U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania is considering challenging Donald Trump for president in 2020.
A Democrat, Casey portrays himself as a political moderate with pro-life leanings, but he actually has a strong pro-abortion record in the U.S. Senate. His selling point is that he could win back Pennsylvania for the Democrats, according to the Washington Examiner. In 2016, Trump defeated pro-abortion Democrat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, a key swing state.
“For a Democrat, if you lose Pennsylvania, it’s game over, you can’t win, the math doesn’t work,” Casey said Monday, the AP reports. “And I want to make sure that our nominee can win this state.”
Casey is not well known, which political commentators say is a big problem. But pro-life and abortion activists both have major concerns about Casey’s voting record on abortion as well.
And abortion rights remains as much a litmus test on the left as on the right.
That’s a problem for Casey, says Rebecca Katz, a Philly native with strong national Democratic ties, a partner at New York-based Hilltop Public Solutions, a progressive campaign group.
When I ask if Casey for VP helps Democrats, Katz says, “No. You know what’s not going to help Dems turn out in 2020? An anti-choice white male political legacy.”
Baer, noting the Democratic Party’s increasingly pro-abortion leanings, predicted that Casey won’t be its pick to challenge Trump.
“The idea of Democrats nominating an anti-abortion presidential candidate, even one less anti-abortion (if there is such a thing) than when he first was elected to the Senate in 2006, seems more than a tad far-fetched,” Baer noted.
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Casey’s record is a problem for pro-lifers as well. The Casey name is nationally known for its connection to abortion. The senator’s father, Bob Casey Sr., served as governor of Pennsylvania for many years, and earned national recognition for being a solidly pro-life Democrat.
His son, however, has not followed in his father’s footsteps. While Casey Jr. claims to be pro-life, he has not voted that way. He has a 75 percent pro-abortion voting record from Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America. The radical pro-abortion group NARAL, which attacks charities that support pregnant and parenting moms, also gave him a 100 percent rating in 2016 and 2017.
He voted against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood of millions of tax dollars and against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Casey also opposed a bill that gives states more power to defund the abortion industry of tax dollars.
Casey did vote for a ban on abortions after 20 weeks that would have protected pain-capable unborn babies, but on most other pro-life matters, he votes with his pro-abortion party.
For now, the Pennsylvania senator said he still is not sure, saying, “I am not ruling anything out.”
Some have speculated he could be a good vice presidential choice for a more strongly pro-abortion candidate.