Brown says no to pro-choice litmus test
California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sunday that the Democratic Party should be open to abortion foes, dealing another blow to the pro-choice movement as it struggles to hold the line against pro-life candidates.
“I’d say, look, even on the abortion issue, it wasn’t very long ago that a number of Catholic Democrats were opposed to abortion,” Mr. Brown, a former Jesuit novice, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “So the fact that somebody believes today what most people believed 50 years ago should not be the basis for their exclusion.”
Mr. Brown said that the Democratic base is “shifting” and includes environmentalists, gun owners, “pro-choice people,” and religious fundamentalists — “not very many, but they’re there.”
“In America, we’re not ideological. We’re not like a Marxist party in 1910,” Mr. Brown said. “We are big tent by the very definition.”
Democratic leaders have since been lining up for months on whether abortion is a party litmus test, with Democratic National Committee chairmen Tom Perez and one of his most-prominent predecessors (Howard Dean) say it must be, with its two current top legislators (Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi) among those saying it need not.
Pro-choice leaders and other progressive organizations have characterized any move toward opening the tent to pro-life candidates as a betrayal of woman.