GOP DEBATE: Bauer Challenges Bush on Abortion
GOP presidential hopeful Gary Bauer again challenged Texas Gov. George W. Bush on his abortion position during last night's New Hampshire debate, which brought together all six Republican candidates in the "most spirited" of the four debates thus far, the New York Times reports (Berke, 1/7). Issuing a direct challenge to Bush, Bauer said, "You won't agree to a pro-life running mate. ... Why should GOP voters and conservatives believe that you will seriously defend our values?" In defense, Bush touted his "record of accomplishment," citing a litany of tax cuts, welfare and tort reform (LaGanga/Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 1/7). Bauer chided Bush for having "left off every values issue at stake," noting that on every "values issue we're in retreat on and we continue to be ... in retreat. And that's why these good people vote Republican. And then they wake up in the morning and they don't recognize the country they're living in" (MSNBC debate transcript, 1/7). "I'm the only person on this stage who signed a parental notification law (for minors seeking abortion). I've got a good record, Gary," Bush replied (Los Angeles Times, 1/7). Bauer also took a swipe at the Texas governor's father, former President George Bush, for making a "colossal mistake" in appointing Justice David Souter to the Supreme Court in 1990. Souter voted to uphold the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision (Curry, MSNBC, 1/7). Bauer asked Bush if he would defend his father's decision, to which Bush replied, "Listen, I'm the only one on stage who's appointed judges. My dad can defend himself" (New York Times, 1/7). For his part, Bauer used the forum to reaffirm his opposition to abortion, announcing that he would not appoint Supreme Court justices "who would sacrifice even one child" (Johnson, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/7). Prior to the debate, Bauer said, "I want to nail Governor Bush on whether he's a conservative" (Associated Press, 1/6). The six GOP candidates will square off again tonight at 8:00 pm on MSNBC (AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.