Republican presidential contender John Kasich is taking a page from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s playbook, warning GOP conservatives against demanding Planned Parenthood’s federal funding be eliminated from the must-pass temporary spending bill that would keep the government open.
Echoing McConnell’s words, the Ohio Governor said in New Hampshire Saturday and then argued on Fox News Sunday, that President Obama would veto any spending bill that transfers funds from Planned Parenthood to women’s healthcare facilities that do not perform abortions. Kasich warns that could make Republicans vulnerable if the government subsequently shuts down.
“I think there are other ways for Congress to try to deal with this,” Kasich said. “And they need to be more creative in regard to Planned Parenthood. But when you shut the government down, people don’t like it. And you shouldn’t shut it down unless you have a great chance of success.”
Earlier in the month, McConnell also said the current Congress is powerless to remove taxpayer funding from Planned Parenthood, which is under congressional investigation following the exposure of its gruesome practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies to sell on the open market.
“The president’s made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood,” McConnell acquiesced.
“The Senate Democrats have a big enough number to prevent us from doing things,” he continued. “They prevented us from doing any of the bills that appropriate money for the government, thereby forcing a negotiation when we go back in after Labor Day, which I’ll be engaged in with the administration and others to try to sort out how much we’re going to spend and where we’re going to spend it.”
Kasich parts company with conservatives in Congress over how far he would go to keep his commitment to traditional values that were once a mainstay of the Republican Party, preferring instead to choose paths that are more popular with voters while at the same time couching his submission to popularity in spiritual jargon.
For example, in August Kasich said that while he is pro-life, he thinks conservatives “focus too much on just” abortion. Similarly, during the first GOP debate, Kasich acquiesced to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, stating that while he himself believes in traditional marriage, he happily attended the gay marriage of a friend.
“The court has spoken, the court has ruled,” he said during an interview earlier this month. “I believe in traditional marriage, but the court has ruled. One other big issue here, we have a lot of young people who sit on the fence on an issue like this and they think about their belief in God.”
Kasich also opposed Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ refusal to sign same-sex marriage licenses because of her religious beliefs.
“Now, I respect the fact that this lady doesn’t agree but she’s also a government employee, she’s not running a church, I wouldn’t force this on a church,” he said. “But in terms of her responsibility I think she has to comply. I don’t think – I don’t like the fact that she’s sitting in a jail, that’s absurd as well. But I think she should follow the law.”
The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative House Republicans whose stated mission is to “support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety, and prosperity of all Americans,” recently affirmed that its members “oppose any spending measure that contains funding for Planned Parenthood.”
“Given the appalling revelations surrounding Planned Parenthood, we cannot in good moral conscience vote to send taxpayer money to this organization while still fulfilling our duty to represent our constituents,” the caucus said.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp also observed recently in a tweet that McConnell secured nearly $3 billion for a dam project in his home state of Kentucky in the government funding bill deal passed after a shutdown debate over funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit in 2013:
— Cong. Tim Huelskamp (@CongHuelskamp) September 2, 2015
Similarly, in a recent interview with Breitbart News, ForAmerica president David Bozell said, “These folks are caught on video tape eight times now, embarking on a criminal enterprise that involves cutting off the heads of children and cutting their faces off to get to their brains to sell them for money.”
“If the Republican Party can’t stand up against that, can’t protect the American taxpayer against funding that, they are of no use to us,” he added.