More Pro-Life Advocates Urge John McCain to Select Pro-Life Running Mate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

More Pro-Life Advocates Urge John McCain to Pick Running Mate Against Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 19
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — Most of the names on the short list of potential running mates for Senator John McCain are elected officials or others who take a pro-life position on abortion. But more pro-life advocates are engaging in a last minute lobbying campaign to make sure his vice president shares his abortion opposition.

Editorial columnist David Limbaugh says McCain "trounced" pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama in the weekend presidential forum in large part because of his articulation of a solid pro-life position.

Therefore, he says, choosing a running mate with a contrasting abortion position would be "political suicide" and cost him the support of the majority of Americans and Republicans who are pro-life.

"McCain would make a fatal mistake to assume that social issues, especially abortion, are ever off an equally blazing front burner for an inestimable number of social conservatives, the Republicans’ most reliable voting bloc over the past three decades," he writes.

Limbaugh said the media infatuation with former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge — which prompted McCain to comment about him as a potential running mate — shouldn’t blind McCain to the fact that he would be unacceptable to a large portion of his base vote.

"With all due respect, Senator McCain, you may not rule Tom Ridge out, but if you choose him, you’re virtually guaranteed of ruling yourself out," he warned.

Limbaugh said picking a pro-abortion running mate would have consequences beyond the 2008 presidential elections.

"Not only is the vice president the president’s immediate successor if the president dies or becomes incapacitated but also McCain’s selection of a pro-abortionist candidate would send a message grossly undermining the Republican Party’s uncompromising commitment to the lives of the unborn," he added.

In a Tuesday column, National Review editor Kathryn Jean Lopez makes similar arguments.

She noted that the weekend forum finally energized pro-life voters and other social conservatives behind McCain and that he would zap the enthusiasm with a pro-abortion running mate.

"Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama had galvanized the Right on Saturday night when he lived up to at least half of his bestseller’s name: He had the audacity to question Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s credentials during Saddleback megachurch pastor Rick Warren’s candidate forum," she explained.

"As Obama was riling up conservatives with his attacks on Thomas, McCain reassured them about his administration’s commitment to life," Lopez said.

"McCain’s avowed recognition that life begins at conception and his forthright commitment to a pro-life presidency stood in stark contrast to Obama’s weak and insulting answers about when life begins," she contends.

"And John McCain could well undo all of that political momentum the Republican presidential nominee gained from Obama’s missteps this weekend," Lopez warned.

While Limbaugh warned about picking Ridge, Lopez said McCain should shy away from the temptation of selecting pro-abortion independent Sen. Joe Lieberman in an attempt to show bipartisanship.

"If that candidate is Joe Lieberman, as is widely believed, that would mean that John McCain is willing to share his ticket with a senator who refused to oppose a ban on partial-birth abortion," she said.

"If John McCain picks Joe Lieberman as his running mate, he would ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,’" she concluded.


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