Presidential Candidates Differ in Response to President Bush’s Veto

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 20, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Presidential Candidates Differ in Response to President Bush’s Veto Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 20
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — The next president could very well have a different take on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research compared to President Bush. Reacting to the veto of a funding bill, Democrats universally bashed the president while Republicans had a mixed response.

Republican presidential candidates are split on the issue which has caused considerable concern for the pro-life community.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, two of the top candidates, both support funding and would have signed the bill.

At the Republican debate on May 3, Giuliani said he supports expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research and McCain has voted twice for the bill that Bush vetoed.

On the other hand, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former Governor Mitt Romney have said they oppose federal funding of the grisly research.

Thompson shared his views on the research in depth at the National Right to Life convention last week.

"On stem cell research, I’m for adult stem cell research not stem cell research where embryos of unborn children are destroyed. It looks to me like there is a lot of promising developments as far as adult stem cell research is concerned anyway and we don’t need to go down that other road," Thompson said.

Romney has previously vetoed a bill promoting embryonic stem cell research — and the state legislature overturned his veto.

He also blasted members of Congress on Friday for promoting embryonic stem cell research over more ethical and effective alternatives.

"They have opted to exacerbate what they see as a political debate that works in their favor, rather than encourage a scientific solution that would work in America’s favor," he said.

Other GOP candidates who are trailing in the polls — such as Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo are united in their opposition to using public money to fund destructive research.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton made her views on the issue clear even before Bush officially had vetoed the bill. She criticized the president and said she would authorize funding if elected.

"Let me be clear: When I am president, I will lift the ban on stem cell research," Clinton said.

Senator Barack Obama of Illinois had a similar take.

He claimed the president dashed "the hopes of millions of Americans who do not have the time to keep waiting for the cure that may save or extend their lives" even though the research has never helped a single person.

"The promise that stem cells hold does not come from any particular ideology, it is the judgment of science," he claimed.

John Edwards, the third of the three top Democratic candidates, joined in the criticism.

"With his veto, he made the wrong choice, pushing medical breakthroughs that could help millions of Americans further away," he claimed. "We need a president who will embrace science-driven policy, rather than politically-biased science.”