Barbour Slams Barack Obama, Abortion Truce in Iowa Speech

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 25, 2011   |   12:42PM   |   Des Moines, IA

Governor Haley Barbour, an expected Republican presidential candidate, slammed pro-abortion President Barack Obama on pro-life issues during a speech in Iowa today.

Barbour delivered an address this morning to the Rediscover God in America pastors’ conference that contained an emotional and stinging critique of Obama’s massively pro-abortion record as president.

As he fought back tears talking about his own pro-life record in Mississippi, Barbour promised in the address that he would have nothing to do with a social issues truce Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has advocated. He promised he would present his pro-life credentials and contrast them in a contest with Obama should he become the Republican nominee.

“We’re doing everything that we can to stop abortion in our state,” Barbour said, according to Politico. “And if I get elected president, I will come into office with that attitude. And that’s about 180 degrees different from the current president.”

The governor touted a top rating Mississippi received several years ago from Americans United for Life, a pro-life group that evaluates states based on the pro-life laws they pass on a wide range of issues. Mississippi has remained in the top 10 in the AUL rankings ever since.

On Obama, the governor compared a law in his state requiring doctors and medical staff to save the live of an unborn child who survives a failed abortion and, referring to the 2008 presidential campaign, said he was shocked that such a law was necessary and that Obama refused to support it in his home state of Illinois.

“Barack Obama fought such a law, and defeated such a law, in Illinois,” Barbour said.

“After an abortion in Chicago,” Barbour started to say, according to a Politico report, he had to stop to catch himself from crying. He continued, “the medical personnel are not able to save the life of a child. To me that’s inexplicable. And we changed the law in Mississippi so that could never happen in our state.”

The conservative and Christian activists at the event applauded heartily.


On the issue of the truce, Barbour, last year, initially supported the Daniels truce but he backed away from it in an interview with at the annual CPAC conservative political conference.

Asked to clarify and explain his position, though he did not say as much directly, Barbour appeared to differentiate between the pro-life policy positions he would promote as president and the focus of the message of a potential presidential campaign.

“To win, we have to talk about the issues people care about,” he said of a potential campaign for president. “Campaigns ought to be on the issues people have on their minds. People voted in 2010 on Obama’s economic policies, energy issue and of course healthcare.”

Barbour said social issues did not have to be set aside or put on the back burner — “I don’t believe that at all. Social issues do matter.”

The governor said that, when it comes to abortion, “more people are pro-life than pro-abortion. Most Americans are in the middle. They don’t want abortion on demand, federal funding for abortion or late term abortion.”

In the interview, Barbour reaffirmed his commitment to the right to life starting at what he believes is the beginning of human life.