Condi Rice speculation stokes conservative reaction
POSTED: Friday, July 13, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 2:28pm
(CNN) — Condoleezza Rice has indicated she is firm in her opposition to joining Mitt Romney's ticket as vice president but that hasn't stopped the speculation that she might be the one.
Late Thursday, conservative blog Drudge laid out who they think Romney will pick in clear form with the headline "Romney Narrows VP Choices; Condi as Frontrunner."
"And a surprise name is now near the top of the list: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice!" wrote Drudge saying sources reveal that the former secretary of state is at the top of GOP candidate's list.
Erick Erickson, CNN contributor and editor of the right-leaning blog, Red State, disagreed.
"Condoleezza Rice is pro-abortion," Erickson wrote. "She worked for George Bush for eight years."
Beyond the political differences, Erickson sees the rumors as a way to change the subject from Romney's time at Bain Capital to a focus on the presumptive nominee's vice presidential pick as the weeks wind down to the Republican National Convention.
But Mitt Romney promised conservative supporters that his chosen running mate would be pro-life at the Palmetto Freedom Forum last year.
Asked if his vice presidential pick will share his values concerning abortion, Romney responded:
"I certainly imagine so, I haven't made and selections in that regard [as I look around at the people I would consider] I would expect that they would all be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage but this is an important enough issue that the person that I would select in that position would share my views on those important issues."
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, echoed the concerns of many anti-abortion Romney supporters in a statement issued Friday about a possible Rice pick.
"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," said Dannenfelser in a statement, pointing to Romney's pledge to choose a running mate who's against abortion. "We have taken Governor Romney at his word and therefore believe Secretary Rice will be ruled out of consideration. Secretary Rice's position violates criteria that Governor Romney himself has laid out."
Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, told CNN's Dana Bash that Rice's stance on abortion is the "only con, but it's a disqualifying con" adding "I love Condoleezza Rice. I'd love to see her in any role in a Romney Administration except vice president or attorney general."
Toney Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, agreed saying Governor Romney "needs someone quite frankly across the board on the social issues that will undergird his stated positions, and I just don't think Condoleezza Rice meets that criteria."
Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and GOP 2008 running mate to John McCain, expressed her approval for the possible pick in an interview with Fox News Thursday night, saying Rice would be "wonderful" as vice president.
Of Rice's opposing stance on abortion, Palin said that while she would like an anti-abortion candidate, ultimately, those legislative responsibilities fall on congress.
Conservative Katarina Trinko wrote in the National Review Online that a Rice pick would come as a "surprise" considering Rice's tenure as a Bush cabinet member as well as her stance on abortion.
The Romney team has yet to respond to Drudge's report and continues to tease supporters with a new fundraising campaign titled "Meet the Veep."
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