Forum Discusses "Truce" Some Republicans Support on Abortion, Social Issues

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 24, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Forum Discusses "Truce" Some Republicans Support on Abortion, Social Issues

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 24
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The Family Research Council is holding a forum today on the disputed "truce" two potential Republican presidential candidates have proposed. Governors Mitch Daniels and Hailey Barbour say the Republican Party should focus less on social issues like abortion while the problems of the economy are addressed.

Daniels told the Weekly Standard this summer that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."

"We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while," by casting social issues like abortion aside so the next president can focus on fixing the beleaguered economy.

Barbour faced his own backlash from pro-life advocates after saying at a breakfast on Wednesday that pro-life advocates should ditch social issues this election cycle in favor of focusing on the economy.

This afternoon, the Family Research Council is hosting this symposium featuring three of the nation’s leading observers of the political scene on the comments Daniels and Barbour made.

Bob Patterson, research fellow and editor of The Howard Center’s quarterly journal The Family in America, will join New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

Patterson is expected to argue against the truce and he said the Republican Party in some ways has already called a truce because many GOP elected officials already put economic issues first.

"As much as the media like to portray the GOP as beholden to the Religious Right, the reality is that Republican elites, with rare exceptions, are more beholden to economic conservatives and foreign-policy hawks than to social conservatives," he said in an article he published earlier this year.

Larry Jacobs, the vice president of the Howard Center, added that any talk of a truce is a false choice and helps pro-abortion forces.

"The so-called war between economic and social conservatives serves only the liberal objective to distract and divide potential allies against radical leftists," he said. "The American ideals and values centering around marriage, children, and protection of human life continue to be on the hearts of the American people during the upcoming election."

This week, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a respected Republican leader on the health care debate, made it clear he opposes any talk of a truce.

"Healthy debate should take place within the Republican Party on specific policies, but it is a false choice to ask which natural right we should discard: ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ is not a menu of options," Ryan says.

"All planks – economic liberty and limited government; keeping our nation secure; championing America’s founding truths and the dignity of every human person – are rooted in same timeless principles, enshrined in our Founding and the cause of our exceptionalism," Ryan added. "The American family must remain at the core of our free society, and I will remain ever-vigilant in its defense.”

Conor Sweeney, a top Ryan spokesman, told today that Ryan doesn’t agree with the "truce" on social issues Barbour and Daniels have advocated.

"Paul Ryan rejects the false choice that our natural rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ are a menu of options," he said, adding that Ryan has been "calling upon his colleagues to defend the sanctity of life."

He also pointed to comments Ryan made in a Weekly Standard interview rejecting the "truce" language and putting him outside the Daniels-Barbour circle.

"I don’t see it quite the same way [as Daniels]," Ryan said in June, "we don’t need to ask anybody to unilaterally disarm."

Related webs sites:
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