WASHINGTON – Democrats have snagged a high-profile speaker — and a measure of political one-upmanship — for this month's convention: Ron Reagan (search).
David Wade, a spokesman for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search), said Monday that Reagan will have a "prime time" speaking slot during the July 26-29 convention. "Ron Reagan's courageous pleas for stem cell research add a powerful voice to the millions of Americans hoping for cures for their children, for their parents and for their grandparents," Wade said.
Reagan, 46, has been critical of the Bush administration's restriction of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research and the war in Iraq.
But he said his speech will only deal with the subject of stem cell research, something he and Nancy Reagan have argued could lead to cures for a number of diseases like the Alzheimer's that afflicted the late president. Because the extraction of stem cells destroys day-old embryos, the process is opposed by groups who link it to abortion.
"If they had asked me to say a few words about throwing George Bush out of office, I wouldn't do it," Reagan told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "This gives me a platform to educate people about stem cell research."