Republican businessman John Cox hopes to win an angry victory in the race for the California governor by avoiding any mention of social problems – but his earlier extreme views on abortion, which are characterized by personal experiences, could complicate matters.
As the looming controversy over President Trump's colonel candidate heats up, the battle for high stakes is likely to draw national attention to abortion rights and whether the next justice could give the deciding vote. Overthrow Wade and Allow Some States to Ban
Cox has previously said that he rejects abortion even in cases of rape and incest – a position that deviates him from most California voters. In a 2006 book he wrote while embarking on a long-term campaign for President "Politic $ Inc." Cox described himself as a "pro-life without exception"
"Living the unborn child's right should be superior to a woman's desire to finish college or fight for a better job," he wrote. "Rape and incest are horrible crimes that should be severely punished, killing the child punishes the wrong person."
His rejection of abortion was marked by a deeply personal experience. Cox's biological father raped his mother and left the family shortly after Cox was born, he said in interviews in his political career.
"I would not sit by you if abortion was legal," he told Illinois newspaper in 2003. "My mother told me that she would have had an abortion if it had been legal."
Surveys have revealed that more than two-thirds of Californian voters, including a majority of Republicans, believe the government does not interfere with a woman's access to abortion.
Cox has attempted not to mention the subject in his campaign against Democratic Lieutenant Govin Newsom, but instead to address economic issues such as California's cost of living and increasing homelessness.
"I will not focus on social issues," Cox said in an interview the morning after the area code. "I will focus on comfort and affordability."
But that might prove difficult, as a high stakes nomination dispute about the Supreme Court is likely to be a woman's right to vote. Trump, who plans to announce his candidate on Monday, vowed during the campaign to propose judges that Roe v. Wade ̵
Cox's dilemma is similar to that of pro-life politicians in blue and purple states across the country. You have long been able to Roe v. Wade as a reason to point out why pro-choice voters should not worry about their position in abortion.
"With another Trump appointed to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is a very slim pipe on which to hang a political alibi," said Jack Pitney, a professor of politics at Claremont McKenna College and a former Republican party official ,
Even if the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade upset, abortion is extremely unlikely to be banned in California. The state has a law protecting abortion rights, the state supreme court has previously ruled in favor of abortion rights, and a constitutional amendment approved by voters would be needed to bypass the judges. State Supreme Court judges are appointed by the governor, but they are subject to confirmation of the hearing and can be voted out by voters.
The next governor will also impact on the abortion policy based on their budgets and staffing levels Amy Everitt, the director of state of NARAL Pro-Choice California, an abortion law group
"He competes to become governor of the country's pro-choice state to become, "she said. "John Cox will not be able to avoid talking about where he stands in this matter."
Cox's campaign did not say whether the candidate in cases of rape and incest is still against abortion.
"It is in Gavin Newsom's interest to divert attention from his failed record by recycling quotes from a dozen years ago," said Cox spokesman Matt Shupe. "Millions of Californians are planning or thinking about leaving our state because of the mess Gavin Newsom and the political class have created."
Some of Cox's previous positions on other social issues could bite him again during his general election campaign, where he is already facing a steep rise in severe Democratic California. During a presidential debate in 2007, when he asked a question about gay rights, he said that he was against hate crimes and warned Republicans "to talk about the fact that we can not open the floodgates on polygamy and bestiality" earlier this year that "my views on the last decade" have evolved on LGBT legal issues.
Other Golden State Republicans adopt different strategies as they run in an increasingly blue state. For example, Insurance Commissioner candidate Steve Poizner apologizes for his stubborn immigration policy and even goes so far as to leave the Republican Party and run as an Independent.
But Poizner is pro-choice and does not have the same conservative record as Cox on social issues.
The two recent Republican governors in California, Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, were pro-choice, and even Ronald Reagan signed a bill as California governor legalizing abortion in some cases (which he later regretted)
Dan Herren, a South Carolina Republican activist who served as Cox campaign manager during his presidential run, said he believes Cox is too principled to simply change issues like abortion, a better attitude in California
"A typical politician would change and moderate his beliefs, "said Herren, who traveled the country with Cox during the race. "He will not change or adapt, even if it costs him votes – I would be shocked if he did."