Blogging from the Republican Convention, Day 2.

Politics and policy.
Sept. 1 2004 2:22 PM

Laura Agonistes

Blogging from the Republican Convention, Day 2.

(Continued from Page 3)

Here's where, as a maven of abortion politics, I get to pull out some embarrassing quotes from Dole's presidential campaign. This is from the Washington Post on Aug. 17, 1999:

Asked in an interview whether she supports spending federal money to pay for abortions, Dole initially said she opposed using Medicaid dollars on the medical procedure. "I'm not for, ah, you know, federal funding for abortions," she said, seated in a conference room of a local business. "I'm for continuing the current situation, which prohibits federal funding for abortions."

Told that current law allows using Medicaid money for abortion in instances of rape, incest or when the woman's life is in danger, a Dole aide interrupted to dispute that. Then Dole said: "I have been in favor of continuing what we are doing now. I just want to be sure exactly what the current situation is. Let's don't pursue that further now because I need to check that." …

Dole has long supported legal abortions for women who are the victims of rape, incest or if the woman's health is jeopardized. But when asked whether she viewed the question of spending Medicaid funds for poor women's abortions as a fairness issue, Dole replied: "I think I am against federal funding for abortions."

You get the picture. Dole isn't exactly the right person to be telling pro-lifers that the GOP has a spine about this issue or even knows the federal policies about it very well.

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Dole concludes with a declaration of faith—"In America I have the freedom to call that man Lord … and … I … do"—and a slap at "activist judges trying to strip the name of God from the Pledge of Allegiance, from the money in our pockets, and from the walls of our courthouses." But in expressing sorrow for the people harmed by recent hurricanes and tropical storms—and paying tribute to those who have helped them—she inadvertently slights her own state. "If a storm named Charley or Francis strikes, we help them," she says.

Excuse me? How about Gaston, the storm that just blew from South Carolina to Virginia? The robot has screwed up. Somebody check her batteries.

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