White House ’08: McCain and Roe

Story by Chris Graham

So where does John McCain stand, exactly, on Roe v. Wade?

“Going back to 1999, John McCain did an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle saying that overturning Roe v. Wade would not make any sense, because then women would have to have illegal abortions,” said Debra Bartoshevich, whom you wouldn’t otherwise know except that she’s a self-proclaimed “proud Hillary Clinton Democrat” who is the star of a new TV ad from the John McCain campaign in which she declares her support for the once-maverick Republican.

Just one problem with the statement from Bartoshevich at a presser held yesterday to tout her switch in political allegiances – McCain is now selling himself as staunchly pro-life so as to reach out to the conservatives that he has decided need to be his base in November.

Which isn’t to say that the McCain camp isn’t actively trying to sow the seeds of confusion on the issue. McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina told women at an Ohio event earlier this year that McCain “has never signed on to efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade,” even though the official party line now is that McCain is a harsh Roe critic.

As we’re seeing with the Bartoshevic press-conference fiasco, the McCain camp is walking a mighty fine line here – trying to balance efforts to reach out to conservative voters with the desire to steal away a few Clinton voters over to the GOP side.

It could be a much more perilous journey, this tightrope walk, than the McCain folks are letting themselves think to be the case.

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