In 2000, McCain ‘assured’ Gary Bauer that he would ‘appoint pro-life judges.’

In the debate last night, moderator Bob Schieffer asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if he could “ever nominate someone to the Supreme Court who disagrees” with him on Roe v. Wade. McCain replied that he had never “imposed a litmus test on any nominee to the court.” “That’s not appropriate to do,” said McCain. Watch it:

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But, as Ezra Klein points out, it has been previously reported that McCain assured conservative activist Gary Bauer in 2000 that he “would appoint pro-life judges”:

Somewhat surprisingly, McCain had the support of Gary Bauer, the social conservative, who had dropped out of the race by that time. “I wanted a commitment from either George Bush or John McCain that if elected he would appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court,” Bauer told me. “Bush said he had no litmus test, and his judges would be strict constructionists. But McCain, in private, assured me he would appoint pro-life judges.”

Klein writes that if Bauer’s claim is true, “it seems to me like a fairly big deal that McCain is publicly forswearing litmus tests but privately assuring leaders of the Christian Right that he’ll have them.”