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Pro-Life Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Open to Vice-President

by Steven Ertelt | Richmond, VA | LifeNews.com | 8/15/11 1:52 PM

National, Politics

After voters choose a Republican candidate to become the next GOP nominee to face pro-abortion President Barack Obama, the nominee will need a running mate and pro-life Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he’s open to that.

McDonnell told Politico his status as the governor of one of the competitive states in the 2012 presidential election helps make it so he might be on the short list of whichever candidate earns the Republican nomination.

“I’d be very interested. It is a swing state. I’m not asking for the call. I’m not looking for the call. As I’ve said many times, I’ve got the best job in America,” he told Politico. “But I think anybody who is in public life, if a presidential nominee called him and said, ‘I need your help to win,’ it would be a tremendous honor. … We’ll see. It’s going to be seven, eight, nine months before any of these decisions are made.”

Should he not receive a nod as the Republican running mate or should Obama win re-election, McDonnell said he would consider a presidential bid himself, because Virginia governors are limited to just one term.

“I’ll be looking for a job in January 2014, but that’s an eternity in politics,” he said. “I’ve got to do in four years what most governors get eight years to do if they’re doing a good job. So we’re just laser-focused on (getting) lots of results. By that time, my kids will all be out of college and my life will be a little bit different in 2016. So I don’t know. It’s so far down the road, I’m not focused on it.”

McDonnell is about to get a boost in his national name recognition as he replaces pro-life Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a newly-minted Republican presidential candidate, as the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association. That will allow him to fundraise for fellow GOP governors and build him a list of contacts across the country that have benefited Perry and former GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, another former RGA chairman.

McDonnell has strong support from pro-life advocates in Virginia and, earlier this year, signed a bill pro-life groups supported that would crack down on abortion businesses in the state and ensure they are following better health and safety standards.

The Virginia Society for Human Life had strongly supported the bill.

“The much needed regulations will provide greater protection from the dangers of unregulated and under investigated free standing abortion practitioners throughout Virginia,” VSHL president Olivia Gans told LifeNews. “Cases such as these clearly show why it is critical that regulations be placed on abortionists in the Commonwealth.  The lives and safety of women are clearly at stake.”

McDonnell has long had a strong relationship with the pro-life movement and the head of the state pro-life group in Virginia told LifeNews.com in 2009 that her organization would support his bid for governor.

Olivia Gans, the president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, said the group was “proud to support Bob McDonnell in his bid for the governorship of Virginia.”

“As Attorney General he has been a steadfast and vocal supporter of the rights of the unborn as well as protection for women from unscrupulous abortionists,” Gans said. “He is an articulate leader on the full range of pro-life issues in Virginia and the nation.”

Gans said McDonnell’s office has spared no effort in defending the Virginia partial-birth abortion ban, which pro-abortion groups took to court. The measure is currently before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Pro-life Virginians have been fortunate to work alongside Attorney General McDonnell since his days in the Virginia House of Delegates and look forward to continuing to work with him as governor,” Gans added.