by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The leading Republican presidential candidates attended a key pro-life conference sponsored by the Family Research Council to highlight social issues such as abortions. While all of the candidates brought their "A game" to the event to reach pro-life voters, Arizona Sen. John McCain worked overtime to make his case.
McCain has been lagging in the polls and financially and appears less likely to win the nomination when compared with leaders such as Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani.
But he made an exceptionally personal and emotional appeal and tried to assure the thousands in attendance that he is strongly pro-life.
“I have been pro-life my entire political career,’’ McCain said. “I believe I am the only major candidate in either party that can make that claim."
"I am pro-life because I know what it is like to live without human rights. That is a personal testament that you need not take on faith. You need only examine my public record to know that I will not change my position," he added.
However, his personal record is what frustrates many pro-life advocates.
McCain has been a strong supporter of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research which requires the destruction of human life. He headed up the campaign finance bill that placed onerous restrictions on pro-life groups and some see him as shaky on abortion because he once skipped a vote on whether to endorse Roe v. Wade.
But, McCain called himself "very conservative" and said he would "appoint strict constructionist judges that won’t legislate from the bench."
Meanwhile, Fred Thompson appear to make his pro-life views on both abortion and bioethics the hallmark of his day at the FRC forum.
His campaign distributed literature on his behalf touting his 100% pro-life voting record while he was a Tennessee senator and criticizing the record of Romney and Giuliani.
Mitt Romney appeared to go after Giuliani for backing abortion when he said that "We’re not going to beat Hillary Clinton by acting like Hillary Clinton."
"I am pro-family on every level, from personal to political," he added.
Sam Brownback, the Kansas senator who appeared likely to drop out of the race on Friday, also attended the event and complained that pro-life advocates didn’t rally behind his candidacy.
"I came to them with the cause, but I don’t have the resources and the name," he said.