- (Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
Christian conservatives have raised concerns over Mitt Romney's consideration of Condoleezza Rice as a running mate for vice president.
While many have suggested that the former Secretary of State could add some much-needed enthusiasm to Romney's presidential campaign, others have raised concern over issues where Rice and some conservative Christians don't quite see eye to eye. The largest of those issues concerns abortion.
In the past Rice has referred to herself as "mildly pro-choice," admitting that she could be a sort of "libertarian" on the issue. While strongly advocating a ban on late-term abortions and stating that they should be "as rare a circumstance as possible," Rice also said during 2005 interview with The Washington Times that she would be concerned with the government "forcing its views" on the issue.
Her views on the issue arose when she was questioned about running for the 2008 presidential elections, something which she insisted she had no interest in doing.
"I have enormous respect for people who do run for office," Rice said in 2005. "It's really hard for me to imagine myself in that role."
However, reports that began last Thursday suggested that Rice is at the top of Romney's list for consideration as he decides who his running mate will be in the coming presidential elections. Some believe that such a decision will have a negative impact on Romney's campaign, which has been heavily dependent on securing the support of the GOP faithful.
"I contacted my contacts within the campaign and said, 'You can't do this,'" Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, told Newsmax.
Despite the fact that Land, along with many other conservative Christians, have a deep respect for Rice, Land believes that electing her as his running mate will throw Romney's position on abortion up in the air once more.
"The key here is this is the first nomination in a proposed Romney administration," Land stated, "and it cannot be someone who's pro-choice, because that reactivates all the old doubts about whether pro-life is a preference, or a conviction, with the Romney administration."
Land stated that such a move would have a trickle effect on voters who are opposed to abortion. It "would deactivate some pro-life activists and contributors into being mere voters, and some mere voters into being fishermen."
Fishermen don't vote, says Land, and others agree.
"They'd sit on their hands," Fox News host and former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee said of his fellow social conservatives. "Absolutely they will."
Despite the claims, a CNN poll conducted in April revealed that Rice had the support of 8 out of 10 Republicans and she drew the highest level of support as Romney's running mate. What's more is that securing women's votes has also been an issue for both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama.
"At a time when the women's vote is in play, she could have a real impact with women voters," Fox news reported, adding that it would be "sending a strong message to the Obama campaign that Republicans oppose the kind of cradle-to-grave policies the president has advanced in the name of 'protecting' women."