John Kerry’s Possible Running Mates All Pro-Abortion, McCain Choice Unlikely

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 6, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

John Kerry’s Possible Running Mates All Pro-Abortion, McCain Choice Unlikely

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 6, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry is taking the next step of his campaign and examining a number of political officials as possible running mates, including renegade GOP Senator John McCain. The Democratic possibilities share one common thread — unyielding support for abortion.

Kerry is involved in closed-door discussions with his wife, Heinz ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, Mary Beth Cahill, his campaign manager, and Washington power-broker James A. Johnson about the selection.

The name that has surfaced most frequently is Senator John Edwards (D-NC). Despite his southern roots and populist image, Edwards has compiled a 0% pro-life voting record with the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC).

In March 2003, Edwards voted for an amendment to the partial-birth abortion ban that expressed the Senate’s support for the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed abortion and said the landmark ruling should not be overturned.

He also voted for the measure in 1999 and, that same year, voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions.

Edwards has voted for taxpayer-funded abortions and, most recently, voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a bill that would protect pregnant women and their unborn children by prosecuting criminals who attack them and kill their babies before birth.

Johnson has spoken with Edwards and three other possible running mates: former House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, and Governors Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Tom Vilsack of Iowa.

The three are no different when it comes to supporting abortion.

Gephardt voted for the ban on partial-birth abortions, but, has voted pro-abortion on dozens of other votes on virtually every other pro-life issue before Congress. He upset pro-life groups in Missouri when he flip-flopped from a pro-life to a pro-abortion position shortly before his first presidential bid.

Richardson, first elected to the U.S. House in 1982, compiled only an 8% pro-life voting record on 79 roll call votes on pro-life issues during his tenure, according to NRLC.

In February, Richardson lent his support to the launch of a NARAL fundraising campaign that is attempting to collect $25 million to defeat President Bush.

Vilsack, as Iowa’s governor, has angered pro-life advocates in the Midwestern state. He vetoed a pro-life bill three different times that would have provided women with accurate information about abortion’s risks and alternatives. Similar legislation in other states has helped reduce abortions by as much as one-third.

Along with Richardson, Vilsack also lent his name to NARAL’s fundraising effort — two of only four governors to support the anti-Bush campaign.

Meanwhile, the media’s speculation aside, McCain is an unlikely pick.

McCain told Roll Call, a newspaper that monitors Congress, that he "categorically" has ruled out running for Vice President. He has also said he would not run with Kerry and vowed to campaign for President Bush.

Though some see McCain’s differences on issues as a plus, Kerry’s campaign manager, Mary Beth Cahill, is the former executive director of EMILY’s List. Top pro-abortion groups like EMILY’ List and Planned Parenthood are desperate to defeat Bush and replace him with Kerry, a pro-abortion stalwart.

A representative of one leading pro-life organization told that McCain’s mostly pro-life voting record would never go over well with abortion advocacy groups.

"[Cahill] and Kate Michelman are not going to let someone with that voting record get on the ticket," the pro-life advocate said.

McCain, who has a mostly pro-life voting record, agrees his selection is unlikely.

"It’s impossible to imagine the Democratic Party seeking a pro-life" running mate, McCain said in an interview with ABC News.

But Kerry’s silence on McCain continues to fuel speculation. Reporters at a Kerry economic round table Monday asked him about McCain. "I’m not commenting," Kerry responded.
Did that mean he was not ruling McCain out?

"I’m not commenting," he repeated.



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