I know an easy way to narrow the list of Republican candidates: pro-abortion contenders can go ahead and drop out now.
The right to life has proven to be an underrated force during primary season. Just take a look at this abbreviated list of pro-abortion Republican casualties: Gary Johnson, Arlen Specter, Pete Wilson, and Rudy Giuliani.
Johnson defended his support for abortion until the point of viability at a May 2011 Republican presidential debate. Safe to say, Republican voters did not embrace him. He would drop out of the race and win the Libertarian nomination instead.
Like Johnson, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter found little support from the Republican Party as a pro-abortion politician – so little that it may have been one reason why he switched to the Democratic Party in 2009. Specter himself wasn’t the only one who suffered from his pro-abortion record. In 2006, Rick Santorum was defeated handily during his Senate reelection campaign in Pennsylvania and the media thought they knew why:
Some pundits said that Santorum’s strong support for Specter, one of the Republican Party’s most pro-abortion senators, had cost him his job.
Pete Wilson’s rant against the Republican Party’s anti-abortion platform in 1996 ended any hopes he may have had for the 2000 election.
Rudy Giuliani seems to be the only one to acknowledge he wouldn’t stand a chance if he decided to run next year due to his belief in a woman’s “right to choose.” He said as much earlier this month as a guest on Fox News’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
The last time a Republican won a primary without strong pro-life bonafides was back in 1980, when George H. W. Bush campaigned for president. Bush would eventually reconsider his perspective on the issue.
Republicans who are wishy washy on life issues should take note of Bush’s evolution if they hope to have a prayer among voters next year.
It’s not hard to imagine why pro-life conservatives want to thoroughly vet their candidate. Once comfortably seated at the Oval Office desk, presidents have ample opportunity to promote lifesaving policies. George Bush Sr.’s successful pro-life agenda included prohibiting 4,000 federally funded family planning clinics from counseling and referring for abortions, and preventing abortions on U.S. military bases. His son was even more adamant about protecting the unborn. Pro-life advocates have referred to George W. Bush as the most pro-life president in history for good reason. Not only did he declare Jan. 18 the “National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” he pushed for adult cell over embryonic stem cell research and appointed two pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.
The past few years, Americans have read too many stomach-wrenching headlines detailing the horrors of late-term abortion to accept anything less than a staunchly pro-life candidate. If trends are any indication, the pro-life movement is winning. Abortions are down in almost every state and a recent Gallup poll found that most Americans believe the procedure should be illegal.
The pro-life movement can’t afford to have a president that stifles this momentum.
That’s why it’s not enough to talk about the economy. Jobs are important, but Republicans have made it clear that they are not going to nominate anyone to represent their party other than a leader who recognizes our right to pursue happiness begins with our right to life.
So, when GOP presidential candidates like former Gov. George Pataki claim that abortion is a mere ‘distraction’ in the 2016 election, it may be doing more harm than they think.
Any Republican who rejects the efforts of the pro-life movement can expect similar rejection.