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May 6, 2008

McCain Learns the Secret Code: Delivers Speech that Panders to Far-Right on Judges, While Avoiding the Issue of Abortion

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called Sen. John McCain's speech on judicial nominees an attempt to mislead the majority of voters who support a woman's right to choose.  In his speech, McCain, without ever specifically mentioning Roe v. Wade, used wink-and-nod code language to make clear his support for judges who would support overturning the landmark Supreme Court decision.  

"It seems Sen. McCain has learned from his predecessor, President Bush, about how to appeal to the far-right base, while attempting to appear moderate to voters who support a woman's right to choose," Keenan said. "McCain continues to skirt the issue of abortion, while simultaneously pledging to appoint anti-choice Justices like nominees he's supported in the past: Robert Bork, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Sen. McCain can try to deceive voters, but his record speaks for itself:  125 anti-choice votes out of the 130 he has cast during his 25 years in Washington.
"Further, one of McCain's supporters – arch-conservative, anti-choice Gary Bauer – has said that the reason he supported McCain in 2000 over George W. Bush is because he promised to appoint only 'pro-life' Justices."

In a May 2005 article that ran in The New Yorker, Gary Bauer - a social conservative politician who endorsed McCain in his 2000 presidential bid – is quoted as saying, "I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court… Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges."

Keenan concluded, "John McCain's 'straight talk' has been replaced with the secret code language of the far-right anti-choice minority. Voters deserve to know that McCain is neither moderate nor a maverick when it comes to a woman's right to choose. He's just plain wrong."

For more information on McCain's anti-choice record, please visit:


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