When Rick Perry signed the Susan B. Anthony List’s pro-life pledge last week, it raised a few eyebrows among those who recall his endorsement of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2008, a noted pro-choice Republican. Perry insisted that a President Giuliani would appoint conservative jurists to the bench and that his personal views would not be relevant. Four years later, Perry now says that, if nominated, he will make sure his running mate is not just pro-life, but an advocate for the cause:
Surging Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, the Texas governor, has pledged to influential Christian leaders that he will push pro-life policies, oppose gay marriage, and pick cabinet officials and a vice president who share his values, a promise that would rule out a Perry-Rudy Giuliani ticket.
At a weekend Texas gathering of about 200 conservative leaders, some from Washington, Perry and his wife Anita portrayed themselves as authentic and life-long conservatives who could bring the most pro-life administration ever to Washington.
LifeNews provides more context:
Perry has been given high marks by pro-life groups in Texas and both Texas Right to Life and Texas Alliance for Life have given him high grades for his lengthy record pushing for and signing pro-life legislation. “Gov. Perry has a wonderful pro-life record,” National Right to Life President Carol Tobias has said.
Perry, who has spoken out repeatedly when it comes to pro-life issues, has said: “We can’t afford to give up the good fight until the day Roe v. Wade is nothing but a shameful footnote in our nation’s history books.”
Pro-life activists will no doubt be happy to hear this. It does open up a line of attack against Perry, although almost certainly not in the primary — unless it comes from Rudy Giuliani himself, and that’s also unlikely. If Giuliani does get in, the last thing he’ll want to do is remind people of his pro-choice positions. He — or anyone else — could ask Perry in a debate, “Why was Giuliani good enough for the Presidency in 2008 but not good enough for a VP in 2012?” In fact, I’d be surprised if someone didn’t ask that question next week — and it could be one of the debate moderators.
Otherwise, though, this doesn’t mean too much in a GOP primary, where the expectation is that a nominee will be pro-life. It also won’t reduce Perry’s options for a running mate. Practically everyone in the field now is avowedly pro-life, even Mitt Romney, who had been pro-choice earlier in his career. For options outside of the current presidential field, Perry could select Tim Pawlenty,
Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, New Mexico governor Susanna Martinez, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and practically every other Republican mentioned for the job.