By Matthew Anderson
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley” yesterday morning, Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina announced that he plans to run against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader if Pelosi refuses to step down. Shuler, who is going into his third term, has an 85% positive voting rating from the National Right to Life Committee.
On CNN yesterday, Shuler said that it was time for the Democrats to become more moderate. According to Shuler, the results of the recent midterm elections, in which Democrats lost control of the House and lost seats in the Senate, were an indictment of the radical policies of Nancy Pelosi.
“We've just come off the largest … loss for the Democratic Party in almost a century, and to be able to put Speaker Pelosi as minority leader is truly - it's unacceptable for our party,” said Shuler. “To be able to get some of those members of Congress who lost in this 2010 election - to get them back available for the 2012 election, we're going to have to go more of a moderate direction.”
On his website, Shuler says openly that he is pro-life: “I learned from my parents and my church to love God, respect life, and to help those less fortunate than myself … I am a pro-life Democrat, and I believe that all life is sacred.” Shuler was one of very few Democrats who both voted for the pro-life Stupak Amendment last year and voted against the final version of the health care bill that lacked the amendment.
However, Shuler admitted that his chances of beating the incumbent Pelosi are slim. He said that in the midterm elections, many of those Democrats who lost their seats were those who would have supported a more moderate party. According to Shuler, the loss of these moderate Democrats in place of Republicans means that only liberal Democrats such as Pelosi are left, ensuring her reelection as minority leader.
“You know, I can add and subtract pretty well. I don't have the numbers to be able to win, but I think it's a proven point for moderates and the Democratic Party that we have to be a big tent.”
Even after the historic defeats suffered by Democrats in the elections, many in the abortion industry still support Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, said that it was important for Pelosi to remain the democrats’ leader because of her unwavering support for women’s “rights.” In an article for the Huffington Post, Richards pointed to Pelosi’s support of abortion funding in the new healthcare law as a reason she must remain.
“Nancy Pelosi understands women's health issues in a deeply personal way—and when she stands for women, it matters,” she said. “Women need her now more than ever to protect their gains from those who are anxious to roll back health care and undermine their rights under the law.”
Democrats are set to vote on for a minority leader on Wednesday.