Q&A Friday #11: So Is Condi A Social Conservative Or Isn’t She?

Question: “Dick Morris said in an op-ed piece this week that Condi Rice was a social conservative. In many of your posts, you have said she is pro-choice and pro-affirmative action. Who is right? Where can one find her writings on these subjects?” — BlkMktBabyDealer

“I’ve been looking without much success. In 2000, George Will reported that she considers herself a “Second Amendment absolutist.” She also said, “I joined the party for different reasons. I found a party that sees me as an individual, not as a part of a group. I found a party that puts family first. I found a party that has love of liberty at its core. And I found a party that believes that peace begins with strength.” Somehow I doubt she’s in favor of abortion or affirmative action, from that.” — CavalierX

Answer: Here’s what Dick Morris said in his latest column about Condi,

“As a social conservative and deeply religious person, (Condi) would face no bar in winning the votes of the Christian Right, so crucial to winning the Republican nomination. Unlike former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and senator John McCain — either of whom could probably win the presidential election in 2008 — she would be very attractive to the pro-life, anti-gun-control, anti-affirmative-action base of the GOP during the Republican primaries.”

Morris said roughly the same thing about Condi when I interviewed him.

However, as CavalierX pointed out, there’s very little information out there about her domestic views. So how could Morris have gotten that info? Well, keep in mind that Morris is a Washington insider and it’s entirely possible that he has a sit-down with some of Condi’s friends or maybe even Condi herself and discussed this subject. So he may very well be privy to information to which we have no access.

That being said, Condi is pro-Affirmative Action. Back when the Bush administration was dealing with the University of Michigan Affirmative Action case she said,

“I believe that while race-neutral means are preferable, it is appropriate to use race as one factor among others in achieving a diverse student body.”

Rice also applied Affirmative Action when she was at Stanford,

“As provost, Rice took a nuanced position on affirmative action, saying she supported special treatment at the time of hiring but not when it came to granting tenure, with its promise of prestige, higher pay and guaranteed job security. Race was a factor to weigh in creating campus diversity, she suggested, but not evaluating job performance.

“I am myself a beneficiary of a Stanford strategy that took affirmative action seriously, that took a risk in taking a young PhD from the University of Denver,” Rice said during a contentious May 1998 meeting of the Faculty Senate, referring to her initial hiring.”

Furthermore, Condi is also pro-abortion

“Dr. Rice has reportedly described herself as “mildly pro-choice” on one occasion and “reluctantly pro-choice” on another. Our understanding is that Dr. Rice is personally opposed to abortion and would prefer that they never happen, but she also respects the law and the lawmakers with their obligations to the voters.”

Given that (& although as CavalierX pointed out she is a “Second Amendment absolutist”), I don’t think that Dick Morris is correct when he says that Condi will be, “very attractive to the pro-life, anti-gun-control, anti-affirmative-action base of the GOP during the Republican primaries.”

Condi may be a social conservative in many respects (although so far, nobody but Dick Morris seems to be able to confirm this), but I don’t think a pro-abortion candidate is going to appeal to the Christian Right come primary time…

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