Monday, April 30, 2007

Flip-Flop Fred

Apparently, there is an inverse relationship between running for the GOP nomination and a candidate's ability to remember their pro-choice credentials. This comes from Ramesh Ponnuru at the National Review.

Third, acknowledge that you’ve gotten more pro-life over time. Twice in recent weeks, you have expressed perplexity that anyone thinks you were once pro-choice. Stephen Hayes quoted you in The Weekly Standard:

“I have read these accounts and tried to think back 13 years ago as to what may have given rise to them. Although I don’t remember it, I must have said something to someone as I was getting my campaign started that led to a story. Apparently, another story was based upon that story, and then another was based upon that, concluding I was pro-choice.”

But, he adds: “I was interviewed and rated pro-life by the National Right to Life folks in 1994, and I had a 100 percent voting record on abortion issues while in the Senate.”

Your record in the mid-1990s was a bit less solidly pro-life than that. A 1994 issue of Republican Liberty apparently quotes you opposing public financing of abortion but adding: “The ultimate decision must be made by the woman. Government should treat its citizens as adults capable of making moral decisions on their own.” That same year, in which you ran for the Senate (and won), you said something similar in a debate: There should be no federal funding, and states should be allowed to enact parental notification and other “reasonable controls,” but government should not “come in and criminalize, let’s say, a young girl and her parents and her doctor as aiders and abettors that would be involved.”

News accounts treated you as pro-choice, and there is no record of your campaign’s trying to dispute that characterization. The National Right to Life Committee did indeed endorse you in that race, and their post-election newsletter listed you among the victorious “pro-life candidates” that year. But that newsletter also grouped you with candidates who were opposed to the Freedom of Choice Act and federal funding of abortion, rather than with candidates who were pro-life across the board.

In 1997, finally, your office sent a constituent a letter about abortion that included this line: “I believe that government should not interfere with individual convictions and actions in this area.”


At 4:06 PM, Blogger Paddy said...

The bottom line is the whole freakin' bunch of them need to get the hell off my body and go mind their own damn business.


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