Skip to comments.McCain alarms base with abortion comment
Posted on 08/14/2008 8:54:39 PM PDT by Alter Kaker
Top social conservative leaders in key battleground states are urging John McCain not to pick a running mate who supports abortion rights, warning of dire consequences from a Republican base already unenthused about their nominee.
McCains comments Wednesday to the Weekly Standards Stephen Hayes that former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridges pro-abortion rights views wouldnt necessarily rule him out quickly found their way into the in-boxes of Christian conservatives. For those who have been anxiously awaiting McCains pick as a signal of his ideological intentions, there was deep concern that their worst fears about the Arizona senator may be realized.
It absolutely floored me, said Phil Burress, head of the Ohio-based Citizens for Community Values. It would doom him in Ohio.
Burress emailed about a dozen pro-family leaders he knows outside Ohio and forwarded it to three McCain aides tasked with Christian conservative outreach.
That choice will end his bid for the presidency and spell defeat for other Republican candidates, Burress wrote in the message.
He and other Ohio conservatives met privately with McCain in June, and while the nominee didnt promise them an anti-abortion rights running mate, his staff said they could almost guarantee that would be the case, Burress recalled.
Now, Burress said, hes not even sure [Christian conservatives] would vote for him let alone work for him if he picked a pro-abortion running mate.
James Muffett, head of Michigans Citizens for Traditional Values, met with McCain along with a handful of other Michigan-based social conservatives Wednesday night.
A good portion of us were urging him to pick a pro-life running mate, Muffett said, noting that they were doing so before even getting wind of the Standard story. That choice would go a long way to solidify his credentials.
Muffett said McCain didnt offer any promises on the issue, but rather reiterated his anti-abortion record and assured them that he was aware of how critical the base was to the electoral success of Republican presidents dating back to Ronald Reagan.
To select a running mate who supports abortion rights would be wrong-headed, short-sighted, fracture the Republican Party and not allow us to capitalize on the Democratic Partys fracture right now, Muffett argued.
If he does that, it makes our job 100 times harder. It would dampen enthusiasm at a time when evangelicals are looking for ways to gin up enthusiasm.
McCain, Muffett said, got that message in their meeting.
Some people in the movement say it would be the kiss of death. He heard that in the room last night.
With polls showing McCain and Obama still neck-and-neck in many competitive states, conservatives argue that their candidate must turn out Christian conservatives in large numbers to win.
In Iowa, for example, many in the GOP say Bush won in 2004 after losing there in 2000 because he bolstered turnout among the religious right in the conservative western part of the state and in exurban areas.
Bush only won by 10,000 votes, recalled Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance and a Republican committeeman from the state. Youre going to have to have a huge turnout of that base again for McCain to win.
And, Scheffler noted, its not just a matter of ensuring that social conservatives vote picking a supporter of abortion rights could erode McCains volunteer base.
Ninety percent of the workforce for Bush in 04 came out of that constituency, he said, alluding to the Christian right. Picking a Ridge or a [Joseph] Lieberman would not be helpful at all.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra, who represents a conservative, heavily Dutch district in western Michigan where Republicans traditionally pile up huge margins, said a pro-abortion rights running mate would be problematic.
Thats not where theyd want him going, Hoekstra said of the party base.
McCains campaign sought to tamp down the uproar, suggesting the candidate had merely been overly expansive about a sensitive topic and hadnt intended to float a trial balloon.
The point that McCain was making is that people can differ on one issue and still be a vital member of our party, said an aide. The fact that Governor Ridge is not perfectly in line with the party platform does not make him any less of a Republican.
In the interview, McCain said the pro-life position is one of the important aspects or fundamentals of the Republican Party.
And I also feel that and I'm not trying to equivocate here that Americans want us to work together. You know, Tom Ridge is one of the great leaders and he happens to be pro-choice. And I don't think that that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out [for vice-president].
He added: I think it's a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life, but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice. We just have a albeit strong but just it's a disagreement. And I think Ridge is a great example of that.
The GOP base aside, some observers believe that picking an outside-the-box running mate such as Lieberman could help McCain with the broad middle of the country who are fed up with the political status quo and enable him to pick off even more Clinton backers.
