(In addition to the fact that the party establishment is solidly pro-abortion, that is.)
As Ronald Reagan prepared to deliver the 1987 State of the Union address, his wife, Nancy, reportedly told his advisers, “I don’t give a damn about the pro-lifers,” and demanded that any mention of abortion be removed from the speech. Nancy, who rarely intervened in political matters, got her way, and the speech focused on international affairs, education, and ongoing congressional wrangling over the budget process.
President Reagan, of course, was a vocal abortion opponent; indeed, he was probably the most pro-life president the United States has ever had. But Nancy supported abortion. Although she mostly kept mum in public while first lady, she has since said on several occasions that while she is personally pro-life, “I believe in a woman’s choice.” She has also been an outspoken proponent of embryonic stem cell research.
It would be refreshing to have a Republican presidential nominee—and a president—whose spouse holds deeply pro-life views. Both George H.W. Bush’s wife, Barbara, and George W. Bush’s wife, Laura, support abortion, although they mostly kept their views to themselves during their husbands’ presidencies.
One exception occurred when President George H.W. Bush ran for reelection in 1992. That year, Republicans had written a very strong pro-life platform that Barbara Bush undercut, telling the media she thought the issue had no place in the platform.
She said abortion was “a personal thing” and that “the personal things should be left out of, in my opinion, platforms and conventions.” Barbara’s comments came at a bad time for her husband, who was having trouble retaining conservative support then.
Laura Bush stayed silent about abortion during her husband’s presidency. But many suspected she disagreed with her husband’s pro-life views. This was later confirmed in her memoir, “Spoken From the Heart,” in which she wrote, “While cherishing life, I have always believed that abortion is a private decision, and there, no one can walk in anyone else’s shoes.”
And so, hen-pecked, ostensibly ‘pro-life’ presidents have followed their wives’ lead, and done nothing substantive to end abortion while in office, just lip-service, nothing more, really…
The same is true of various Republican candidates in recent years:
Similarly, in 2008, Cindy McCain told Katie Couric that while she is pro-life she supports exceptions for rape and incest and didn’t believe Roe v Wade should be overturned.
1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, was known as a pro-life senator. But she supported federal funding of abortion in certain cases and said abortion should not be a litmus test for judicial appointments.
Then there’s the last prospective Republican first lady, Ann Romney. Alhough pro-life, she seemed uncomfortable talking about the dignity of human life. There were also questions about her having donated $150 to Planned Parenthood in 1994, back when Mitt himself supported abortion.
Now, the author of the piece, Gary Bauer (former presidential candidate, well-known so-con and Zionist lobbyist), is excited because the wives of Rubio and Cruz are pro-lifers. I guess that is indeed a pleasant change. But knowing how pro-choice the party establishment is, and how Republicans have done squat to change things when they’ve had both the presidency and the House, I doubt that will matter much, assuming that either Rubio or Cruz even win the nomination.
Anyway, getting back to the presidents whose wives disagreed fundamentally with them on the issue, does anyone honestly believe that any contemporary American president whose wife is pro-abortion is going to be able to stand up to her and enact measures she would disagree with? None these days have the balls to do so.