by Steven Ertelt
January 14, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — John McCain’s meteoric rise in the polls is earning him considerable attention from the press and pundits and one former senator who served with him says he doesn’t think he is passionately pro-life. Sen. Rick Santorum was a pro-life leader during his time in the Senate and he says he can’t enthusiastically support his former colleague.
Santorum gave an interview to Hugh Hewitt of Town Hall and said he doesn’t think the Arizona senator shares the same zeal pro-life advocates have.
"On social conservative issues, you point to me one time John McCain ever took the floor of the United States Senate to talk about a social conservative issue," Santorum said. "It never happened."
"I mean, this is a guy who says he believes in these things," Santorum explained.
"But, I can tell you, inside the room, when we were in these meetings, there was nobody who fought harder not to have these votes before the United States Senate on some of the most important social conservative issues, whether it’s … abortion or the like," he said about McCain.
"He always fought against us to even bring them up, because he was uncomfortable voting for them. So I mean, this is just not a guy I think in the end that washes with the mainstream of the Republican Party," Santorum concluded.
The interview isn’t the first time Santorum has spoken up against McCain and what he contends is his lack of passion on pro-life issues.
Last March, he told the Politico web site that he would likely endorse any of the pro-life Republican candidates in the field except McCain and said it was partly because McCain wasn’t as solidly pro-life as he would wish.
“I served with him for 12 years, and I know how pro-life he is,” Santorum said.
Santorum’s views contrast with those of Sen. Sam Brownback, the former presidential candidate and Kansas senator who has largely replaced Santorum as the new pro-life leader in the Senate.
Brownback endorsed McCain in November, saying McCain has spent a lifetime "standing up for human rights around the world, including a consistent 24-year pro-life record of protecting the rights of the unborn."
Although McCain has a pro-life voting record on abortion, he has been a strong backer of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research which destroys days-old unborn children.