What are their issues?

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I went online to start doing research into the Republican presidential candidates, hopefully for a post (or series) examining the positions. I started with the “Issues” pages and was struck by how similar Romney and Perry’s were. Consider Romney’s

You’ll note the Issues listed are Jobs, Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care, and Foreign Policy. No abortion, no marriage, really no social issues of any kind. But that’s Romney’s weak point. Presumably Perry is going to be carrying the Christian banner.

Or actually, the exact same issues (except National Security rather than Foreign Policy).

I understand issue #1 is the economy and how to spend (or not spend) in order to realign the economy and our budget. Abortion isn’t going to win anyone the nomination, much less the presidency. I get that.

But this is a website. It takes so little effort to put something saying like “Romney is pro-life and believes Roe v. Wade ought to be overturned.”  Neither candidate even bothered to put that little on their website. That’s a small gesture to expect.

So my question is this: if I’m a pro-lifer, if they don’t care enough about my issue to put it on their website, why should I care about their candidacies? And more important, if they don’t want me to consider abortion, should I consider it in their favor? Or should I take their invitation to be indifferent to the issue of abortion and judge them solely on economic and foreign policy issues? After all, if they’re not going to put abortion on their website how much effort do you think they’ll expend trying to help eliminate abortion?

And just to stir the pot a little more…


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  1. Ron Paul isn’t going to be elected dogcatcher so he can say any darn fool thing he wants to, and he does. Perry has always been a reliable pro-life vote in Texas, and I feel completely comfortable with him as the Republican standard bearer. Romney has been all over the mat on abortion and I do not trust him as far as he could throw me, which wouldn’t be far.

    Here is Perry addressing Texas Right to Life on January 22, 2011. This is a man pro-lifers can trust:

  2. Ron Paul and John Huntsman are the most reliably pro-life candidates but I have no reason to believe any of them would govern pro-choice. They would have nothing to gain.

  3. Looking from the outside in, the candidates are going to focus on the least number of hot topic issues necessary to concentrate support fot their candidacy.
    Abortion is a controversial and polarising subject, and the divide in the USA is pretty well already defined.
    Get the nomination and get into office – then chip away at the entrenched attitudes that allow the holocaust to continue.
    My 02.c. worth.

  4. True – they do not press their pro-life positions. To what extent that is tactical vs. apathy is difficult to tell. Perry is probably the safer bet that it’s tactical.

    Of course, that brings us to the age old GOP pro-lifer dilemma – is it better to vote for someone neutral/apathetic on abrotion vs. letting a full throttled pro-choicer win, or is it better to send a “message” that pro-lifers won’t be taken for granted anymore? It is a sticky wicket, as they say.

    Doesn’t matter too much anyway. The only candidates who could turn this train wreck around won’t get elected.

  5. c matt,
    I do agree that Romney is not reliably pro-life in the way Bush was, and I fear that may be true of Perry too. That said, either would probably issue helpful executive orders similar to those issued by Bush, and either would probably nominate judges, including Supreme Court justices, who are likely to be unsympathetic to Roe. A Dem, any Dem, would do neither, and would almost certainly make support of pro-abortion rights a key requirement for judicial nominees. These differences are quite important — too important in my view to cast aside in favor of sending a feckless message, no matter how satisfying that might “feel.”

  6. But that’s the catch:

    If you keep voting for the lukewarms, they won’t have any incentive to go beyond lukewarm (if even that). Is lukewarm good enough?

  7. Considering the number of conservatives who stayed home in 2008 rather than vote for McCain I rather think that message has been sent, although the reign of Obama shows the drawbacks of that particular stratagem. The truth of course is that politics is the art of comparison. Compared to Obama I would vote for any in the Republican field except for Ron Paul, although I would do so for Romney only with the gravest of misgivings.

  8. I held my nose to vote for McCain, who had at least built up some conservative cred over the length of his career. I won’t do the same for Romney who has not done so and, in fact, continues to undermine his own fraudulent claims to being a conservative.

    Not under ANY circumstances will I EVER vote for him.

  9. It is a close call for me Jay, and me even considering sitting out the Presidential election of 2012 if Romney is the nominee is one reason why I do not think he will be the nominee. He simply alienates too much of the base.

  10. Given Romney’s postitions on health care and the falsity of global warming, I don’t see how he can win the nomination.

  11. Unfortunately, the guys on my dream ticket (Rubio/Jindal or Ryan) aren’t running and so I have to deal with the world as it is rather than how I would like it to be. I am no Romney fan and much prefer Perry – however, I’ll vote for Romney, Perry, or Bozo the Clown rather than sit back and watch as the pro-abort incompetent in the WH ruins my country a bit more with each passing day. But, wait, I just remembered, Bozo is already on the ticket – he’s Obama’s VP.

  12. Change the hearts and minds of the public, Michael Denton, and the politicians will follow.

    Elected officeholders who try to lead the public where the public doesn’t want to go don’t stay officeholders for long.

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