The next rule that needs to be debunked is that Republican candidates must pass a litmus test on cultural issues, especially abortion. This was true in 1988, 1996, and 2000, when religious conservatives were a newly energized political force and one stirred to action by Bill Clinton’s misconduct.Barone is a political genius but two things need to be pointed out:
But September 11 changed a lot of things, including this old rule. A pro-choice stand on abortion didn’t prevent Rudy Giuliani from leading Republican polls until November 2007, when one of his appointees as police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, was indicted. And going to all 99 counties swearing he was a right-to-lifer didn’t save Mitt Romney in the majority-religious conservative Iowa caucuses in January 2008.
1) Rudy went nowhere as a presidential candidate. How can it be said that his pro-abortion views had nothing to do with that? I greatly admire Giuliani's leadership abilities but his support of abortion made it impossible for me to vote for him. I know I'm not alone in that.
2) Pro-lifers didn't believe Romney's protestations. His flip-flops on abortion were a bit too convenient. I still don't trust him.
Then there's Mike Pence. He's the Mary Poppins candidate, practically perfect in every way. The one negative is his lack of executive experience.
Note: Pro-lifers aren't sure about Chris Christie, either.
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