How Do Evangelicals Feel About Waterboarding?

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DECEMBER 4, 2007

How Do Evangelicals Feel About Waterboarding?

This is interesting:

After the Iowa poll showed that Republican voters like him but found him much less "presidential" and "electable" than Romney, Huckabee sought to build his foreign policy credentials, meeting with a group of retired generals who are in Des Moines to urge the 2008 candidates to commit to opposing torture. After the meeting, Huckabee joined Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in declaring his opposition to the interrogation procedure known as "waterboarding," and said he would support closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a contrast with the other leading Republicans.

Depressingly, I still think the pro-waterboarding position is a winner among GOP voters generally. But this suggests at least ambivalence on the part of conservative evangelicals. It's worth watching how this issue plays out given that both Huckabee and Romney are competing for that bloc of votes, and Romney has taken more or less the opposite position. (He hasn't officially embraced waterboarding, but, as in last week's GOP debate, he's refused to label it torture.)

--Noam Scheiber

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