ABC's Gibson, The View Ignore Ultra Hard-Line GOP Platform
On Friday, ABC's Charles Gibson and its hosts of The View again exposed the differences on abortion and stem cell research between John McCain and his hard-line GOP running mate Sarah Palin. But lost in their interviews is any mention of the 2008 Republican Party platform. As it turns out, that radical document demands far more draconian restrictions than either McCain or Palin will acknowledge.
To be sure, John McCain now supports overturning Roe v. Wade, a reversal of his stance heading into his failed 2000 White House bid. But his party's platform adopted last week in St. Paul goes much further, calling for a constitutional amendment banning all abortions in the United States, including cases involving rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother. The GOP platform is quite clear on the point:
"We support a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment's protections apply to unborn children."
Cowed by the radical right of his own party, John McCain yielded to the extremist plank despite telling Washington Post just two weeks ago that "my position has always been: exceptions of rape, incest and the life of the mother."
And to be sure, that is not the position of McCain's party or his running mate. After signaling her agreement with John McCain on overturning Roe v. Wade, Sarah Palin made it clear to ABC's Gibson that she backed banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest:
GIBSON: John McCain would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest. Do you believe in it only in the case where the life of the mother is in danger?
PALIN: That is my personal opinion.
GIBSON: Would you change and accept it in rape and incest?
PALIN: My personal opinion is that abortion allowed if the life of the mother is endangered. Please understand me on this. I do understand McCain's position on this.
Adding that she and her husband see "eye-to-eye" on most issues, Cindy McCain did admit to disagreeing with Palin when it comes to abortions in the instance of rape or incest.
On stem cell research, too, the hard-line Republican platform sounds more like Sarah Palin than John McCain. During the now infamous forum at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, McCain sheepishly announced to the evangelical-laden audience, "I've come down on the side of stem cell research." Again, the Republican platform committee never got the message. As the National Review noted, "the 2008 Republican Platform calls for a ban on all embryonic stem-cell research, public or private:"
"We call for a ban on human cloning and a ban on the creation of or experimentation on human embryos for research purposes."
As for Palin, she left no doubt she stands behind the harsh Republican plank on stem cells:
GIBSON: Embryonic stem cell research, John McCain has been supportive of it.
PALIN: You know, when you're running for office, your life is an open book and you do owe it to Americans to talk about your personal opinion, which may end up being different than what the policy in an administration would be. My personal opinion is we should not create human life, create an embryo and then destroy it for research, if there are other options out there.
Ironically, the McCain campaign chose Friday to debut a new radio ad touting John McCain's support for stem cell research. But in a cynically deceptive ploy, the spot sidesteps the central issue of embryonic stem cell research, which is opposed not only by McCain's running mate, but by the platform the GOP approved at its convention 10 days ago:
They're the original mavericks. Leaders. Reformers. Fighting for real change.
John McCain will lead his Congressional allies to improve America's health. Stem cell research to unlock the mystery of cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Stem cell research to help free families from the fear and devastation of illness. Stem cell research to help doctors repair spinal cord damage, knee injuries, serious burns. Stem cell research to help stroke victims.
And, John McCain and his Congressional allies will invest millions more in new NIH medical research to prevent disease. Medical breakthroughs to help you get better, faster. Change is coming.
McCain-Palin and Congressional allies. The leadership and experience to really change Washington and improve your health.
Paid for by McCain-Palin 2008 and the Republican National Committee.
And so it goes. While all eyes followed Sarah Palin's "moose in the headlights" performance with Charles Gibson and John McCain surprisingly combative appearance on The View, the story of the Republican ticket's extremist platform went untold.