by Steven Ertelt
January 20, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — New NARAL president Nancy Keenan refused to meet with Democratic Party chairman candidate Tim Roemer, a former Indiana congressman who is pro-life, to discuss his abortion views. At the same time, Keenan conducted phone meetings with each of the other candidates for the top party spot, all of whom back abortion.
Instead of holding the same phone conversation with Roemer, Keenan is organizing her group’s 27 state affiliates to contact state party leaders and urge them to oppose Roemer’s bid for party chairman.
Keenan’s refusal to keep her appointment with Roemer stands in marked contrast with her predecessor, Kate Michelman.
Michelman, too is working overtime to prevent Roemer from winning the inter-party race, but she had what she called a "thoughtful discussion" with the 9/11 panel member about his opposition to abortion and his calling for the party to not make abortion a litmus test for party members or candidates.
"I think we should always talk," Michelman told the Hill newspaper. "We make a mistake if we don’t keep the lines of communication open."
Michelman told the capitol hill newspaper that she didn’t know why Keenan refused to speak to Roemer saying she "didn’t want to speculate."
However, the Roemer camp is hazarding a guess as to why Keenan stood him up.
"She didn’t want to meet with us because they’re out there calling everyone they can to oppose us. She didn’t want to own up to that," a Roemer aide told The Hill. "They haven’t even called us back."
"People are going to be very passionate on this issue," said Ruben Pulido, a Roemer spokesman. "What we can do is reach out and have an honest conversation on this issue. That’s what we can do, and we have done that."
Keenan, for her part, told The Hill that a scheduling snafu prevented her from spending time on the phone with Roemer.
"It was one of those days when things just kept happening. No slight was intended," Keenan claimed.
At a meeting with party leaders last weekend in St. Louis, Roemer accused abortion advocacy groups of using phone banks to lobby the more than 440 Democrats who will vote on a new chairman in February.
However, Pulido said the Roemer camp has their phone banks too and they are aggressively working them to amass enough votes to be competitive.