GOP Presidential Candidates Split on Pro-Life Campaign Finance Ruling

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

GOP Presidential Candidates Split on Pro-Life Campaign Finance Ruling Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 26
, 2007

Washington, DC ( — Two of the top Republican presidential candidates are split on the Supreme Court decision in favor of a pro-life group that wanted to run issue advertising days before an election. The high court ruled yesterday that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law unfairly hurt pro-life and other citizens groups.

Under the federal law, groups can’t air ads mentioning the names of candidates running for federal office within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election.

Prohibited ads could include something asking people to contact members of Congress on pro-life issues.

Wisconsin Right to Life challenged that provision and the court ruled it violated the First Amendment.

As the author of the law, presidential candidate John McCain was disappointed by the ruling.

McCain said the ruling was “regrettable” because it “carved out a narrow exception by which some corporate and labor expenditures can be used to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election.”

Still, he was happy the rest of the comprehensive law remained intact.

“Fortunately, that central reform still stands as the law,” McCain told Congressional Quarterly.

Yet former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has called for the full McCain-Feingold law to be repealed, sided with the pro-life groups saying their free speech rights shouldn’t be abridged.

“Score one for free speech,” Romney said in a statement. "Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed the First Amendment by rejecting a key feature of McCain-Feingold."

"The law trampled the basic right of the American people to participate in their democracy," he explained. "Today’s decision restores, in part, to the American people a right critical to their freedom of political participation and expression."