WASHINGTON — George W. Bush has put a staunch abortion foe, Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, in charge of the platform committee for the Republican National Convention.
The appointment, announced Monday by the Republican National Committee, suggests the party is unlikely to step away from its blanket opposition to the procedure, a stance that prompted dissension from GOP moderates before the 1996 convention in San Diego.
Bush, the Texas governor and presumed GOP presidential nominee, opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of a mother is endangered. The platform has no such exceptions. The 1996 disagreement was bridged when abortion-rights supporters were allowed to add a platform appendix.
"Gov. Thompson is the senior Republican governor and an articulate advocate of smaller, smarter government, greater freedom and stronger families," RNC Chairman Jim Nicholson said. "His leadership and vision will be invaluable as our party crafts a platform that reflects the hopes and ideas of Republicans and a majority of Americans."
The platform committee drafts the statement spelling out the Republican Party's positions on an array of issues.
Their resulting document must be approved by a majority of the 2,066 delegates at the convention, to be held July 31 to Aug. 3 in Philadelphia.