Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) is ranked as the worst GOP candidate in this year’s presidential contest by EMILY’s List, a group that supports pro-abortion-rights Democratic women.
The group will soon release a scorecard of the GOP candidates, and will rank Gingrich the worst in large part because it sees him as changing his position on various positions. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the best — relatively — in their eyes, in part because he has not taken the votes in Congress some of his rivals have cast.
The group designed the scorecard to get past abortion issues and give a broader evaluation of the Republican candidates on issues the group thinks are important to female voters.
Each candidate received marks against them for opposing the group’s priorities on the issues and for changing their positions. Gingrich received the most marks at 14, followed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) at 12, Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) at 11, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) at nine, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at eight and Perry at six.
Perry was helped (or hurt, in some Republicans’ eyes) by a couple of factors: his consistency on the issues and the fact that he’s never been a member of Congress, and therefore hasn’t voted on these issues. His lack of opposition to equal pay and workforce discrimination laws for women and his membership in the National Governors Association, which supports an equal rights amendment for women, also helped his score.
Gingrich was hurt by flip-flops on healthcare reform and Medicare: He was penalized more for first opposing and later supporting House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan to privatize Medicare than those candidates who originally supported it.
The scorecard’s system compares many apples to oranges: It penalizes Huntsman for characterizing former candidate Herman Cain’s scandal as a “bimbo eruption” the same way it does Bachmann’s vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which expanded the statute of limitations on equal pay lawsuits. Underneath the scores, though, the group includes much information on the candidates’ stances on these issues that it hopes will prove useful to voters.
Read the full scorecard here.