Pro-Life, Marriage Groups Release 2012 GOP Scorecard

By Matt Cover | October 7, 2011 | 3:18 PM EDT

In this Monday, Jan. 24, 2011 file picture, demonstrators stand with signs outside the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton, N.J. during an anti-abortion rally. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

( Pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List and pro-marriage group National Organization for Marriage have released a joint candidate scorecard for most of the 2012 GOP presidential contenders, listing their positions on several social conservative issues.

The scorecard debuted at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday – an annual political conference focusing on social conservative issues.

The scorecard will be distributed at the summit.

The scorecard combines the two groups’ issue pledges that they send to candidates every election cycle, offering social conservatives a convenient way to gauge where most of the GOP presidential contenders stand on key social issues.

The scorecard indicates the positions of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Herman Cain, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) – showing whether each candidate signed the pro-life and pro-marriage pledges as well as where they stand on several issues key to each group.

Only three candidates – Perry, Santorum, and Bachmann – support every issue on the scorecard and have signed both pledges. The other candidates have either not signed one of the pledges or have not indicated support of one of the social conservative issues.

For instance, Gingrich has not signed the pro-life pledge, but supports all but one of the issues in the pro-life section of the scorecard – passage of fetal pain legislation.

Herman Cain is the only GOP candidate to sign neither the pro-life or pro-marriage pledges, even though he supports most of the issues on each section of the scorecard.

Romney is the only other candidate to not sign the pro-life pledge, even though he – like Cain – supports most of the issues in the pro-life area. The one issue he does not support is a pledge to select only pro-life appointees to relevant cabinet agencies such as Health and Human Service, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Justice.

Several candidates have not signed the pro-marriage pledge – Cain, Gingrich, and Paul – and others have not indicated support for some of its policies. None of the three non-signatories have said if they will nominate only pro-marriage judges to the federal bench, support a national commission on religious liberty, or advance legislation overturning gay marriage in the District of Columbia. 

None of the candidates have said that they do not support any of the marriage pledge’s policy items. Of the candidates who have signed the marriage pledge, all have expressed support for its policy agenda.

The only pro-marriage policy that was rejected by any of the candidates was a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. That policy was rejected by Herman Cain and Ron Paul.

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