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Monday, December 8, 2008

"The only thing I am certain of is that I am anti-abortion"

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 6:13 PM

So says Anh "Joseph" Cao, the newly elected Representative for Louisiana's Second District, in an interview with the Associated Press:

The first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress doesn't have a long list of policy beliefs. Aside from one major issue, Republican moderate Joe Cao says he's open on everything else.

"The only thing I am certain of is that I am anti-abortion," Cao said Sunday morning after defeating Democratic U.S. Rep. William Jefferson in a race that marked a major shift in New Orleans politics by ending a 30-year stand for Jefferson, dogged by corruption allegations.

During the campaign, there wasn't a word about abortion on Cao's Web site, nor did it even place on the candidate's "action agenda," which focused on promoting economic development, preserving the Louisiana wetlands, and reducing wasteful spending. Cao did, however, make his position on social issues more clear to writer Deal W. Hudson in an interview with the Web site Inside Catholic:

Few candidates for public office are as forthright as Cao when asked about their position on abortion. “I am very anti-abortion,” he told me without hesitation. Cao would like to overturn Roe, but in the meantime, “We have to find a way to defeat Roe without having to overturn it.”

And Human Events reports:

Cao also described himself as “strongly pro-life” and volunteered that “I don’t agree with any exceptions [to the right to life].”

Which makes Adam Nossiter's profile of Cao in Sunday's New York Times seem a bit strange:

He is only a recent convert to the Republican Party, having been a registered independent for most of his adult life, and has no position — at least not one he cares to share yet — on President-elect Barack Obama’s agenda. His politics seem less a matter of ideology than of low-key temperament and a Jesuit-inspired desire to “help and serve people,” as he put it....

“I don’t want to conform to any ideology, to be put into a little corner,” Mr. Cao said....

Besides, he said, “I truly espouse Aristotle’s definition of virtue: To walk in the middle line.”

On this one issue, Cao's middle line squares exactly with that of Gov. Bobby Jindal, who told The Times-Picayune in 2003 that "I am 100 percent anti-abortion with no exceptions. I believe all life is precious" -- and not with the GOP's other rising star, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who seems willing to make an exception when the life of a woman is at risk: "I am pro-life. With the exception of a doctor's determination that the mother's life would end if the pregnancy continued."


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