Newton, Mass., Feb 28, 2006 / 22:00 pm
Abortion dominated a discussion Feb. 27 at Boston College among prominent Catholic pundits and journalists. Nearly 6,000 people attended the 90-minute talk, entitled "Catholic Politicians in the U.S.: Their Faith and Public Policy."
Tim Russert, host of NBC’s "Meet the Press" moderated the session, which included Democratic strategist James Carville, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, Edward W. Gillespie.
Carville, who helped elect Bill Clinton to office in 1992, claimed the teachings of the Church line up more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, reported the Daily News.
Dionne, a Democrat, echoed Carville. He noted that abortions declined 11 percent during the Clinton administration, adding however that it is very unlikely abortion will ever be illegal in the United States.
To the surprise of the audience, he said Roe v. Wade "was one of the worst things to happen to liberalism." He said that it would have been better at that time to resolve the matter on abortion through a lawmaking body than through the courts, reported the Daily News.
Gillespie said it is difficult to be a good presidential candidate and a Catholic, citing the poor showing of Sen. John Kerry. Gillespie said it is a misconception that abortion is the only issue that defines the Catholic vote.
Contrary to what some political analysts have suggested, Dionne reportedly said there is no Catholic vote in the U.S. He used statistics that suggest 40 percent of Catholics are Republican, 40 percent are Democrat, and 20 percent are swing voters.