This move to a pro-choice running mate such as Lieberman could help reshape his message to appeal to swing voters, said Doug Schoen, a Democratic pollster who worked for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he was a Republican and has written a book about moving away from the two-party system. The right-wing is not going anywhere and choice is a key issue for over-40 women who voted for Hillary in the primaries.
But to some in the GOP who supported other candidates in the primary and are having trouble mustering much enthusiasm for McCain, the mere mention of a pro-choice running mate is disheartening.
A lot of the troops here are on the fence or disappointed, said Elizabeth Sipfle, a Michigan Republican and former leader of Mike Huckabees grassroots Hucks Army organization who contacted Politico to register her concern. Lets not get our blood boiling.
Be smart, she urged McCain. Theres a big group here thats already feeling marginalized.
[... Judeo-Christians don’t murder their babies, Democrats murder their babies...]
I’m sorry, but Chritians ARE murdering their babies.
I know someone who worked for Planned Parenthood in
the 80’s. Over 70% check the Judeo Christian box on
their medical form.
My church is full of forgiven murderers. We (the church)
have blood on our hands.
You cannot blame them (the Democrats) when we murder.
Government may have made abortion legal, but that doesn’t
mean it’s moral. God says that abortion is murder. Blaming
Democrats when we choose to kill is as ridiculous as
blaming the gun instead of the person who pulls the trigger.
Funny you should mention Esperanto.
We had the author (inventor?) of Esperanto as a guest in our
home when I was a young girl. He gave me his book
and signed it. He also told me how to speak esperanto.
It has very few rules and is easy to understand.
Too bad it didn’t catch. Seemed like a wonderful global
language. But then, God wouldn’t have blessed it.
If McCain goes ahead and picks a VP that favors murdering children, many people will thoroughly enjoy throwing your words in your face.
OK... I see that I’m going to have to dig out
my Esperanto book and see who that man was who
authored it. It was obviously NOT L. L. Zamenhof.
He died in 1917. Our visitor was from some Russian
European country and he was the same age as my parents.
I was maybe ten years old (1964).
I worked for a Crisis Pregnancy Center in the 1990s, for three years actually.
Those who were considering abortion and said they were “Christians” were not Christians in any form most of us would recognize. They weren’t members of a church, did not read their Bibles, were having sex outside of marriage, etc. I am not painting with a brush of assumption here - when I had a confessing Christian in the counseling room consider abortion, I’d ask them these questions. Generally these young women considered themselves Christians because a parent or grandparent was, or they’d been baptized, or they had attended a church sometime in their lives. It was like a cultural statement.
In the three years I worked at the CPC, I know of only one consistently Christian woman who had an abortion. She was Asian, had been seduced by her youth “pastor” (who wanted her to abort the evidence) and was under tremendous pressure from her parents. She resisted for about six weeks and then succumbed to the pressure.
She had actually been a volunteer. I never saw her again after that.
For that matter, only three married women that I counseled ever aborted.
So who’s aborting? Non-church attending single girls and young women, usually. Pretty much the same folks who have a lot of sex outside of marriage.
Thank you for your work in the Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Do you know Gida? Living Well?
I recognize that many who say they are Christian are really
cultural christians. However I know women who chose
abortion because they believed that the Government’s
decision agreed with God. That is to say if the Government
says it is OK, it must be moral. There lies the confusion.
Checking a box on a medical (insurance?) form does not make one a Christian. Murdering a baby is evidence that the person is not a Christian, despite the attitudes of many US churches to the contrary. The Baptist Church is anti-abortion, as is the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and possibly some others that I missed. The United Methodist Church was peachy-keen with Partial Birth Abortion before 2000. They even wrote letters of support to Clinton when he veto'ed legislation banning the barbaric practice TWICE. Many others are really accepting of abortion, going as far as paying for preachers wives' abortions under their medical insurance. In my humble opinion, these churches are not really Christian.
No, I don’t know Gida or Living Well.
My time at the CPC was the most rewarding job I ever had. I hope to do it again when my kids are grown.
I think the oft-repeated statement that it’s the Christians who are having the most abortions is a canard to discourage us. Certainly some Christians do abort, but in my experience, it’s a tiny minority. I suppose it can vary from region to region.
Many Christian girls who are pregnant out of wedlock do panic initially. At those vulnerable times they are subject to exploitation by abortion “counselors.” I am so glad the CPCs are here to minister to them.
