In 2008, John McCain allegedly wanted to pick Joe Lieberman as his running mate but didn’t because Lieberman is pro-choice. Ignoring whether this is completely accurate for the moment (he may have had other reasons not to choose Lieberman, for example), it seems plausible in an election like 2008 where the Republicans were a bit demoralized and the Democrats were fired up that McCain couldn’t afford to do anything that would keep Republican voters at home.
Move on to today and the rumors about Condoleeza Rice as a potential running mate for Romney. She has some obvious strong points and some obvious weaknesses. Among the weaknesses is her pro-choice stance.
Now, obviously Romney has had some past issues with the conservative base, but they are fired up. They hate Obama. They don’t much care for Romney, but are already holding their noses and planning to vote for him. They don’t necessarily believe right now that he’s staunchly pro-life. Would he lose many of these voters if he chose Rice? And would he pick up any?
To me, this doesn’t seem as foolish as it would have been for McCain, but I may be underestimating the importance of the VP choice and overestimating the ability of the conservative base to look past a pro-choice VP and just hold their noses a little harder.
Oh, and here’s an article about this issue: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/how-condoleezza-rice-could-help-—-or-hurt-—-romney/?ref=politics