Pro-Life Haley Barbour Announces He Won’t Run for President

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Haley Barbour

Driving home last night I listened to my favorite talk show host who had brought together a panel of first-rate political reporters to discuss the shocking news that pro-life Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour had issued a statement declaring that he was not going to be a candidate for President.

The host asked, on a scale of one to ten–with ten being something like a super-mega shock–how would they rate news that someone everyone “knew” was going to be a candidate for the Republican nomination had withdrawn. The lowest figure was 8.5.

Last month I wrote a blog entry titled “Barbour Lays out Pro-Life Credentials in Iowa Speech”. In a word they are very, very solid. So Gov. Barbour’s decision is not only a shock, it is a disappointment. We want pro-lifers in the Republican field—especially those with Gov. Barbour’s experience and savvy. The Republican nominee will take on a pro-abortion incumbent who has almost unlimited access to money to run his re-election campaign.

There are a number of pro-life candidates who are thinking about entering the race, or so the conventional wisdom goes. Five Republicans have taken the first formal step, establishing “exploratory committees,” as a way of “testing the waters” before deciding whether to formally announce that they are running for President. The only Republican to date who has taken that final step is pro-abortion former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.

A friend forwarded me a tweet this afternoon. It came from New York Times reporter John Harwood, saying that a confidante of Republican Mitch Daniels says that the Indiana Governor now “’60 to 70%’ likely to seek 2012 GOP nomination.”

Daniels is best known to pro-lifers for telling Andrew Ferguson of The Weekly Standard in 2010 that “the next president would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while. Daniels’ argument is that in order to build a large enough coalition to defeat President Obama in 2012, issues like abortion should be disregarded (See here)

But the economic mess we find ourselves in is not going to be resolved for a long, long time. Putting abortion in the shelf is to counsel inaction for the indefinite future as the machinery of death devours millions of addition victims.

And, as we have said many times over many presidential election cycles, the importance of saving unborn lives cannot be exaggerated to those who believe in the sanctity of every human life or more of an determent to those candidates who don’t.

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