Bob Casey May Not Strongly Oppose Abortion in Democratic Convention Speech

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 26, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Bob Casey May Not Strongly Oppose Abortion in Democratic Convention Speech

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 26
, 2008

Denver, CO ( — The year 1992 will live in infamy for pro-life Democrats as the time when the Bill Clinton campaign denied Gov. Bob Casey a chance to speak because of his pro-life views. His son, the Pennsylvania senator of the same name, will speak this week but won’t say whether he will tout the pro-life message.

The younger Casey has been bashed as having a less-than-stellar pro-life voting record — getting a 65 percent rating from leading pro-abortion group NARAL.

Critics say he is giving pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, whom Casey endorsed, the ability to say he is more moderate on abortion than his record indicates.

Now, in an interview with the web site BeliefNet, Casey refuses to say whether he will promote the pro-life position during his address. In his answer, he focuses on other political issues he will address and appears unlikely to directly confront the abortion question.

"I’m speaking with about ten other governors, about the economy and about what I know about Barack Obama personally and about his ideas and his personality. That’ll really be the focus of almost every speech at the convention," he says.

When asked a follow-up about his speech, Casey says, "Yes, it will" cover pro-life issues, but he immediately changes gears and says he’s most interested in talking about the economy.

Pressured further in the interview, Casey spends most of his time talking about how Obama supposedly wants to find common ground on abortion. The issue of common ground — despite Obama’s and the party’s unequivocal pro-abortion position — appears as if it will be the only pro-life theme Casey will press.

"One of the things that’s missing in this important debate in American politics is candid and honest talk about disagreements and an honest effort to try to find common ground," Casey says.

Asked if he pushed for the opportunity to speak given what happened to his father, Casey said he was asked by the Obama campaign to address the convention.

Casey appeared unwilling to talk about his father’s treatment by the Clinton campaign.

"What happened in 1992 is something people are talking about, the subject of a lot of discussion, but it’s important to look ahead and not just recollect about the past," he told BeliefNet.

Asked if his speaking showed any sort of change in the tenor of the Democratic Party on abortion, Casey never answered the question.

"The fact that I’m speaking is really a testament to Senator Obama’s willingness to reach out to people who disagree with him even on important issues," he said.


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