February 2000 -- In his speech dropping out of the race for President, Steve Forbes said: "Concerning the life issue, if you look at what I actually said in '96 -- and I'll even give you a source -- L.A. Times, February -- I came out in favor of the life amendment. But what I tried to do in '96, and tried to do since, is try to find ways to bring people who are not with us on this issue, towards the goal, make them see it differently than they might have done before.
And of the three remaining candidates, obviously Alan Keyes is four-square on the life issue. And I would urge the other two candidates, if one of them becomes the nominee, to leave the Reagan pro-life plank in the platform alone.
You can acknowledge that many Americans don't agree yet with that goal, but I don't think you win respect of the American people by abandoning such a basic principle for political short-term expediency. They have no respect for that, none whatsoever. And I think that, with patience and with compassion, we try to engage in that dialogue.
The Declaration of Independence is very clear; "life," then "liberty," then the "pursuit of happiness." And our founders understood that order. If you put "liberty" before "life," that's a license to kill. They understood it, and we have to recognize those words again and try to bring people along. And I have faith that hearts and minds and consciences can be changed. And I have faith that, ultimately, it will come to pass.