When the story first broke last week that Gov. Mitch Daniels was calling for a “truce” in the culture wars in order to focus on economic and national security issues, he was asked if he would reinstate the Mexico City Policy if he became president, to which he replied “I don’t know.”
Needless to say, that did not go over well with the social conservatives, so it comes as no surprise that Daniels is now telling Michael Gerson that he would, in fact, reinstate it immediately:
“I would reinstate the Mexico City policy,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels told me, removing an uncertainty of his own creation. Promoting abortion with international family planning funds is one of “a thousand things we shouldn’t be spending money on.”
But despite his backtracking on this one issue, Daniels is standing by his original call for a truce:
Daniels’ clarification on Mexico City shows his realism. But his continued insistence on the idea of a truce shows his stubbornness — a defining characteristic. “If there were a WMD attack, death would come to straights and gays, pro-life and pro-choice,” he told me. “If the country goes broke, it would ruin the American dream for everyone. We are in this together. Whatever our honest disagreements on other questions, might we set them aside long enough to do some very difficult things without which we will be a different, lesser country?
Daniels admits, “No one may take the offer. … But I’m not prepared to give up on the idea we can address this thing. If we can’t — well, the cynics were right. But somebody has to try.”