Haley Barbour Tells Pro-Life Republicans to Ditch Social Issues in 2010 Elections

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Haley Barbour Tells Pro-Life Republicans to Ditch Social Issues in 2010 Elections

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 8
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Haley Barbour is the latest potential Republican presidential candidate to suggest that social issues like abortion should be taken off the table while making the economy the main focus. Despite the fact that polls show Americans strongly oppose the pro-abortion health care law, Barbour says fiscal issues should take priority.

At a breakfast with reporters this morning sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, the Mississippi governor said those who focus on social issues like abortion are taking the GOP off message this election cycle.

“Any issue that takes people’s eye off of unemployment, job creation, economic growth, taxes, spending, deficits, debts is taking your eye off the ball,” Barbour said, according to a Daily Caller report.

“But if somebody goes to campaign for governor candidate x, I would hope that somebody would stay focused on the issues that matter to the campaign: jobs, the economy, taxes, spending, debt, deficits,” Barbour continued. “You run down rabbit trails, you’re wasting— you’re using up valuable resources that could be used to talk to people about what they care about.”

He said his advice is primarily for candidates seeking election in November, even though polling data makes it clear that Republicans, the overwhelming majority of whom are pro-life, are much more enthused about voting than their largely pro-abortion Democratic counterparts.

Barbour was asked about the "truce" potential presidential candidate Mitch Daniels, the Indiana governor, called for on social issues that quickly got him in trouble with pro-life advocates.

Though Barbour is strongly pro-life and has signed pro-life legislation, he said he agreed with Daniels’ sentiment, which Daniels partly walked back in a subsequent interview.

Barbour said a candidate’s stance on abortion “ain’t going to change anybody’s vote this year."

During the breakfast, The Hill reports Barbour said he has not thought much about running for president and wouldn’t make a decision until at least after the elections.

“I’m not giving serious thought to running for president until after the November election,” Barbour said, adding, “I expect this to be a very wide open nomination contest."

He has said he is aware that he may have limited appeal as a presidential candidate because he is seen as a southern conservative "bubba" who is overweight and possesses a heavy drawl accent.

But, if Barbour begins telling pro-life voters they need to take a back seat and that the issue of abortion won’t determine how they vote, his potential campaign may be dead before it begins.


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