As other Republican contenders did before him, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the Susan B. Anthony List’s antiabortion pledge. That pledge includes this: “Select pro-life appointees for relevant Cabinet and Executive Branch positions, in particular the head of National Institutes of Health, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Human Services.” This would exclude people such as Rudy Giuliani as attorney general. That might be fine for some Republicans, but Perry endorsed Giuliani for president in 2008. Good enough for the Oval Office but not the Justice Department? I asked the Perry campaign to explain but no answer was forthcoming.

It’s worth recalling his heartfelt endorsement of the former New York mayor:

Has Perry rethought the qualities needed for national service or is he the latest candidate, unfortunately, to jump when a special-interest group comes calling? Then it was good enough to look Giuliani in the eye. Now he’s not good enough to run HHS.

Maybe Perry regrets endorsing Giuliani, or maybe he didn’t read through the SBA pledge. But his position then and his position now in the wisdom of pro-choice politicians serving in high office are contradictory. He should explain himself to the voters.