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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Republican Hardliners Hand Dole New Defeat on Abortion

SAN DIEGO, California -- In a stinging rebuke of the party's expected nominee, Republican platform writers Monday shredded Bob Dole's proposed "declaration of tolerance" on abortion -- dramatically underscoring Dole's lack of control over his party on the eve of his nominating convention.

At the same time, the platform panel also opened a new conservative front in the continuing controversy over illegal immigration, approving a call for a constitutional amendment that would deny U.S. citizenship to children born in the country of parents here illegally.

In June, Dole had called for adding the tolerance language, saying "I have been chosen the Republican nominee, and I intend to run on a platform that reflects my views."

The wording of the party platform was his choice, he said.

Monday, he discovered otherwise. Even the phrase "tolerance is a virtue" was stripped from the document Dole's aides had written, as a coalition of religious conservatives and backers of ultraconservative Patrick Buchanan banded together to take out any specific references to differences within the party on abortion.

The action came despite last-minute lobbying by the Dole campaign, which had gone so far as to make the candidate himself available by phone to delegates in the hopes of garnering last-minute votes. Anti-abortion activists clearly cheered.

"This is a big win for the pro-family movement," declared Ralph Reed, head of the rightwing Christian Coalition.

On immigration, the platform-writing panel adopted the call to change the nation's citizenship rules with relatively little debate after being told the idea would be a political plus for the party.

The platform also endorsed barring the children of illegal immigrants from public schools, declaring that "illegal aliens should not receive public benefits other than emergency aid," and "should not be qualified to claim benefits for their offspring."