November 2nd, 2007
08:40 AM ET
11 years ago

McCain: I am most consistent on abortion

McCain is touting his pro-life record in conservative South Carolina.

GOOSE CREEK, South Carolina (CNN) - Three days after Sen. John McCain's campaign sent out a direct mail piece attacking the conservative credentials of rival Republican Rudy Giuliani, the Arizonan once again touted his pro-life record and declared that he is the strongest candidate in the current GOP field on the issue.

"I think I've been pretty vocal in my consistent pro-life record, particular in the debates we've had that are televised nationally, and it is a consistent record," he said in an interview with CNN following a town hall meeting here on Thursday.

McCain added that his record on abortion is "the most consistent of any of the major candidates."

Despite a solid 83 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, McCain has had difficulty in appealing to many social conservatives still bitter about his support of campaign finance reform and the 2000 presidential campaign. McCain called religious leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance" during that race.

McCain has since worked to make amends with religious leaders. In May, McCain was the keynote graduation speaker at Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia.

McCain's mailing this week suggests he will promote his pro-life record in the final two months leading up to January 19 South Carolina primary.

The mail piece, obtained by CNN, is headlined: "McCain: the only Conservative who can beat Senator Clinton. It says that he "is a stronger candidate than Rudy Giuliani in the general election." The mail piece also attacks Giuliani from the right by declaring that McCain has "a consistent 24-year pro-life voting record."

Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, is a supporter of abortion rights, but has pledged to appoint strict constructionists to the federal bench.

Although he claims a strong anti-abortion rights record and a commitment to appointing strict constructionist judges, McCain's support for embryonic stem cell research and his opposition to a federal amendment banning gay marriage are positions not popular with Christian conservatives and religious leaders in South Carolina.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: John McCain • South Carolina
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Jessica, Iola, Kansas

    It is a rightous thing that women have the right to have an abortion, but not in all cases. People have a problem with abortion because so many women do it. Women who go about being sexually active, and do not use protection of any sort, and are aware of the factors and the consequences; such as getting pregnant; should not get an abortion. Cruel, but if one wishes to be sexually active, one needs to use percautions. Yes, accidents happen, I'm proof of that, I was a factor of Pre-cum, but my mother took responsibility. There are so many forms of protection out there for women and men, and affordable ones too!! The local health clinic and even schools provide free condoms!
    Then there are those girls whom are raped, melested, and are told it could be a health hazard for them to get pregnant. Those are the women that should have rights to abortion. If women are careful and smart about it, there shouldn't be such a huge contorversy over our rights to abortion, so let's not abuse that right.

    November 2, 2007 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Joe, St. Paul, MN

    Most Americans are Pro-Choice. The only ones who are Pro-Life are the ones who would never think of donating or adopting a child... i.e. the 'good' Christians who just want to tell everyone else how to live their lives.

    November 2, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Brendan, Seattle

    Does anyone see the irony of our bi-partisan views on human life. One side is for abortion, against the death penalty, generally anti-war. The other side is against abortion (supposedly protecting the sanctity of human life), but for the death penalty and war.

    This does not make sense. I believe human life is to be valued above all else; not just for americans, not just morally upright, not just if you have to look them in the eye before you decide whether to take their life.

    With that said, women do have a choice, and so do men. The choice is made before pregnancy.

    November 2, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Bob, Seattle, WA

    McCain has good positions on most things conservative. It is very hard to satisfy all of the people. Everyday, in my family, I am reminded of the extreme balance that a man and a woman bring to the raising of a family and to the planning of everyday life and for the future and retirement.
    GOD knew what he was doing and still does and forever will. Believe it or not. It doesn't matter. GOD is in control of all things whether you like it or not. Christians love the sinner, hate the sin. Christians believe in Love and try very hard to practice the teaching of Jesus in granting 'grace'(translated 'tolerance'). The 'world' should get on board but even if they don't, the Christian understands and sympathizes and is truly sad for those who don't believe in Jesus. They don't get mad and try to belittle, or behead those who don't believe as they do.

    November 2, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Aaron Kinney, Sherman Oaks, CA

    Ron Paul is the most consistent on abortion. He wants to give the abortion question back to the STATES, where it BELONGS. Let the states choose for themselves. Thats the constitutional way.

    November 2, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. JS

    Brendan and Aaron - Good points

    November 2, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Bob, San Francisco, Ca

    What's next? McCain hates burning flags more than any other candidate? What a dope.

    November 2, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Karen Saucedo, Novato California

    Pro-life? Tell that to the MILLIONS of unwanted children in this country who are abused, underfed, neglected, uneducated, living in the streets. Hey, John McCain, you have a few bucks. Put your money where your mouth is. Promise to feed and cloth every unwanted child born and THEN, you'll have MY vote!

