Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Presidential Abortion Politics - A Special Update


by William J. Murray (Pictured with Gov. Mike Huckabee)

Rev. Pat Robertson has endorsed pro-abortion, pro-gay presidential candidate Mayor Giuliani. Mayor Giuliani stands at the opposite end of everything Pat Robertson has claimed to work for all of his life. This strange endorsement has caused immediate problems inside the Christian Right. Randal Terry of Operation Rescue said, "I am literally sick to my stomach over Dr. Robertson's decision.” Reverend Wiley Drake, a former Second Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention, called upon his church and all Christians to boycott CBN and the 700 Club as a result of Robertson’s endorsement of Giuliani.

The next strangest development after Robertson’s backing of Giuliani is the National Right to Life Committee’s endorsement of Fred Thompson. As a politician, Fred Thompson never received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. On the other hand presidential candidates Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Senator Sam Brownback and Governor Mike Huckabee all have had 100% pro-life ratings. I believe the highest Senator Thompson ever achieved was 88% and it was far lower at times. Just prior to the National Right to Life Committee’s endorsement, conservative columnist Robert Novak had this to say about Senator Thompson:

“Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) may have seriously wounded himself with his handling of the abortion issue on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Thompson unequivocally stated he opposed a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution, which is a plank in the Republican platform. Without prompting, he then attacked the idea of "criminalizing" abortion and locking up mothers who procure abortions -- images that are used as scare tactics by the pro-choice lobby. Throughout the long discussion of the topic, Thompson was incoherent at best and thoroughly objectionable to his party's pro-life base at worst. He backed away from his firm opposition to the platform, but he never quite set himself right on the whole issue.” (Nov. 07,2007)

Another pro-life leader, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation then endorsed former liberal (now conservative) Governor Mitt Romney. When running for Governor of Massachusetts, Romney campaigned as “pro-choice,” pro-gay rights and anti-gun. In office he continued to promote the “pro-choice” and pro-gay agendas. Now running for President, he says he has had a change of heart and that he is anti-abortion and against gay-marriage. Another of Romney’s supporters is Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition which fights against homosexual marriage. In the past Lou Sheldon has been critical of governors such as Romney who seemed to have pro-gay agendas.


Why is the social conservative movement in the United States committing suicide? The answer is power politics. Evangelical conservative leaders are backing candidates they think will win rather than those who have been consistent social conservatives with 100% pro-life records. Many other endorsements I will not mention here have surprised me, but all seem to have one theme: “We need someone who can beat Hillary.” The assumption is that the GOP must choose a “centrist” presidential candidate or Hillary will win. The logic goes, “We need a New York liberal to beat their New York liberal.” By that logic Ronald Reagan would not have gotten the GOP presidential nomination. Reagan was too conservative to be electable by the National Right to Life Committee standards and those of many other social conservative leaders today.

Meanwhile the rank and file members of social conservative organizations are being turned off by their leadership. While National Right to Life has endorsed Fred Thompson, his numbers continue to fall in Iowa and New Hampshire while those of Governor Mike Huckabee continue to rise. Huckabee is now in a solid 2nd place in Iowa behind Governor Mitt Romney who has spent $21 million in that state alone. Huckabee has spent just $500,000 there and he has such momentum that he may well take first place on Election Day. Thompson is in fourth place in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire where Huckabee recently passed him. The national polls don’t matter at all because most of those folks will actually never vote in a primary.


Regardless of who wins the GOP nomination the social conservative movement, and particularly evangelical leaders, lose. In an attempt to gain influence by backing pro-abortion and pro-gay candidates, evangelical leaders are losing their credibility. Had these leaders backed 100% pro-life social conservatives such as Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback or Tom Tancredo, their integrity would have remained intact and their word trusted when it counts next year. Unfortunately the desire of some evangelical leaders to walk with the seemingly powerful rather than with the righteous will discourage their base. In my opinion this loss of credibility of “religious right” leaders will actually boost the odds of a Hillary victory.

William J. Murray also serves as the chairman of Government Is Not G0d- PAC

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