WASHINGTON - Friday, Politico featured the Illinois gubernatorial race with a piece entitled, "Bruce Rauner copies Mark Kirk's playbook."
“It’s a winning strategy to be a social moderate and a fiscal conservative, which is exactly what the state is,” Kirk told the left-leaning publication. “Be pro-choice and be a social moderate and be right up front with that. Use the pro-choice words that come out of your mouth, which for a lot of Republicans is hard to do,” he emphasized.
“The Kirk model is the model in Illinois to win,” former ILGOP chair Pat Brady told Politico. “The Rauner model will be similar.”
However, that strategy directly contradicts the Illinois Republican Party platform that was voted on and accepted by party delegates in 2012. The platform is staunchly pro-life, stating: "the Republican Party of Illinois embraces the Right to Life of innocent unborn children and supports reform proposals protecting that right and limiting the practice of abortion in Illinois."
The platform also calls on the Governor and the General Assembly to end the taxpayer subsidy for abortion, require a doctor to involve a minor’s parents before aborting her unborn child, and outlaw the practice of partial‐birth abortion.
Except for U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis, the other Republicans at the top of the ticket are pro-abortion, including Paul Schimpf (attorney general), Tom Cross (state treasurer), Judy Baar-Topinka (comptroller) and Mike Webster (secretary of state).
If Rauner does follow Kirk's playbook, he may risk losing the party's pro-life base in November.
UPDATE x1: Sunday morning, IL GOP's AG candidate Paul Schimpf disputed being labelled in this story as "pro-abortion": "The article about Rauner's campaign strategy says that I'm 'pro-abortion.' I'm pro-life, but believe that the incremental steps approach is the only thing that makes sense."
In an interview with SJ-R's Bernie Schoenberg in December, Schimpf said his "common sense plan" advocates abortion for the first four months of pregnancy. Schoenberg wrote:
On the issue of abortion, Schimpf believes he has a “common sense” plan. And that is to keep abortion legal through the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, but illegal after that.
He said that if by “some miracle” a human life amendment were to pass, saying that life begins at conception, the real-world result would be “like Prohibition all over again. … It just wouldn’t be enforced.”
He doesn’t support any government funding for abortion, and he agrees with the state law requiring notification of parents of girls 17 and younger before they get abortions.