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.
“We all will lose.”
Heck that happened when Juanito got nominated.
McCain has a base to alarm?
I am puzzled by all this talk about this, we have to be talking about Joe as he is the only Lieberman in the Senate.
Does this make sense for the GOP?:
[Senator Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, scoring the nation’s biggest political upset that year by a margin of just 10,000 votes. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. In 2000, Senator Lieberman was elected by another overwhelming margin to a third term.
In 2006, Senator Lieberman was elected to a fourth term as an Independent, because of the strength of his record and his accomplishments for the state. He won the general election by more than 100,000 votes. He remains committed to caucusing with Senate Democrats, but will be identified as an Independent Democrat (ID-CT).]
Joe Lieberman is a great man as democrats / independents go. =]No doubt about that. That was one apparent McCain trial balloon.
There’s also Tom Ridge [that’s the one who Mark Levin talked about mostly].
“McCain has a base to alarm?”
A very fragile base.
“It is the choice of each and every individual who has an abortion that makes it a lethal atrocity.”
What if someone chooses to take your house from you and the Supreme Court goes along with it? Roe=Kelo.
It's a nose-holding, regurgitation-suppressing, reluctant-voter "base" at present. McCain's picking a pro-abort VP would send it in search of pencils to write in alternatives to him and Obama.
Here's another piece of the puzzle. Sadly the author recently went insane.
I can't stomach Obabaroozi, but I want McCain to pick a decent VP, or I might just avoid the hangover all together.
Powell? Colin Powell?
Big mistake if that happens.
In short... we will not win the world except we do it one soul at a time.
If we don’t turn the hearts of our children (and actually birth children) this country is lost, as with any civilization who forgot that single important point.
Muslims (and other groups including Russia, for that matter) understand this all too well, and procreate with that in mind.
It’s a shame more “conservative’s” don’t get it... a cryin’ shame.
If he picks a pro-abort VP, you and your spouse have a glass of wine with a leisurely dinner, watch a movie instead of election returns, retire early, and take a long walk the next morning instead of turning on the computer/TV.
Nonstatist was right. I am already on bert’ list....can I be on his list AND get one of them ugly little buttons?
[... The Supreme Court overreached by imposing its will over the states...]
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on my post.
It is extremely helpful as some of my ideas come from
strong emotion. As I massage this piece, “overreached”
and “Natural Law” are terms I’ll embrace for the sake
Mr. Antoninus accuses me of advocating anarchy. But
I say the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize murder
of the unborn is anarchy. Just look around and reflect
back from 1975 to now. Does society look organized?
Civilized? Informed? Evolved? I say NO! It doesn’t
take a cultural analyst or a Social Engineer to recognize
that our culture is in serious decline.
To protect civilization, we must practice and teach
God’s law from the home then (because God is faithful
when we obey His Word), that law will naturally flow
out and “correct” the culture.
John Nesbitt’s “Megtrends” makes the point that
lasting and genuine trends start from the bottom
(the home or the street). Synthetic fads start
from the top (advertising or government), and do
Goverment is our friend when it sticks to the business
of providing infrastructure and protecting EVERY citizen.
We are well past that now. This old ship won’t turn
without a moral, Godly rudder. We won’t find that rudder
in our courts or in our houses of Government. That moral
rudder is in the houses of the people and cannot be
legislated from us. So... we are without excuse.
For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst
weave me in my mothers womb. I will give thanks to
Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfuly made.... (snip) ...
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance...
The Constitution doesn't just protect citizens. It protects all PERSONS.
Even Judge Blackmun, the author of Roe, recognized such when in the body of the decision he admitted that if the unborn were persons they were protected by the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment.
And that means on every square inch of American soil.
God bless you, Gordon.
Thanks for hanging in with me as I “learn” to express what I believe.