When a presidential candidate calls abortion supporters Satan worshippers and savages, that party, in this case the Republican Party, is guaranteed to keep social issues on the forefront of voter’s mind at least for the short term.
The Susan B. Anthony List, a 501 non profit organization focused on eliminating abortion in the US has put feelers out for candidates to back with strong records on social issues, more specifically, those who are anti-abortion. The theory is that in 2008 and 2012, the Republican candidate focused on the struggling economy and failed to win the election, and now the GOP has to turn its attention to social issues, where they are viewed as “behind the times”.
Republican Presidential hopefuls took notice and came out swinging. Sen. Ted Cruz, the darling of the Tea Party and a Texas Senator, said supporters of abortion rights chant “Hail, Satan” to silence their enemies. At a different event, Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, said those who believe in abortion rights encourage a “culture of death” and engage in “savagery.”
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Southern Baptist Minister, who is also considering a 2016 run said of abortion, that we must “save every life that we can save.” GOP Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska told activists: “Abortion is not a women’s issue. It is not a men’s issue. It is not a health care issue. It is a violence issue.”
The rhetoric is thick. These candidate hopefuls are attempting to create their own space in the social issues debate with conservative crowds by picking the single issue that most Republicans agree on. By sharing their view on abortion, and adding as much shock value as possible, these candidates hope to win the hearts and wallets of conservative groups as the 2016 election nears.
Supporters of abortion rights, Cruz argued, are ruthless and won’t be easy to sway. “Arm-in-arm, chanting ‘Hail, Satan,’ embracing the right to take the life of a late-term child,” Cruz said of abortion supporters.
Republicans are well known for speaking out on abortion and their supporters with great consequence.
In 2012 Senate race in Missouri, Republican Senator Todd Akin was asked about access to abortion in the case of rape. He said pregnancies caused by abortion are “really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Indiana Republican candidate Richard Mourdock said “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Both candidates lost.