Texas Gov. Rick Perry — currently in the lead, according to Gallup, to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012 — signed (PDF) on Wednesday the Susan B. Anthony List’s controversial anti-abortion pledge.
Perry’s signature joins those of candidates Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). The pledge is intended to influence whom these presidential hopefuls will choose to fill their cabinets, should they win next year’s presidential election.
The four-point pledge stipulates that signers agree to “select only pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services.”
In a post on the Washington Post blog Right Turn, Jennifer Rubin points out that Perry might come to regret putting pen to the SBA List’s pledge when he realizes it means he won’t be able to appoint former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to his cabinet, who Rubin suggests might have been Perry’s pick for attorney general.
Perry endorsed Giuliani for president in 2008. Good enough for the Oval Office but not the Justice Department? I asked the Perry campaign to explain but no answer was forthcoming.
Has Perry rethought the qualities needed for national service or is he the latest candidate, unfortunately, to jump when a special-interest group comes calling? Then it was good enough to look Giuliani in the eye. Now he’s not good enough to run HHS. Maybe Perry regrets endorsing Giuliani, or maybe he didn’t read through the SBA pledge. But his position then and his position now in the wisdom of pro-choice politicians serving in high office are contradictory. He should explain himself to the voters.
GOP presidential hopefuls who have not signed the SBA List’s pledge include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and Herman Cain.
Adding to his support for the anti-abortion rights movement, in November Perry is scheduled to co-chair the 40-year anniversary gala of Americans United for Life, an influential anti-abortion rights policy group based in Washington, D.C.
Watch Perry endorsing Giuliani for president in 2008: