Howard Dean Will Lead Democrats, Roemer Drops Bid After Abortion Fight

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 7, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Howard Dean Will Lead Democrats, Roemer Drops Bid After Abortion Fight Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 7, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Howard Dean will be the next chairman of the Democratic Party as his last opponent, pro-life former Indiana Congressman Tim Roemer left the race Monday afternoon.

Dean, an abortion advocate who served on the board of a regional Planned Parenthood abortion business, will head up a party that has alienated voters on the controversial issue.

In leaving the race, Roemer, a former member of the September 11 commission, said his party has to become more open-minded on abortion if it wants to appeal to voters nationwide.

"I got into this race five weeks ago to talk about the devastating loss we experienced in November," Roemer said in an interview Monday. "It was not about 60,000 votes in Ohio. It was about losing 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties in the country. If that’s a trend in business or politics you’re in trouble."

Roemer won’t be running the party because Democratic activists may talk about a big tent but they fail to deliver on their promises, he says.

"I have had to spend 80 percent of my time talking about abortion," Roemer told the Indianapolis Star.

Roemer found himself the subject of boos and hisses in New York when he discussed the issue at a party regional meeting and NARAL refused to talk to him when interviewing the rest of the candidates for chairman last month. The pro-abortion group actively lobbied delegates against him.

With Roemer’s departure, Dean is virtually assured of becoming the next chairman when party activists vote on Saturday.

Dean seemingly understands how his party’s losses at the polls require it to be more open to pro-life advocates.

"I have long believed that we ought to make a home for pro-life Democrats. The Democrats that have stuck with us, who are pro-life, through their long period of conviction, are people who are the kind of pro-life people that we ought to have deep respect for," he said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" last month.

Kristen Day, the director of Democrats for Life, told she hopes Dean will remember these comments as he directs the party.

"He has a real opportunity to open the big tent of our Party and let pro-life Democrats be heard," Day told "We are confident that understands this and will be open to working with us to rebuild our party by reaching out to pro-life Democrats."

However, the party is controlled by abortion advocacy groups like NARAL and Emily’s List and Democrats have lost the last two presidential elections, in part, because of their candidate’s unbending position in favor of abortion.

The issue of abortion gave a boost to President Bush. A post-election poll of voters by Wirthlin Worldwide shows that a majority of Americans are pro-life and the abortion issue gave pro-life candidates such as President Bush a twelve percent advantage.