by Steven Ertelt
December 5, 2006
Albany, NY (LifeNews.com) — He’s out of step with most Republicans on the issue of abortion but pro-abortion New York Gov. George Pataki said on Monday he would make a decision about whether he will run for president in 2008 "in the next few weeks."
In comments on the CNN television program "Situation Room," Pataki claimed he could overcome objection to his pro-abortion stance that prevent previous GOP presidential candidates like Arlen Specter and Pete Wilson from gaining any traction.
"I don’t think there’s any question that someone who has a vision and a proven record of leadership … consistent with Republican philosophies of limited government … can win the nomination and the election," Pataki said.
Post-eletion polling after the 2004 presidential elections found that President Bush’s pro-life stance gave him an edge over pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry.
A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 42 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.
Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.
Late last month, two key supporters said they would not longer advise his political action committee, 21st Century Freedom PAC, because of his stance on abortion.
Loras Schulte and Ed Failor told the Des Moines Register newspaper they supported the group because of other political issues but with Pataki leaning towards a presidential bid — he’s now visited Iowa eight times since the 2004 elections — they felt it was time to step down from her position.
Failor, a board member for Iowa Right to Life, said he agreed with Pataki’s position that state’s should decide abortion, rather than the Supreme Court, but disagreed with Pataki that states should keep abortion legal.
Pataki has upset pro-life advocates numerous times during his tenure as New York governor.
In July, Pataki vetoed a bill that would have authorized a group of new specialty license plates there, including one commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks. The governor blamed the veto on a lawsuit supporters of the Choose Life license plate filed after they were denied a specialty plate.
Last May, Pataki said he supported a bill in the legislature requiring taxpayers to spend $100 million annually on embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human life.
He also signed legislation requiring hospitals — including religious ones — to distribute the morning after pill and signed another bill requiring health insurance plans to do the same thing.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is pro-life, filed papers earlier this week to establish a presidential exploratory committee to possible seek the Republican nomination for president.
Meanwhile, polls show former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona leading the race. Giuliani and McCain strongly support forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research and Giuliani also strongly backs abortion.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who recently said he is pro-life, pro-life Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, pro-life California Rep. Duncan Hunter and pro-life Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel are others who may run as well.