The guessing game surrounding Mitt Romney's choice for vice president created a stir among pro-lifers when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's name was bannered about last week. Even Tea Party heavyweights Sarah Palin and Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) were telling conservatives to ignore Rice's abortion views if she was selected to run alongside Romney.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska and vice presidential running mate of Sen. John McCain in 2008, told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that Rice "would be a wonderful vice president," noting that the current Stanford professor "has much more experience than our sitting president does today."
Meanwhile, on Sunday's "Face the Nation" on CBS, Ryan, who is often mentioned as someone on Romney's shortlist for VP, also sung Rice's praises when asked by host Bob Schieffer if she would be a good choice.
"Oh, yeah, I love Condi," noted Ryan. "I think she's fantastic. I think she's somebody who is absolutely worthy of consideration."
Although Palin and Ryan may be exclaiming Rice's attributes as a Romney running mate, a number of potential hurdles still stand in the way, say conservative pundits.
First, Rice has never run for office and while she is considered one of the best and brightest minds when it comes to foreign policy, she is untested as a candidate and as Palin can attest, the media intensity of running for VP can be overwhelming for even experienced campaigners.
Still, others who worked inside of the Bush White House, including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were not unabashed fans of Rice due to their occasional head butting on issues surrounding the Iraq war.
But the big issue for conservatives is her pro-abortion views.
Karen McNeil, a pro-life activist and marketing director at Life Choices in Memphis, Tenn., asked the question many evangelicals and social conservatives ask when one supporter described Rice as "mildly" pro-choice.
"How can you 'mildly' support aborting a child?" wrote McNeil in a Facebook post.
During Palin's interview with Van Susteren, she attempted to explain to voters that as vice president, Rice could not directly impact a vote on abortion. "We need to remember, though, that it is not the vice president that would legislate abortion, and that would be Congress' role. And we'll keep that in mind," said Palin.
But Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission pointed out the unique role a vice president can play in the legislative process.
"Let's not forget that one of the vice president's role is to preside over the U.S. Senate," Land told CP. "And in the case of a close vote in the Senate, the vice president would be called in to break a 50-50 tie. So, yes, as vice president she could have a large impact on a pro-life issue."
Former GOP presidential candidate and pro-family advocate Gary Bauer also expressed concern over a Rice selection. "The effort to destroy her will be extraordinary by the left," wrote Bauer in an email to supporters.
Bauer also noted that his supporters and subscribers to his email list were opposed to Rice as a VP candidate "by a margin of 3 to 1."