Bopp, a noted pro-life leader, sent the following e-mail to a nationwide list of social conservatives:
Prominent evangelical Mark DeMoss recently circulated a letter to leaders of evangelical organizations urging support for Governor Mitt Romney. His point: the Republican Party will likely pick a Presidential nominee in the next 100 days (by February 5th) and, unless social conservatives rally behind Mitt Romney, the nominee will be Rudy Giuliani.
I share Mark’s choice of Mitt Romney and the urgency of Mark’s call. While several of the other candidates are certainly fine social conservatives, none has established his viability as a serious presidential contender. Only Mitt Romney has the resources to compete with Rudy Giuliani for the nomination.
In January, I argued that Mitt Romney was an acceptable choice for social conservatives. Since then, Massachusetts Citizens for Life has given Mitt Romney an award for his consistent and courageous defense of life as Governor, and prominent Massachusetts pro-life activist and philanthropist, Ray Ruddy, has endorsed him.
Other evangelical leaders have weighed in on the acceptability of the leading Republican candidates. Dr. James Dobson, America’s most influential evangelical leader, has expressed his opinion that Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson are not acceptable, based on their positions on various important conservative issues. I have explained Fred Thompson’s adamant support of McCain-Feingold, while in the Senate and when it was before the U.S. Supreme Court in the McConnell case.
Two other prominent evangelical leaders, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, have recently expressed their view that Mitt Romney is an acceptable choice for social conservatives.
So it does come down to two things: (1) the viability of the candidate, which only Mitt Romney has demonstrated among the socially conservative candidates, and (2) whether social conservatives will have the courage to rally around the only viable social conservative alternative to Rudy Giuliani. A divided field means that Giuliani is likely to win the nomination. This is our choice to make, and we don’t have long to make it.
James Bopp, Jr.
P.S. One final point, while much attention has been focused on Mitt Romney’s conversion to the pro-life cause while Governor, resulting in his vetoes of pro-abortion bills and earning him an award from the Massachusetts Citizens for Life, on other issues he has been a remarkably consistent conservative. Read for yourself this 1994 candidate comparison piece: