President Bush, John Kerry Talk Abortion, Stem Cell Research on Radio

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

President Bush, John Kerry Talk Abortion, Stem Cell Research on Radio Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 16, 2004

Washington, DC ( — In competing national radio addresses, President Bush and John Kerry bashed each other over their views on abortion and stem cell research.

Kerry continued his dogged criticism of the president’s policy opposing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research while Bush said Kerry was wrong to vote against the partial-birth abortion ban.

During his radio address, Kerry said he would reverse restrictions President Bush put in place preventing taxpayer funding of new research that destroys human embryos.

"We’re going to make funding for this research a top priority in our government agencies," Kerry said.

Kerry called Bush’s policy a "ban that’s tied the hands of our scientists and shut down some of our most promising work" — even though Bush has spent $190 million to support the use of adult stem cells in research.

A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign told the Associated Press that Kerry is distorting Bush’s record, since the president is the first to authorize federal funding for stem cell research.

"Voters will not trust a candidate who refuses to let the facts get in the way of his attempt to play politics with every issue,” spokesman Steve Schmidt told AP.

Kerry also sought to use the death of former "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve to bolster his stance. In his address, Kerry said Reeve called him a day before his death to thank him for being a strong advocate of embryonic stem cell research.

Meanwhile, President Bush used his presidential radio address to discuss Kerry’s views on abortion and his own views on appointing federal judges.

Repeating a campaign theme and comment he made during the debate, Bush said he would appoint people who would strictly interpret the Constitution, rather than legislating from the bench.

"I stand for the appointment of federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law," Bush said.

Bush has a strong record on appointing pro-life judges to federal appeals courts and has said his Supreme Court appointments would be in the mold of pro-life Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

Bush also took Kerry to task for voting against what he called "sensible bipartisan measures" such as parental notification and a ban on partial-birth abortions.

"I stand for a culture of life in which every person matters and every being counts," the president said.

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