A look at potential running mates for Mitt Romney

An announcement is expected any day now.

Who do you think Mitt will pick as his Vice President?

There are several prominent candidates believed to be on his shortlist.

The CatholicVote.org Research Team has compiled a dossier on seven candidates considered very likely to chosen to be Mitt Romney’s running mate: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal, Bob McDonnell, and Paul Ryan.

We thought you would like some background on each of these candidates before an announcement was made.

Let us know who you think it willl be.

If there are any updates of inaccuracies, please leave them in the Comments section and we’ll update the record.

Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey

Christie is against most abortions, but not all. “I am pro-life, I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. That’s my position, take it or leave it.” 1

“The life of every human being is precious. We must work to reduce abortions in New Jersey through laws such as parental notification, a 24-hour waiting period and a ban on partial-birth abortion.” 2

He vetoed a bill that would have restored $7.5 million in funding to family planning clinics, but his stated concern was the budget, not abortions. He added that “reproductive health care services will continue to be available in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties, including Planned Parenthood clinics…” 3 As a result of the veto, six family planning clinics shut down, including two run by Planned Parenthood. 4

In an interview last year, Christie said, “I think if someone is born that way it’s very difficult to say then that that’s a sin. I understand that my church says that. But for me personally, I don’t look upon someone who’s homosexual as a sinner.” 5

Christie vetoed a New Jersey bill in February that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. 6 He then called for the Legislature to put a referendum on the issue on November’s ballot. 7

On marriage: “I am not a fan of same-sex marriage. It’s not something that I support. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. That’s my view, and that’ll be the view of our state.” 8 More recently, he said, “I think this is something people should be voting on. If we’re going to have that type of drastic change or we’re considering that type of drastic change in one of the bedrocks of our society, I think that’s something that the people should vote on, not the legislature.” 9

Christie is in favor of civil unions and insists that gay couples in civil unions be given the same legal rights as married couples: “We can have civil unions that can help to give the same type of legal rights to same-sex couples that marriage gives them. But I just think marriage has as a special connotation. And I couldn’t see myself changing my mind on that. But I am in favor of making sure that homosexual couples have the same type of legal rights that heterosexual couples have.” 10

Religious liberty
Christie has expressed concern for Catholic organizations having to abide with the HHS mandate, stating that these concerns must be addressed. He also attacked the Obama administration for making this an issue so it can serve as a ‘distraction’ from the other problems confronting the country. 11

Embryonic life
The New Jersey Legislature recently passed a bill which would legalize gestational surrogacy. Chris Christie vetoed the bill, saying: “Permitting adults to contract with others regarding a child in such a manner unquestionably raises serious and significant issues,” Christie said. “I am not satisfied that these questions have been sufficiently studied by the Legislature at this time.” 12

School choice
Christie: “At the end of the day, I think every parent should have the right to decide that most important decision, how their child should be educated.” 13

Christie is strong on school choice. In 2010, he signed a bill allowing New Jersey residents to send their children to public schools outside their districts, subject to certain limitations. 14 “Why not trust the families?” he asked. 15

Christie is also a supporter of school vouchers and says he will push for a program that would offer funds to families to send their children to private schools. 16

In his 2011 State of the State address, he said he considers expanding New Jersey’s charter school program “a top priority.” 17

Marco Rubio, Senator from Florida

Rubio said that the United States “can never truly become what it fully was intended to be unless it deals with [abortion] squarely… it’s that important.” 18

Rubio supported legislation in Florida that would require doctors to perform ultrasounds for women before they could get abortions 19, and he co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act. 20

Rubio believes that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, a decision that he called a “catastrophe” with “horrifying” consequences. 21

Rubio believes that American laws should recognize the traditional definition of marriage. 22

However, he does not support a federal constitutional amendment that would legally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman because he believes the issue should be left to the states. 23

Religious liberty
Rubio introduced the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012, aimed at overturning the mandate that employers must include full coverage for contraception and sterilizations in the health plans they offer their employees. 24 Rubio: “This is a common-sense bill that simply says the government can’t force religious organizations to abandon the fundamental tenets of their faith because the government says so.” 25

Embryonic life
Voted against taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research. 26

School choice
“Parental involvement is at the heart of education. Parents know their children best, love them most, and are in the best position to know if a school is successfully teaching their children. Consequently, parents should have the means and ability to influence their children’s education.” 27

Supports charter schools and voted to raise scholarship amounts in the Corporate Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program. 28

In his 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future, Rubio stated that he wants to require schools that accept Florida funds to give parents annual notices on school content, performance, and spending.

