In February, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin wrote a paper for the Heritage Foundation titled "The Cause of Life Can’t be Severed from the Cause of Freedom," and in July, he took issue with Mitch Daniels' call for a "truce" on social issues.
So it's a little surprising to see this criticism of Ryan at Red State:
Recently, we have seen a number of odd and highly unnecessary comments about the need for truces on social issues. Notably, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana and possible 2012 Presidential candidate, told the Weekly Standard that we “would have to call a truce on social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a while.” And now you have one of the young squirts, or squirt guns, or whatever they have anointed themselves, Rep. Paul Ryan, saying on CNBC, “we will agree to disagree on [social] issues.”
Really? I guess Mr. Ryan’s idea of a “roadmap” is just to get on “the highway to power,” and ignore any of the bumpier roads - never mind if it takes you somewhere you don’t want to go.
But Ryan hasn't gotten on board with the idea of a truce on social issues. "I’m as pro-life as a person gets," Ryan told me in July. "You’re not going to have a truce. Judges are going to come up. Issues come up, they’re unavoidable, and I’m never going to not vote pro-life."
What Ryan appears to be saying in his comment on CNBC is that he's willing to tolerate some people in the party like Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Mark Kirk of Illinois who think abortion should be legal, if there are other important issues on which they agree, such as repealing Obamacare--which happens to also be a goal of pro-lifers. (It's worth noting that Brown's positions--against abortion funding, against abortions on military bases, for judges like Alito--make him mostly pro-life when it comes to his voting record.)
Ryan says in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD today that the Republican Party must "remain ever-vigilant in its defense" of the right to life:
"Healthy debate should take place within the Republican Party on specific policies, but it is a false choice to ask which natural right we should discard: 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' is not a menu of options. All planks – economic liberty and limited government; keeping our nation secure; championing America’s founding truths and the dignity of every human person – are rooted in same timeless principles, enshrined in our Founding and the cause of our exceptionalism. American families are under assault from many quarters, with mounting economic hardships and a crushing burden of government debt foremost on the minds of many. The American family must remain at the core of our free society, and I will remain ever-vigilant in its defense.”