(Des Moines, IA) Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes continued to hammer at G.O.P. frontrunner George W. Bush’s rhetoric on abortion.

Forbes’ 1996 campaign focused almost exclusively on abolishing the IRS and establishing a 17 percent “flat tax,” but Forbes in 2000 has stakes out conservative ground on social issues. In his latest Iowa campaign swing, Forbes accused rival Bush of being unwilling to guarantee the Republican party’s platform include a call for abolishing abortion on demand.

“And if he can’t even defend a plant that’s been in the platform for 20 years, I think that underscores that his heart isn’t really in the thing,” Forbes said during an interview.

Forbes said Bush is trying to have it both ways, and hasn’t put his heart into the “pro-life” cause by refusing to promise to name Supreme Court justices, and a running-mate, who will pursue an end to abortion on demand.

“I think it symbolizes his whole approach to issues and that is to try to hint that he is one thing but not make the committments that show that he has his heart and mind in it,” Forbes said.

Bush campaign spokesman Eric Woolson said the Texas Governor is on record as an opponent of abortion. Woolson cites Bush’s approval of the law which requires parental notice when a minor seeks an abortion as well as measures which made adoption easier.