A smart middle-ground play for independents, but I thought he was supposed to be the great evangelical hope. Last week he said he was “fine” with New York legalizing gay marriage before clarifying today that he’s not fine with gay marriage itself. (In fact, he supports a Federal Marriage Amendment.) Now this. Why would a social-conservative voter looking for a champion who has traction in the polls prefer him to, say, Bachmann?
Maybe Perry’s willing to shed some votes in Iowa in exchange for picking some up in New Hampshire.
Despite holding personal pro-life beliefs, Texas Gov. Rick Perry categorized abortion as a states’ rights issue today, saying that if Roe v. Wade was overturned, it should be up to the states to decide the legality of the procedure.
“You either have to believe in the 10th Amendment or you don’t,” Perry told reporters after a bill signing in Houston. “You can’t believe in the 10th Amendment for a few issues and then [for] something that doesn’t suit you say, ‘We’d rather not have states decide that.’”…
The National Right to Life Committee responded to Perry’s categorization of abortion as a states’ rights issue in a statement, saying, “Our society has an obligation to enact laws that recognize and protect the smallest members of our human family. Prior to Roe, states had the ability to enact laws that extended full legal protection to unborn children. We look forward to the day when Roe v. Wade is changed, and the states will once again have the ability to pass legislation that fully protects mothers and their unborn children.”
I’m surprised the NRLC gave him cover on that. Granted, the immediate first step after Roe is overturned would be state laws restricting abortion, but I’ve never understood that to be the end point for pro-lifers, as Perry seems to suggest by invoking the Tenth Amendment. The goal is a Human Life Amendment or, at a minimum, a federal statute banning abortion coast-to-coast. If you believe abortion is murder, why on earth would you want to let any state choose to legalize it? Huckabee made that point succinctly during the 2008 campaign; watch the end of the clip below.
Maybe Perry’s position on this mirrors his position on gay marriage. His argument for the Federal Marriage Amendment is that it would require ratification by three-fourths of the states, so the process honors the federalist principle of the Tenth Amendment even though the FMA would trump it. He could make the same argument for the HLA, although (a) a hardcore believer in the Tenth Amendment presumably wouldn’t want to see the sovereignty of any state trumped, even if three-quarters of the other states agree, and (b) if he didn’t make the same argument for the HLA, he’d have to explain why he thinks gay marriage requires a national solution but abortion doesn’t.
But maybe none of this matters. Neither the HLA nor the FMA will ever pass, so all we’re doing is polishing credentials here — and his already have plenty of polish. The latest whispers from his advisors, incidentally, claim that he’ll be in by late August. In fact, he’s already nudging Fox about a spot in the August 11 debate.