April 13, 2017

Northam Hammers Perriello Over Abortion Flip-Flop

One of former Congressman Tom Perriello’s earliest flip-flops in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary was over abortion funding. During Perriello’s single term in Congress, he supported preventing government funded abortions:

“On abortion rights, though, he broke with the pro-choice movement and backed a 2009 amendment to the Affordable Care Act, known as Stupak-Pitts, which set back reproductive freedom by putting obstacles in the way of private insurance coverage of abortion ― meaning that with unified control of government, abortion rights were actually going backward under Democrats.”

Yet when Perriello launched his gubernatorial bid in January, he told the Huffington Post he opposed the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the government from paying for abortions. Perriello even said that he regretted voting for the Stupak Amendment.

Perriello’s flip-flop hasn’t escaped the attention of his Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. Northam has begun to hold events at abortion clinics. At those events Northam lays into Perriello for his expedient “evolution” on abortion:

“’My opponent has gone around sticking his finger up and seeing which way the political wind is blowing, switching, flip-flopping on women’s issues, flip-flopping on gun issues,’ Mr. Northam said during an interview in the clinic’s lobby. ‘I have never flip-flopped on those things.’”

While Perriello’s flip-flop was egregious, the end result has these two Democrats fighting over who is more liberal on abortion. While this might be beneficial in a primary, whichever candidate makes the general election will find himself out of touch with a general election electorate.