by Steven Ertelt
July 27 2007
Des Moines, IA (LifeNews.com) — Mitt Romney is building strong polling numbers in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire in part because he is accentuating his newfound pro-life views on abortion. Yesterday, he said he would only appoint strict constructionist judges and said that only a pro-life Republican would help the party win next year.
In an interview, the Associated Press asked the former Massachusetts governor what he thought about pro-abortion ex-New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Romney said Giuliani was the wrong kind of potential GOP nominee to rally the party in next year’s presidential election.
"I think we can’t win the presidency without a pro-life, pro-family Republican," he said.
Romney said he could be that candidate even though he is a Mormon and has different religious views from those of many Catholic and Protestant pro-life advocates.
“I expect that evangelical Christians who believe in life and family values are going to vote for someone who shares their views and has a real prospect of being nominated by our party and becoming president,” Romney said.
Romney’s point on the Republican Party needing a pro-life nominee to have the nest chance to win in November 2008 is backed up by polling data showing abortion is a winning issue for GOP presidential candidates who are pro-life.
Post-election 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.
Meanwhile, while campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney talked about the issue of appointing judges to the Supreme Court — a key concern for pro-life advocates.
He said President Bush’s appointments of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito have been “superb” and would appoint justices with their judicial temperament if he becomes president.
“‘I will appoint justices like Roberts and Alito and Scalia . . . and Thomas," Romney said.