View Full Version : Majority Of Public Disapprove Of Bush's Stem Cell Veto

07-26-2006, 09:18 AM
Majority of public disapprove of Bush's stem cell veto


By Richard Benedetto, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans disapprove of President Bush's veto of a bill expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, though they say they believe he did so on principle, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.

The poll taken last weekend finds 61% say Bush rejected the bill last week for personal moral beliefs; 32% say he did it to gain political advantage.

It was Bush's first veto as president. The House of Representatives failed to override the veto.

White House deputy press secretary Ken Lisaius said Tuesday, "The president does not make policy decisions based on polling numbers. ... He vetoed the legislation because it would provide federal tax dollars to fund the present and future destruction of human life for research."

In 2001, Bush made available $90 million in federal funds for research on a restricted number of embryonic stem cell lines. The bill would have allowed federal funds to be used on research of frozen embryos from fertility clinics that would otherwise be discarded.

Bill supporters, such as former first lady Nancy Reagan, say embryonic stem cell research may lead to cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes, and to help heal spinal cord injuries. Bush and other opponents argue that the destruction of human embryos required for the research amounts to taking human lives.

In his veto message, Bush said if the bill became law it would cross a moral boundary that "would be a grave mistake."

The poll shows a partisan gap: 61% of Republicans approve of the veto, compared with 19% of Democrats and 33% of independents.

Among those expressing disapproval, 76% say they were "very" or "somewhat" upset by the veto; 24%, not at all.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and others in his party say they will make the veto an issue in the Nov. 7 elections. Ads are running in Wisconsin and are planned in Missouri, Pennsylvania and other states against Republicans who opposed the bill.

"They might be overstating the case," Lydia Saad, senior editor of the Gallup Poll, says of the Democrats' strategy. "It would not seem to be a make-or-break election issue. There doesn't seem to be that much public intensity."

Democratic critics charge that Bush rejected the bill to appeal to conservative voters who are a key element in the Republican base.

"This wasn't a pro-life veto. This was a political veto," says Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

After Bush's veto, two governors put up more money for embryonic stem cell research.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, lent $150 million from his state's general fund for grants to stem cell scientists. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, offered $5 million for research grants in his state.

Five states had allocated $72 million for the research. Some foreign countries, including the United Kingdom and South Korea, also fund stem cell research.

07-26-2006, 05:22 PM
Looks like his attempt to rally his base failed.

07-26-2006, 05:40 PM
Stem cell research could make life a whole lot less hard for many of us who have to live with an unwelcome guest that makes us old before our time. I was 38 when I learned I had Parkinson's disease. I was at that time a professional concert pianist. Now I do much more composing, but my energy levels are not what they were and I suffer from chronic insomnia. Blogs like this are my night-time companions. At times, if I stop taking my medication life can be pretty good hell. My body feels as if it is in a steel cage. I am reluctant to go out as I lurch and stumble. My speech becomes indistinct and even typing is an ordeal.

I don't want to clone myself, I just would like to know that one day I will feel really well again.

07-26-2006, 05:49 PM
"Embryonic stem cell research transforms embryos already marked for destruction into potentially life-saving research. I can think of no better affirmation of the culture of life."

-Michael J. Fox