But as with Bobby Jindal before, if you actually listen to what heís saying, heís not actually telling Republicans to make substantial changes to either what policies they advocate for or even necessarily telling them to tone down their actual passion for stripping women of their reproductive rights. Heís just telling them to be quiet about it, and hope the voters donít notice. After McCain stated that Republicans should leave the issue of abortion alone, this happened:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): When you say leave the issue alone, you would allow, you say, freedom of choice?
McCAIN: I would allow people to have those opinions and respect those opinions and Iím proud of my pro-life position and record, but if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.
In other words, McCain is saying that Republicans should generously allow pro-choicers to not only have opinions but to state them. The problem with this, I hope would be obvious, is that voters, especially single women, didnít turn out against Republicans in the polls because we believed that Republicans were trying to strip away our First Amendment right to have and state opinions. (Though perhaps McCain has behind the scenes information that Iím not privy to on this front.) Not one of the thousand bills offered by Republicans addressing reproductive rights in the past two years, either in state houses or in Congress, was an attempt to ban people from stating out loud that they believe abortion is a right. All McCain is really advising here is for Republicans to continue pushing for restrictions on abortion and contraception access, but heís asking them to be a bit quieter about it.