- Times wins two awards from Society for Professional Journalists
- Marionville mayor ‘kind of agreed’ with Kansas City shooter’s views
- Rev. Al Sharpton’s Easter message: Politically ‘crucified’ Obama has risen again
- Supreme Court to weigh challenge to ban on campaign lies
- UNICEF launches ‘Mr. Poo’ mascot in India to curb public defecation
- Teen taking selfie by train: ‘Wow, that guy just kicked me in the head’
- Goodbye, Afghanistan — hello, Africa: Air Force to shift as U.S. exits Middle East
- Iran mulls ban on vasectomies, decrease on abortions to bolster population
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers ‘more deadly than jihadists’
- Classes resume at high school rocked by stabbings
Bush nominee runs into crossfire
Homosexual advocacy groups are objecting strongly to President Bush’s nominee for surgeon general, but Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. also faces questions from conservative groups about his views on human cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research.
Tom McCluskey, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council, said that Dr. Holsinger spoke to a Kentucky state legislature committee in 2002 and “testified in support of loosening regulations around cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research.”
“We’re not supportive of his nomination right now,” Mr. McCluskey said, adding that “we’ve been told he’s come around on the issue, but the surgeon general is such a strong bully pulpit position that we want to be sure.”
The White House said that Dr. Holsinger agrees with the president’s opposition to the use of federal funds for embryonic-stem-cell research and cloning.
White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said that Dr. Holsinger’s 2002 testimony against a ban on cloning was because “he felt that the penalties proposed in the bill were disproportionately severe on patients and researchers.”
“Since 2002, there have been significant advances in new techniques for potentially deriving pluripotent stem cells without cloning or destroying embryos. As such, Dr. Holsinger believes the president’s cloning policy is appropriate,” Miss Lawrimore said.
“His main focus will be childhood obesity, so he will not be involved in determining policy related to stem-cell research,” Miss Lawrimore said.
Mr. Kennedy has said he is “disappointed” with Mr. Bush’s nomination, without fully opposing Dr. Holsinger, whom he called “an individual whose record appears to guarantee a polarizing and divisive nomination process.”
Dr. Holsinger, 68, is a retired major general in the U.S. Army Reserve who worked for 26 years in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs before becoming chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center in 1994.
In 2003, Dr. Holsinger was appointed to be Kentucky’s secretary of health and family services.
Two of the committee’s three Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut — oppose Dr. Holsinger. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois said he has “serious reservations.”
Five other Democrats did not respond to requests for comment and two did not take a position.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Air Force sees resource shift as U.S. exits Afghanistan, heads to Africa
- FISHER: Shades of Berlin in the South China Sea
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- CNN op-ed claims right-wingers 'more deadly than jihadists'
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.