mayor of New York, Giuliani embraced abortion rights. Now he promises to appoint “strict constructionist” justices to the Supreme Court, who would presumably be more likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.
When running for president in 2000, McCain said that if Roe were overturned, thousands of women would have illegal and dangerous abortions. Now he says he wants it overturned.
In an unsuccessful 1994 bid for the Senate in Massachusetts, Romney went out of his way to court gay voters and to tout his pro-choice positions. After his election as governor in 2002, his positions began to shift. Now he says that Roe should be overturned and that he no longer supports anti-discrimination legislation directed at gays and lesbians.
These inelegant shifts pose an interesting question for Republican primary voters: Just who are they voting for — the politicians these candidates say they will be or the ones they have actually been?”
Read the rest here.