November 6, 2007

Abortion, Gay Marriage, and the GOP Slate

Dan Balz writes on just where each candidate stands on abortion and gay marriage for the Washington Post:

Giuliani has said that, if he were president and the court struck down Roe, he would take no particular action to try to preserve a woman’s right to abortion. In practical terms, he like Thompson would leave it to the states to decide. Nor would he necessarily sign federal legislation to codify Roe if a Democratic Congress acted to preserve abortion rights in the wake of a Supreme Court decision to the contrary. Giuliani calls that possibility a hypothetical.

Although Thompson does not support a constitutional amendment, his communications director Todd Harris said Tuesday that the former Tennessee senator would not attempt to change the Republican platform plank if he becomes the nominee. Nor would Giuliani, who said in June he would let the majority of the party set platform policy (and would then agree or disagree depending).

What about some of the other candidates? John McCain has a record that is staunchly pro-life and he supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions, if it contains certain exceptions. But many social conservatives distrust McCain and he has never been animated as a politician by hot-button social issues.

McCain actually takes different positions on amendments relating to abortion and same sex marriage. He currently opposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In this case, he favors state-by-state action. Communications director Jill Hazelbaker explained the seeming contradiction Tuesday by saying the Supreme Court has ruled on abortion but has not done so on marriage.

Romney once was pro-choice but has since changed his position. He would like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe and turn the issue back to the states. Unlike Thompson, he also supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion, but spokesman Kevin Madden said Romney sees the amendment as “an aspirational goal but doesn’t believe the country is ready for one at this time.” That position is similar to the one President Bush took as a candidate in 2000.

Mike Huckabee is the one major Republican candidate who is not equivocal on either abortion or same sex marriage. He opposes both and supports amendments to back up those views.

That leaves Republicans with a conflicting set of conservative philosophies when applied to abortion and seemingly same sex marriage — and it leaves everyone more or less in the same place when it comes to presidential action. Giuliani stands alone in his support for abortion and gay rights, but he is closer to the rest of the pack in he how he would operate as president on those issues.


Molly said...

I'm happy to find this blog because what I have read about Mike Huckabee so far was very good but I was looking for more info to pass on to friends. Is it okay if I put a link up on my blog?

Nathan said...

I agree with Huckabee on so many issues, but not foreign policy and economics. Please don't forget Ron Paul! You didn't mention him in your post, and he deserves a look as well. But if there were two candidates I could support on the GOP ballot, it would be Paul and Huckabee. Thanks for getting involved!

Joel said...

Molly, please feel free to link to us from your blog! Also, send your friends to the video page at, it's a compilation of all the best videos of Mike Huckabee.

Shells said...

I was wondering if you all had heard what Paul Weyrich (founding president of the Heritage Foundation) said about Huckabee, and what your response would be. He said, "I like him and he certainly is somebody who can give a stemwinder but I have learned so many things about his waffling positions, and conservatives in Arkansas don't like him at all. They say he left the conservative movement in Arkansas in shambles when he left the governorship early this year. There are a whole lot of things – he came out for civil unions, he came out for D.C. statehood - that cause me not to be able to support him."

Right now, Huckabee is the only candidate running I feel that I can even remotely support, but Weyrich's statement definitely concerns me.

Anonymous said...

Oreilly's a "Pinhead." In his own words.

Joel said...

Mike Huckabee has responded to Paul Weyrich's comments. Sadly, Weyrich made those statements without doing his research:

Huckabee successfully led efforts to promote a human life amendment and marriage amendment in Arkansas and, as President, would lead the charge for similar amendments at the federal level.

"My position on the sanctity of life has always been clear and consistent. It is the same with my views on marriage. The institution of marriage is between a man and a woman. I have never supported gay marriage or civil unions," Huckabee said.

Dennis Milligan, chairman of the Republican Party of Arkansas, strongly disagrees with the idea that the party is in shambles.

"The Republican Party of Arkansas is not in shambles. While the party has never held the majority of elected offices, the Republican Party reached a high-water mark while Mike Huckabee was governor.

"In 2006, when Governor Huckabee left office because of term limits and Lt. Governor Win Paul Rockefeller died, Democrats where able to win the top two state constitutional offices. Arkansas wasn't the only state where Democrats won a lot of state and federal elections that year. It was a national trend and blaming Mike Huckabee is just wrong.

"In 2008, Republicans in Arkansas will field strong candidates for the state Legislature, U.S. Senate, Congress, and a favorite son for the White House. That's not a party in shambles," Milligan said.

Weyrich was also misinformed on Huckabee's stand on statehood for the District of Columbia. Huckabee has never supported statehood for the district, but does support citizens living in the District having a representative in the House of Representatives, but not the Senate.

Shells said...

Thanks for your response, Joel. It was very reassuring. :-)