News Politics

V.P. Or Not V.P., Choice Is The Question

Robin Marty

No one really expects Romney to pick Condi Rice for his running mate, but the rumor has taught us much about the Republican Party.

After GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney was booed at the annual convention of the NAACP, a rumor began swelling through the political landscape that Romney was considering choosing former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his Vice Presidential pick. It is never going to happen, of course, and it is meant primarily to change the subject back to something he was more comfortable talking about, as well as subtly say, “Look, I can find someone in the community who wouldn’t necessarily heckle me!”

The topic changed, although rather than a discussion about running mates, it became one of whether or not Romney was lying about when he stopped acting as CEO and President of Bain Capital. Still, for a few brief moments we had a chance to see what the Republicans really thought about a moderate, “mildly pro-choice” vice president.

It wasn’t pretty.

The Susan B. Anthony List was first to pan the idea, saying Rice — despite her education, political chops, exceptional foreign policy experience and her ability to appeal to those outside of the white, male demographic — was unacceptable.

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“Former Secretary Rice’s position on the sanctity of human life makes her an unqualified candidate for Governor Romney to choose as a running mate,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a written statement. “He has pledged to us in no uncertain terms that he would choose a pro-life running mate. We have taken Gov. Romney at his word and therefore believe Secretary Rice will be ruled out of consideration.”

Interestingly, it was former Vice Presidential pick and adamantly anti-choice Tea Party leader Sarah Palin who suggested that SBA list may be being too rigid in their denial of support.

“I would certainly prefer a presidential and vice presidential candidate who had that respect for all innocent precious purposeful human life,” Palin said. “We need to remember, though, that it’s not the vice president that would legislate abortion and that would be Congress’s role, and we’ll keep that in mind.”

Rigid or not, Romney seems ready to let them make the decision for him, and will keep Rice off the shortlist. When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked about the Rice rumors, Romney replied,”I don’t have anything for you on the vice presidential process. I of course stand by the things I have said during the campaign. But I have nothing for you on the VP front.”

It seems that despite the traditional movement to the middle that occurs once a candidate locks up the nomination, Romney is still being controlled by the extreme right of the party when it comes to reproductive rights.

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