Two Republican Presidential Candidates Discuss Abortion
Republican presidential candidates on Wednesday during a debate at the University of New Hampshire discussed their positions on abortion and other issues, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Brit Hume of FOX News moderated the debate (Quaid, AP/Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/6).
During the debate, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) said that he would "love to see" the U.S. adopt an amendment similar to one in the Arkansas Constitution "that says that we believe life begins at conception and that we ought to do everything in the world possible to protect it until its natural conclusion."
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said that he would "like to see Roe v. Wade overturned and allow the states and the elected representatives of the people, and the people themselves, have the ability to put in place pro-life legislation."
In the only mention of the issue of health insurance during the debate, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) said that prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have "health care that's better than most HMOs" (Debate transcript, FOX News, 9/5).
FOX News video of comments from Huckabee and Romney on abortion is available online.
Actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday during an appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show" announced plans to seek the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports.
In an online video released in conjunction with the announcement, Thompson, who served in the Senate from 1994 to 2003, said that he supports the rights of states, limited government and individual liberties. Thompson on Thursday in Iowa will begin a tour of early presidential caucus and primary states (Sidoti, AP/Chicago Tribune, 9/6).
In related news, The Hill on Wednesday examined the "reluctance to tout" the Medicare prescription drug benefit among Republican presidential candidates.
According to The Hill, although polls have found that about three-fourths of Medicare beneficiaries are satisfied with the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the candidates "have been hesitant to remind fiscal conservative base voters that their party midwifed the largest increase in entitlement spending since Lyndon Johnson signed the bill creating Medicare in 1965."
David Keating, executive director of the Club for Growth, said, "Any sophisticated voter or activist remembers that vote and remembers that's one of the reasons they got angry at the Republican Party. ... It's a no-win situation."
Romney has said of the Medicare prescription drug benefit, "We should have reformed Medicare and Medicaid to pay for it ... rather than add in a huge new entitlement." Thompson has called the Medicare prescription drug benefit a "$17 trillion add-on to a program that's going bankrupt."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also has criticized the Medicare prescription drug benefit because of the cost.
During his 2000 Senate campaign, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) called the Medicare prescription drug benefit "something you have to strive for." However, he has a "comparatively bare public record regarding his views" on the Medicare prescription drug benefit, The Hill reports.
Huckabee has called the Medicare prescription drug benefit a "great idea" that could "work out to the benefit" of most U.S. residents (Young, The Hill, 9/5).