In the three weeks since Election Day there’s been a lot of Republican hand-wringing as party leaders look for ways to expand the tent and attract more women and minorities to the party.
One area of concern that caused big problems for major candidates in 2012 is abortion, particularly in the Indiana and Missouri Senate races. In both states, Republicans were expected to either keep or take over the Senate seat; however, both GOP candidates made statements on the issue of abortion that eventually played a role in their losses and caused distractions for the party nationally.
And it seems like Sen. John McCain of Arizona may have had enough. During an interview with Fox News Sunday Sen. McCain urged his party to stop making abortion an issue.
“I can state my position on abortion. But other than that, leave the issue alone,” said Sen. McCain. “I would allow people to have those opinions and respect those opinions. I’m proud of my pro-life position and record, but if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.”
In an interview on The Daily Rundown on Tuesday Virginia’s Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell did not openly embrace McCain’s views. “We’re a pro-life party and the Democrats are a pro-choice party, and I think that’s pretty obvious,” McDonnell said.
In Virginia, a majority of voters identified themselves a “pro-choice” according to election exit polling. Despite a 2-to-1 margin of those who say they are for abortion rights, Gov. McDonnell deflected focusing on abortion and instead said voters in his home state care only about the economy.
“Everybody knows that both courts and legislatures are going to determine what the policies are with regards to life and family and marriage and all these social issues. It defines who we are with the people,” said McDonnell. “Obviously, we’re focusing in Virginia on the things that really matter, the kitchen table issues.”