Five Republican presidential candidates have signed a pledge to advance the anti-abortion movement if elected to the White House, but the current front runner for the 2012 GOP nomination — Mitt Romney — isn’t one of them.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum each signed the pledge, sponsored by Susan B. Anthony List, vowing to nominate judges and appoint executive branch officials who are opposed to abortion. The pledge also commit signers to push legislation to end all taxpayer funding of abortion and to sign a law to “protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain from abortion.”
Mitt Romney, who’s leading in national and early state opinion polls, declined to sign.
The Romney camp is trying to spin that he is in fact prolife, but…
“Governor Romney pledged in the last campaign that he would be a pro-life president and of course he pledges it today,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul in a statement. “However, this well-intentioned effort has some potentially unforeseen consequences and he does not feel he could in good conscience sign it. Gov. Romney has been a strong supporter of the SBA List in the past and he looks forward to continue working with them to promote a culture of life.”
Bullpucky. There is nothing extreme in this pledge that a truly prolife Presidential candidate should have problems signing. But just as in 2008, his prolife bona fides are in question, as they should be. His commitment to the prolife cause has been weak in terms of record and has been mostly talk. I guess Romney should feel fortunate this didn’t come out before the New Hampshire debate as former Senator Rick Santorum probably wouldn’t have passed on the opportunity to come after him on this issue.
He didn’t pass on the opportunity this morning in an statement that his campaign emailed out. Senator Santorum said, "This past Monday night at the Republican Presidential Debate, I was asked about Governor Romney’s pro-life conversion, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I apparently spoke too soon. It is incredibly disappointing that Governor Romney chose not to defend those who cannot defend themselves.”
For the record New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson did not sign the pledge (no surprise he is pro-abortion), and neither did Herman Cain. Cain in an interview with me said that he believes life begins at conception and said that he would never sign a pro-abortion bill into law. He believes that our rights come from God, and would appoint conservatives to the bench. So why didn’t he sign the pledge?
Update: Herman Cain releases a statement as to why he didn’t sign it.
He said he agrees with the first three parts of the pledge because he “adamantly” supports the appointing pro-life judges and selecting pro-life appointees to his Cabinet and the Executive Branch as well ending taxpayer funding for abortions, but he had a problem with the last part of the pledge.
“The fourth requirement demands that I ‘advance’ the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. As president, I would sign it, but Congress must advance the legislation,” he said. “I have been a consistent and unwavering champion of pro life issues. In no way does this singular instance of clarification denote an abandonment of the pro-life movement, but instead, is a testament to my respect for the balance of power and the role of the presidency.”
I can’t say I understand his rationale, he’ll have to advance all types of legislation to be able to accomplish his agenda. Being a cheerleader and utilizing your bully pulpit doesn’t not usurp the separation of powers.