Political Pundit Fred Barnes Finds Pro-Life Side Gaining Momentum
Fox News contributor and Weekly Standard co-founder spoke in Jacksonville
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Noted political pundit Fred Barnes, one of the co-founders of the influential Weekly Standard and also a contributor at Fox News, spoke in Jacksonville on Thursday to pro-life activists at the National Right-to-Life Committee convention -- insisting that opponents of abortion have political momentum now.
“The pro-life movement today is stronger and more dynamic and more organized than it ever has been,” insisted Barnes, who was featured on the McLaughlin Group show for many years. “It’s pretty clear things have changed.”
The pundit pointed to recent political events. Barnes said that pro-lifers have the wind at their back and pointed to the results of the 2010 election cycle where conservative Republicans routed Democrats at the polls across the nation. “A breakthrough year,” said Barnes. “There hasn’t been anything like this in a long time.
“The politics of America changed in the 2010 elections,” insisted Barnes, who noted that the pro-life movement was getting larger and more politically savvy.
Barnes pointed to how opponents of legalized abortion have won battles in recent years by fighting against partial-birth procedures and by requiring ultrasounds for women who were considering having an abortion. “It focuses on the baby,” said Barnes, as he attempted to explain the reason for these successes.
The pundit offered harsh words for abortion-rights advocates, whom he labeled the "out of gas" ... “abortion lobby.” Barnes pointed out that, during recent negotiations over the federal budget, President Barack Obama insisted on keeping federal funding of Planned Parenthood -- but kept a low profile on the issue.
Focusing on the “abortion lobby,” Barnes insisted they are still a major force in politics, even though it is in a “defensive crouch.”
“It still has many powerful friends and enormous assets,” Barnes insisted, though he noted abortion-rights advocates have strong allies in the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Senate. He maintains they are not as strong in the political trenches. “It’s not a powerful force at the grass roots.”
Referring to the recent debate in New Hampshire among the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination, Barnes noted that all of them are pro-life. The pundit maintained that the GOP is essentially pro-life and noted how Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who had received some buzz as a possible presidential contender before deciding not to run, called for a truce on social issues. “It was a dumb idea,” said Barnes, adding that he respected Daniels.
While the politician Barnes referenced was the late U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, a longtime Republican congressman from Illinois, he highlighted three congressional leaders who were active in leading the fight against abortion. Barnes singled out U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, who holds the seat Hyde held from 1975 until his death in 2007.
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