SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Abortion advocates and pro-life supporters are waging a battle for power in the California Republican Party at their annual state meeting. Meanwhile, six of the presidential candidates are attending.
"In the 1860s, Lincoln ended the moral outrage of slavery because he knew it was wrong. Abortion is the moral outrage of the 20th century, and I will end it because it too is wrong," pro-life Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire said as he announced his candidacy.
Pro-abortion California Republicans believing that the party should weaken its opposition to abortion. And their first step is to put a pro-abortion person in as chairman of the California Republican Party.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur John McGraw, currently the state party's vice chairman, would ordinarily ascend to chairman with little fanfare. But his pro-life views have prompted a challenge from Stanislaus County Republican leader Nicholas Bavaro, who has said he would, if elected, move away from pro-life issues.
Enter the presidential candidates.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona warned Friday night that Republican principles are too often overshadowed by ``the politics of division.'' It was a subtle reference to abortion -- which McCain opposes but would rather not interject into the political debate because he believes it is too personal and politically divisive.
Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, another White House aspirant who ironically spent time in January wooing pro-life leaders, said Republicans must spend less time fighting over abortion and more time fighting over education.
Alan Keyes sought to remind Republicans who want to shrink from the abortion fight: ``If you back away from the pro-life plank ... there will be no ground for unity in this party,'' he said to loud applause, although many of the GOP leaders did not clap.
When McCain finished his address, Ed Hurlbutt of Fresno complained that the Vietnam war hero didn't mention abortion. ``It makes you wonder,'' he said. ``It suggests to me that Republicans don't know how to deal with the issue."
Paid for by the Republicans for Life Political Action Committee and not authorized by and candidate or candidate committee. The Republicans for Life PAC (Email: GOPLifePAC@aol.com) is a political action committee dedicated to promoting the right to life within the Republican Party and supporting pro-life Republican candidates for elected office. Please send your donations to the Republicans for Life Political Action Committee, P.O. Box 104, Chatham, IL 62629. For more information, email GOPLifePAC@aol.com