Third Party Watch owner and Libertarian National Convention keynote speaker Richard Viguerie offers the following advice to John McCain in an open letter sent to various Christian and right-wing Web sites:
Dear Senator McCain:
The buzz in recent days has been that some of your key aides were calling national and state GOP leaders to alert them to the possibility that you were seriously considering a pro-abortion running mate and to take their temperature on such a selection.
As Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal asked: Are you politically “stupid” or do you care little for conservative principles?
It also shows that you don’t understand why the Republican brand has taken a massive beating in recent years. You clearly don’t comprehend why millions of conservatives are off the Republican reservation and sitting on the political sidelines.
Your indication that you’re willing to put a person who has a clear, unequivocal pro-abortion record within a heartbeat of the presidency is alarming.
Pro-life conservatives understand that, to change the laws to protect innocent life, first and foremost, we need good, articulate leadership–from the president and vice president.
To put it as simply and clearly as I can, most Republican leaders at the national and state level have betrayed, abandoned, and sold out the principles that define conservatism. Talk of selecting a pro-abortion liberal Republican (Tom Ridge) or, even worse, a pro-abortion liberal Democrat (Joe Lieberman) drives the Republican brand lower and lower.
Your apparent interest in selecting a running mate who is out of sync ideologically with the vast majority of conservatives reinforces the image of the Republican Party as a party without principle and dedicated to one proposition above all others â€“ the seeking, acquiring, obtaining, and holding onto power.
Senator McCain, you are exceedingly proud of being a political maverick â€“ you wear it as a badge of honor.
Well, poke the base of the Republican Party â€“ the conservatives â€“ in the eye one more time by choosing a pro-abortion vice presidential candidate and conservatives will show you that two can play the maverick game.
Conservatives are people with proudly held principles. We’re now waiting to see if you share our principles.
Richard A. Viguerie