Supports a universal education tax deduction, essentially a national school voucher program that would give tax deductions or credits to parents for education expenses, including tuition and related expenses. 29 However, it does not appear that the program will be restricted to low-income students or that many low-income students will actually be able to benefit from it. 30

In 2010, Rubio said he wanted to reinstate the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship and give additional scholarships to students in chronically failing schools throughout the country. 31

Rob Portman, Senator from Ohio  

Co-sponsored the ban on partial birth abortion. 32
Consistently opposes using taxpayer funding for abortion. 33
Voted to ban federal abortion funding overseas. 34
Voted to make it illegal for minors to go to a different state for an abortion. 35
Voted to make it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. 36

Portman believes that marriage is a “sacred bond between one man and one woman.” 37

Voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. 38
Voted for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman. 39
Voted to bar same-sex couples in D.C. from adopting children. 40

Religious liberty
Voted to prohibit federal, state, and local governments that receive federal funds from discriminating against any health care facility, organization, or plan that does not refer patients for abortions, pay for abortions, or provide abortions. 41

To Eric Holder, Portman wrote, “I respectfully urge you to take swift action and advise the Department of Health and Human Services that it cannot violate the conscience rights of millions of Americans.” 42

Portman is a co-sponsor of Marco Rubio’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012.

Embryonic life
Voted for the Human Cloning Prohibition Act. 43

School choice
Voted to create a non-profit corporation to distribute federally-funded vouchers to children in D.C. from low-income families. 44

Voted for a bill that would allow states to use some federal education funds for scholarships to low-income families for use in private schools, including religious schools. 45

Tim Pawlenty, former Governor of Minnesota

As governor of Minnesota, Pawlenty signed into law the Women’s Right to Know Act of 2003, which requires physicians to inform patients of alternatives to abortions and give them detailed information about fetal development at least 24 hours before providing them with abortions. 46

He also signed the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act to give women information about the ability of a fetus to feel pain during an abortion. 47

In 2005 he signed the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Act to allow Minnesota to send public funds to pregnancy centers. 48

Designated April as “Abortion Recovery Month.” 49

“I fully support traditional marriage. Unequivocally… if elected I would vigorously oppose any effort to redefine marriage as anything other than between one man and one woman.” 50

Signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage to “protect marriage nationally” after initially declining to sign. (His campaign team says the initial response resulted from a misunderstanding.) Items in the pledge include supporting a federal amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, defending DOMA, and appointing Supreme Court justices that would not “invent a right to gay marriage.” 51

Pawlenty co-authored the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the Minnesota Legislature. 52

Religious liberty
“The protections between the separation of church and state were designed to protect people of faith from government, not government from people of faith.” 53

It is not clear if Pawlenty has addressed the religious liberty concerns in the HHS mandate.

Embryonic life
Vetoed a bill that would have made human cloning legal in Minnesota and that would have allowed the use of taxpayer money to destroy human embryos. 54

Signed a law banning human cloning in Minnesota. 55

School choice
“Education needs to be reflective of the fact that parents are in charge, that parents are the ones who are in the driver’s seat for what’s best for their children and their family. We have a commitment in this country to get everyone educated, but we don’t need to get everyone educated through a government monopoly system… within the public school system we need more, as much choice within that system as possible.” 56

As Minnesota governor, Pawlenty proposed a bill that would allow successful charter schools to expand. 57

Pawlenty supports allowing local school boards to decide whether to teach Creationism. 58

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana  

Signed a bill to prevent doctors in Louisiana from performing abortions from 20 weeks after conception, except to protect the life of the mother. 59

Increased the waiting period for an abortion in Louisiana to 24 hours from 2 hours. 60

Required women considering an abortion to listen to their babies’ heartbeats first. 61

Required abortions to be performed by physicians. 62

Signed legislation stating that for the purposes of the Louisiana legislature, human life begins at conception and that if Roe v. Wade is reversed, abortion will be illegal in Louisiana. This legislation also prohibited health plans established in Louisiana according to the PPACA to offer coverage for abortions. 63

Voted to make it illegal for a minor in a state where there are parental consent laws to leave the state in order to procure an abortion without obtaining parental consent. 64

Jindal is against abortion with no exceptions. Following Catholic moral teaching, he believes that it is permissible for a woman to consent to a medical procedure to save her life if the foreseen but not willed result is the death of the child. 65

Jindal supports traditional marriage and would like to see a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. 66 In the House, Jindal co-sponsored a resolution proposing such a constitutional amendment. 67

Formed the Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family, which will study the social and personal effects of marriage and raising children in Louisiana and propose programs and policies. 68

Religious Liberty
Introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2007 in the House to require employers to reasonably accommodate the religious beliefs and practices of their employees. 69

Embryonic life
Voted against allowing the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct or support embryonic stem cell research using embryos donated from IVF clinics. 70

Voted to develop methods for producing stem cells without using human embryos. 71