Most ultimately follow their conscience and their Lord and carry the child. The churches and families I have worked with have been almost always supportive, much to my relief. Sadly, there have been exceptions there as well.
Not me. I blame feminism and a few murdering doctors.
Feminism has killed more worldwide thru abortion than Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot coulda dreamed of.
sorta ruins that kinder gentler myth
When the courts forbid the states from protecting human life, we should indeed agitate against that decision.
Good lord ma'am. Are u on the right board?
[... Murdering a baby is evidence that the person is not a Christian, despite
(checking a box, or) the attitudes of many US churches to the contrary...]
I completely understand your arguments now.
Perhaps I should say many Americans who call themselves
Christians and who even believe they are Christian (I
know many) have abortions because they are naive. They
trust that the Government would not make something lawful
that is immoral.
[... blame feminism and a few murdering doctors. Feminism has killed more worldwide thru abortion than Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot coulda dreamed of...]
You’re right. I don’t blame Government for abortion.
Though the courts made it legal, “we” made it lethal.
Why do you ask if I’m on the right forum?
ending the legality of infanticide is a crucible issue for most of us here and is very high of the wish list of the board's founder
yet you claim that we should just let government manage business ( a platitude which is pretty broad)
and by default leave abortion legal ..
that is something I will never submit to and I'm surprised to hear a conservative say as such
you make this claim sort of about government not entering morality which one would believe means you don't cotton to religion in government yet your tagline is a pet Bible verse for Jews and some Christians advocating US foreign policy that favors Israel based on Scripture.*
*my own personal support of Israel has nothing to do with my Christianity
so do you favor leaving abortion laws alone since the government has no business dealing in morality (what about killing?) but you think it's ok to base foreign policy on morality (religion)
I been in these campaigns before; not at the highest level, but high enough to at least 2nd if not first-hand how these discussions play out.
-McCain now has the support of 88% of the base. At this stage, it effectively means he has a lock on the base (note: Obama’s base support is only 83%). This is despite McCain’s not having to change his position on immigration or judges. In other words, his attacks on Obama are all he needs to get the sheep to follow. He need not make any more “concessions” to get the base vote. He is “wise” to broaden his appeal, esp. amongst women by selecting a pro-choice candidate since he’s tapped out his base anyway.
The Base IS going to the polls to vote AGAISNT Obama anyhow. They’ll hold their nose and vote (R). And no one is going to “stay home”; typically there are local issues that bring conservatives to the polls anyway, so while they’re there, they’ll pick the best of two evils which is McCain.
Decisions must be made from now on, to expand McCain’s coalition; while unpleasant, its safe to say you can disregard the base’s views on immigration and abortion, provided that the party can make Obama’s presidency seem far worse. At the end of the day and despite all the complaints and idle threats, the base will be reliable voters.
OK... I’m pretty tired, but I’ll do my best to answer.
My post assumes that abortion never should have been
legalized. However, the Supreme Court made killing
the unborn legal and that in my opinion makes them
untrusted to make moral (religious) decisions.
Parents have allowed our government to be the moral
arbiters for our children. That’s just wrong. Don’t
you think we could turn this lost ship if families
actually taught Godly principles from the home?
I agree that parsing morality and the law is difficult.
But the Supreme Court crossed into religion when they
decided a fetus isn’t a life. That’s not their job.
Read the entire thread. Perhaps you’ll understand
what I’m trying to say a little better.
“If McCain picks a pro-abortion vp he is toast.”
I agree, and if he does that it will demonstrate just how politically unattuned he still is.
It would be a shame for this country to see a Marxist POTUS.
Let’s face the facts. Most “conservatives” will slink into the voting booth and vote for Sen. McCain regardless of what he does or says. Sure. They’ll talk the talk about being dsisappointed, and whine and moan all the way. But when the day is done, they’ll still line up to vote for him.
The GOP is well aware of this, which is precisely why we have seen so little progress on issues like the deficit, abortion, and border security over the years.
“The veep has no power to nominate judges.”
Well now, as I understand it, a veep might become president, especially when the sitting president is old.
“Personally, I’m getting to the opinion Lieberman would be a good choice for veep.”
