Pataki Calls Abortion Debate a ‘Distraction’ as He Prepares for 2016 Announcement

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: May 27, 2015 1:00 PM
Pataki Calls Abortion Debate a ‘Distraction’ as He Prepares for 2016 Announcement

Social issues should take a back seat, says former New York Gov. George Pataki in a new ad airing in New Hampshire. Pataki, who is getting ready to announce a run for the presidency in the Granite State, has suggested that preserving traditional values is merely a ‘distraction’ from more pressing dangers.

“Defeating Islamic terror, shrinking government and growing the economy. These are the issues that matter most. Instead, we’re debating social issues like abortion and gay rights. They’re a distraction and will only help elect Hillary. After eight years of Obama-style socialism, we need to shrink government - not let big government tells us how to live our lives,” Mr. Pataki says in a new campaign video.

Protecting America’s national security and reining in Big Government are of course significant goals for any president, but has Gov. Pataki forgotten the “life” part in “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?” Any conservative candidate should be equipped with the passion to protect the unborn. If he or she has no willingness to defend the weakest among us, how can we count on them to lead the nation as a whole?

Perhaps social conservatives shouldn’t be surprised by Pataki’s most recent dismissal of the pro-life movement’s efforts. As New York governor, he had a record of acting against their wishes.

In July, Pataki vetoed a bill that would have authorized a group of new specialty license plates there, including one commemorating the September 11 terrorist attacks. The governor blamed the veto on a lawsuit supporters of the Choose Life license plate filed after they were denied a specialty plate.

Last May, Pataki said he supported a bill in the legislature requiring taxpayers to spend $100 million annually on embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of human life.

He also signed legislation requiring hospitals -- including religious ones -- to distribute the morning after pill and signed another bill requiring health insurance plans to do the same thing.

This is one issue where pro-life conservatives would be glad to see a candidate flip flop on an issue.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans oppose abortion in all or most cases, according to a recent CNN poll. That number increases when it comes to the inhumane practice of late-term abortion. Pro-life advocates bombarded Capitol Hill with signs, calls and protests earlier this year until legislators finally re-introduced the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Do these sound like ‘distractions’ to you? 

Pataki is poised to officially kick off his campaign Thursday in Exeter.