Jindal supports the use of emergency contraception for women who have been raped and who request it. 72

School choice
Signed a bill to allow 380,000 students from low- or middle-income Louisiana families to choose to attend schools outside their districts, 73 creating what is now the largest school voucher program in the country. 74 Under the program, more than half of Louisiana’s public school students are given vouchers, which they can use in private or religious schools if they wish. 75

Bob McDonnell, Governor of Virginia

During 15 years as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, McDonnell supported 35 bills to restrict abortion. McDonnell opposes abortion with no exceptions. 76

Signed a bill requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds on women before they can receive abortions. 77

Helped lead the effort in the House to prohibit late-term partial birth abortion and successfully fought to enact parental notification and informed consent laws. 78

Chief sponsor and author of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman. 79

Religious liberty
Signed into law a proposal to provide faith-based adoption and foster care agencies explicit conscience protections so that they will not be required to place children with homosexual couples. 80

Gov. McDonnell said on CNN that the HHS mandate was a “great expansion” of the federal government’s powers. “If it does not respect individual religious views and makes groups or individuals do things which are contrary to their deeply-help religious beliefs, there’s going to be a visceral negative reaction.” 81

Embryonic life
Proposed a budget amendment in Virginia to ban taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 82

School choice
“More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement. A child’s educational opportunity should be determined by her intellect and work ethic, not by her ZIP Code.” 83

Proposed tax credits for private businesses that contribute to a scholarship fund for children from low-income families to attend private schools. 84

Paul Ryan, Representative from Wisconsin’s 1st District


Co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. 85

Voted to amend the PPACA so that no federal funds may be used to pay for any part of any healthcare plan that offers abortion coverage. 86

Voted for the Abortion Pain Bill 87 and the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. 88

Voted to prohibit partial birth abortion. 89

Voted for a resolution proposing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. 90

Voted against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. 91

Religious liberty
Voted for the Religious Liberty Protection Act of 1999. 92

On the HHS mandate: “This is much, much bigger than about contraception. This is about religious freedom, First Amendment rights, and how this progressive philosophy of fungible rights of a living breathing constitution really clashes and collides with these core rights that we built our society and country around.” 93

Embryonic life
Voted against the Stem Cell Research Act of 2007, which would have required the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct and support research on embryonic stem cells. 94

Voted in favor of developing methods to produce stem cells without using human embryos. 95

School choice
Voted for school vouchers in Washington, D.C. 96



85 thoughts on “A look at potential running mates for Mitt Romney

  1. ComicMonkey says:

    Getting back to what feels like an “old issue” on this matter, especially “old” because the decision was already made. There are many of us Republicans out there that are “pro-choice” to some point. I have had an abortion in the past, and it was so early that they could not even pull it up on ultrasound, they asked me to wait a week and had to do an internal ultrasound to confirm it. Now, I have no doubts that that was a viable life. There were many factors that made me decide to have an abortion. First, I suffer chronic pain from nerve damage, I was, at the time on a few different medications for pain and muscle spasm. I did realize that I was pregnant at around 3 weeks, but I had still been taking my medications which included Neurontin, Darvocet and Flexiril for those 3 weeks as well as having cocktails, I was a bartender, I lived a fairly tame life for one, but cocktails were part of my weekly ritual. When I became pregnant with a child(I still consider it a “child”, I cannot imagine how you could think otherwise), I knew almost immediately, I was so very, very sick. Although me and my boyfriend had used condoms, I felt that something was wrong, so 5 days after a missed period I took a test and it was positive. Being that I was only 21, knew my boyfriend for only 8 months and was in no position to provide a stable home for a child, I decided to abort. I did eventuall marry that guy, but also divorcing him, so even more was I convinced that I had made the right choice. Now, I have a child that I cannot even imagine living my life without. Jackson Ulysses is the light of my life and I know that I could never abort again. My only argument here is that, as a 21 year old, I was in no position to have a child. Unfortunantely birth control fails sometimes and it would be nice to think that one should not have sex until they are ready to be a parent, but that is not going to happen. Now, while I am against Roe V Wade because I do not feel tha federal government should have that power, I do not condemn abortion because I have been in the shoes of that scared pregnant young adult and I know That I would have not been able to give that child a good life. You all can criticize me as you see fit. I am a Christian and I understand God’s idea on all of this. I feel bad for having done it and blessed for being given a secound chance and having the most amazing boy ever. However, I cannot deny others of making this difficult choice. There needs to be, in my thoughts, more education and birth control readily available. I’m not Catholic(although, my husband is), but we both agree that the more realistic option is to improve distribution of contraceptives to people as opposed to insisting that they abstain. It’s not ideal, but it will be the most effective.

    Anyway, Yea! for Romney and Ryan, time to bring back some common sense!

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