I like Lieberman too— one of the few pro-choice politicians who I do like [partly because he used to be pro-life before running with Gore]— though as VEEP, I think that would be a mistake. If McCain chooses him, it will be a strange convention. How would McCain prevent the spectacle? I heard Rasmussin and Zogby discuss it with Hannity. True— be wary of what pollsters say, but they made a strong case against Lieberman.
As for our legal arguments, have you read Mark Levin's Men in Black? I highly recommend it.
“I believe that Government is not to blame for this wholesale slaughter of the innocent.”
What happened is that FDR appointed a bunch of radical justices. And prior to that, the colleges were infiltrated with leftist constitutional law professors [Coulter’s ‘Treason’ sheds some light on Marxist infiltration]. If you study the shift in our legal system, the drastic changes first occurred from the FDR court. The ABA to this day is incredibly leftist. That's why Bush had a hard time with his nominees— he refused to listen to the ABA’s brazen partisanship.
“Moral decisions come from Bible-Torah literacy, (Psalm 139), not from legislation.”
Our law is founded on national tradition and heritage. Black's Book on Law— if memory serves— is a good source to find what genuinely settled law is. A single dissent, so far as I'm concerned, is not settled law. There were strong dissents in Roe v. Wade. Also note that our ‘esteemed’ justices later ruled against the Constitution in their Kelo decision. So it goes beyond abortion. That was a warning bell.
We also were two supreme court justices away from losing our rights to treaties— that recent Supreme Court decision regarding the right of Texas to execute illegal aliens who murder.
“Roe v. Wade aside, we have not been forced to kill our babies. Abortion statistics are staggering because we (yes, I mean Judeo-Christians) have chosen to murder our unborn.”
That is thought provoking, but we could also legalize everything — stealing, murder by anyone's definition— you name it. We would not be forced to do those things, but obviously, the government would be negligent to allow it.
“I believe that liberals have used the abortion debate to divide and conquer. We need to stop this naive militancy.”
We need to educate those who fail to understand originalism in the courts. And frankly, we need to let people know they can pressure congress to impeach rogue justices. We do have that power in the Constitution, although constitutional law professors try to convince themselves that we don't.
And you shall teach them (Gods statutes and ordinances V1) to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. V19.
The law is actually supposed to help preserve our national traditions. The legal term is ‘natural law’. The more we break away from it, the more our society breaks down.
“Though separation of church and state cannot be found in the Constitution, the following might be a better way to view the concept Morality is personal and none of the Governments business. Anything otherwise is kin to dictating religion.”
The original intent of the Founders was to prevent a government run religion. We do not even have the constitutional right to worship Satan or multiple gods. We have the right to “ ... worship God ... “ as we so choose. Monotheism, agnosticism— and arguably atheism— are the only religious rights we have.
“Abortion and terrorism are both wars against humanity. But the battleground for the unborn should be waged from the home (church), not the Supreme Court!”
The original definition of life beginning was officially established long before Roe. Life begins when the child first stirs in the womb. [If anything, modern technology shows that we should err toward life beginning even sooner.] If a murderer intends to kill an unborn child, many people [and some states] have the sense to see that villainy for what it is. The Supreme Court overreached by imposing its will over the states.
— not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973 — Ronald Reagan
The ‘right’ to abortion is based on a dissent which led to a fictitious privacy right. That's right. Roe v. Wade is based on privacy rights— not from law, but from a dissent. Talk about absurd. That ‘privacy right’ that the dissent conjured was never discovered in the Constitution until 1961. That's how weak Roe v. Wade is.
The modern right to privacy began in 1961 in Justice John Marshall Harlan's dissent in Poe vs. Ullman. — Mark Levin's ‘Men in Black’, page 55.
One should not lightly ignore the dissents in Roe v. Wade. And you might be surprised to hear what some of the justices were like. For example: Thurgood Marshall [a man who admitted that watching soap operas helped him decide cases] Blackmun [who was influenced by fan mail and hate mail], and William O. Douglas [riddled with scandal]. Overpopulation was mentioned more than once by the justices who ‘won the vote’ in Roe v. Wade. Should that have even been on their minds? The Supreme Court's job isn't to legislate. Thoughts of overpopulation are something for legislators to ponder and perhaps to amend the Constitution if there's a need.
I hope to one day write about this in more detail.