    A reminder: Pro CHOICE is just that. There is nothing Pro or Anti LIFE about it. It is leaving the most personal of choices to the individuals living the moment. It is minding your own business. It is not populating the world with unwanted miserable people who turn quite often into miserable adults.

    Maybe you should visit an ER and talk to them about the child abuse cases they see?

    November 2, 2007 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Kevin, New York, NY

    Is anyone else tired of candidates standing on issues that they should not be representing? If the president should express the will of the people, and the American people are split on an issue, it shouldn't just be a clear cut decision.

    And why does everyone care about "flip-flopping", I for one would prefer a candidate who makes educated decisions on the issues at hand, but also has the open mindedness to learn and change their views. All I'm hearing from politicians are more reasons why they're alienating themselves from ever getting my vote.

    November 2, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. Mike, NY

    Why is McCain comparing himself to the 'major' candidates?

    November 2, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. summus

    McCain the religous right hates you because you made it harder for them to use all of their tax free money to bankroll politicians and legislation that overrides the US Constitution and legislates and legitimizes their religous beliefs to turn the US into a Christian version of Iran. It's not about abortion. Enjoy your trip back to Arizona.

    November 2, 2007 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Irene, Clearwater, FL

    Can someone pro-life explain something to me?

    Fertility clinics destroy thousands of early period embryos all the time. They implant multiple embryos and do selective abortions to control the number of children a woman will have at one time (Something I'm totally in favor of... the health issues involved in having a litter are immense for the children, not even thinking about the mother).

    But where is the outcry against the fertility clinics? Why is IVF not being condemned in broad swipes the religious right? (I'm aware of the Catholic church's stand, but what about everyone else?)

    If 'life begins at conception', why is this not an issue? If you're pro-life, you're pro EVERY life, not just those already implanted into a uterus. Why are these politicians and religious people not lobbying to put fertility clinics out of business? I'd be willing to bet that they destroy as many, if not more, embryos than an abortion clinic per annum.

    Mind you, I'm very much pro-choice. I do not have the right to tell someone else to live by my moral code or tell them what to do with their body. I just don't understand why this isn't an issue unless it's more about the control of the woman's body and sex life instead of the saving of an unborn, potential life.

    November 2, 2007 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  13. Patrick, Tulsa Oklahoma

    Let's put this law to the states and see how it does.

    Abortion is legal if you've been raped, its incest, or the health of the mother is at stake. It's illegal to have late term abortion if none of the above criteria exists.

    Beyond that it remains legal, but the dad has to be consulted or the parents if the girl is under age.

    This law would be fair, would get rid of the disgustingly immoral late term abortion and not please the far left or far right. This is about as much progress as we can make on the issue at this time.

    I personally believe in 300 years when people are looking back at the first 300 years of our country the two worst injustices they will find will be slavery and abortion but that's just my opinion.

    November 3, 2007 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. McCullough

    I agree with Patrick, from Tulsa on abortion. I also agree that a lot of candidates are side stepping real issues. With McCain's experience, I have more confidence in him making those tough decisions than any other candidate. It is time to start talking about what the candidates views are when it comes to Iraq, immigration, foreign policy, our ability to become less dependent on oil and such.

    January 4, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Misty

    I am completely against abortions unless in cases of rape. However when the other candidates talk of being for abortion I wonder how far they want to go with the right to abort a child.
    Do they want to have mandated paternity tests before the child is born to determine if the father wants a child whom the mother doesnt? Because if abortion is legal then why shouldnt the father have the right to choose if he wants the child even if the mother doesnt?
    or if the mother wants a child and the father doesn't then why should she be able to say no i dont want to have an abortion and yet the father still be responsible for supporting the child.

    Seems like our economy would improve if paternity tests were mandated before the birth of a child in cases of welfare and child support and that child recieving medicaid because the parents arent together. I think stricter laws in cases of these support payments to the primary care giver of the child would keep a lot of people from getting pregnant in the first place. And in Ky its being debated about welfare drug testing for the recipients- maybe this would help America overall for cases of them having a child so they can get money to buy their drugs. Yes in the begining it would be very hard to fund, but in the end America would not be teaching our kids its ok to use drugs and basically telling them if they say its unconstitutional they can get by with anything.
    I think that by taking a stand on drug abusers we can teach our children how to become sucessful and teach them responsibility of having a job and supporting themselves.

    Thats kinda off subject i know, but in the end the birth of a child born our of wedlock will affect our economy tremendously. And if abortion is legal then i think the laws on abortion and support for that child really needs to change.

    January 25, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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