RNC Candidate Forced To Defend Marginally Pro-Choice Past

The one woman vying to lead the Republican National Committee is scrambling to proclaim herself pro-life after evidence surfaced that she was previously involved in a group that didn't take a hard line against abortion. Fun with Republican purity tests!

Maria Cino — who is up for the job against a guy named, we shit you not, Gentry, plus other four guys — used to be on the board of a group called WISH List, sort of a Republican EMILY'S List counterpart. And she personally donated to some of the candidates they supported, some of whom were apparently not hardliners on abortion.

This was all quite some time ago — according to LifeNews, which first reported it, "Cino gave the organization $250 in March 2001 and made two $500 contributions in August and September of 1997 and a $250 donation in September 1998, according to FEC records." Still, the moderate uproar over this led CIno to send a letter to RNC members proclaiming her pro-life bonafides:

I am a life-long Catholic who strongly believes and supports the teachings of the Church. I believe in upholding the culture of Life, and therefore I strongly oppose legal abortion. Further, I have studied the questionnaire of the National Right to Life Committee, and am in 100 percent agreement with their policy objectives. All of the elected officials I have worked for directly are ardent pro-lifers and I was proud to assist them in defending the rights of the unborn.

She concedes that she made "contributions to a very small group of candidates and a single political action committee whose views on abortion are different from my own, but who were Republican nonetheless."

Wingnut luminary Maggie Gallagher (who is also the chairwoman of the National Organization For Marriage) was unimpressed. "Her response is woefully inadequate to the main charge: No one I know who is deeply and ardently pro-life would participate in a pro-abortion PAC," she wrote.

If she becomes the head of the RNC, Cino will have no direct impact on policies related to abortion, though of course she would be dispensing money and providing support to candidates who would. But it shows you how far we've come from a Republican party that used to have at least a handful of conditionally pro-choice candidates.The battle lines are drawn.

Cino Burnishes Pro-Life Credentials [NRO]
Is Maria Cino Credibly Pro Life? {NRO]
Campaign Of GOP Chair Candidate Maria Cino Says She's Pro-Life [LifeNews]