Skip to comments.Did Raddatz ask abortion question to focus media on Obama ‘war on women’ playbook?
Posted on 10/12/2012 2:54:55 AM PDT by markomalley
Heading into the closing stages of Thursday nights vice presidential debate in Danville, Ky., moderator Martha Raddatz of ABC News steered the conversation away from foreign policy and the economy and toward abortion, a development that pleased both President Obamas re-election campaign and some liberal media commentators.
Raddatz, who has been under fire in recent days for her decades-old association with President Barack Obama, instructed Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to discuss their Catholic faith as it regards the emotional and intensely personal issue. (RELATED EDITORIAL: ABC fails ethics test)
We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this, Raddatz said. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion. Please talk about how you came to that decision. Talk about how your religion played a part in that. And, please this is such an emotional issue for so many people in this country please talk personally about this, if you could.
Both Biden and Ryan answered the question, with Biden temporarily discontinuing the erratic gesturing for which he would later be criticized. (RELATED: Krauthammer on Bidens disrespectful, hugely condescending demeanor)
Raddatz seemed determined to keep the conversation focused, steering the conversation back to abortion when Ryan raised the issue of Catholics fighting the Obama administration over Obamacares contraception mandate.
I want to go back to the abortion question here, Raddatz insisted. If the Romney-Ryan ticket is elected, should those who believe that abortion should remain legal be worried?
This would be the left-leaning MSNBCs favorite debate moment. After last weeks first presidential debate that left the pro-Obama cable news channel with little to celebrate, Hardball host and MSNBC post-debate panelist Chris Matthews explained why the abortion moment was one of the evenings highlights. (RELATED VIDEO: Post-debate, MSNBCs Chris Matthews lapses into panic mode)
Abortion I thought that Ryan did a heartfelt thing but what he said was Im for outlawing abortion in a country of this diversity, Matthews said. He said that. A lot of people who are not of the Roman Catholic faith, the conservative Roman Catholic faith, [who] have a particular right-wing view about all kind of social issues, will say, Wait a minute here, are you telling me youre going to take away my right to make this decision myself? Take it away from my daughter because you have a point of view?
This is America, Matthews continued. This isnt old Spain. You dont tell people what you cant do because of your church views. You dont do that. I thought Joe handled it exactly the way, well, a lot of people would have handled it. I think thats going to hit home with people tonight, that abortion answer. And I tell you, the big three taxes, Medicare and abortion won for Biden tonight. I weight them heavily more than I do Syria and some of these other issues, and Benghazi. I think thats why he won tonight.
Matthews and his MSNBC colleagues apparently thought so much of Ryan and Bidens seven-minute exchange on abortion that they discussed it at least five more times during 90 minutes of coverage wrapping up a 90-minute debate.
Figuring most prominently in that coverage was an interview Lawrence ODonnell, host of MSNBCs The Last Word, conducted with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who happened to be working on behalf of the Obama campaign in the post-debate spin room.
The early signs
In a conference call Wednesday morning, Richards and Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter tipped their hand, indicating that abortion would figure prominently in the last four weeks of he election season.
Romney is trying to hide what he believes, but there is no hiding as president, Cutter said. His severely conservative positions that got him through the primaries are still there, and they have been there for six years, and now he is trying to cover them up because he knows they hurt women, seniors, and the middle class and they hurt his chances for winning the presidency so even the real Romney cant cover that up. (RELATED: Obama camp claims Romney hiding true abortion views)
Cutters appeared inspired by Romneys comment during a Des Moines Register editorial board meeting Tuesday that Theres no legislation with regards to abortion that Im familiar with that would become part of my agenda. He added in the same interview, however, that he would use an executive order to reinstate the so-called Mexico City policy,which bans private groups from using federal funds for abortions. The Obama administration overturned that policy in 2009,
Abortion is one plank of a war on women strategy the presidents allies believe might help the Obama-Biden ticket. Last month the pro-abortion NARAL Pro-Choice America rolled out an election strategy to reporters at its Washington, D.C. headquarters, laying out a model designed to help Obama win womens votes. (RELATED: Pro-choice group unveils detailed plan to sway Obama defectors back to Obama)
Reinvigorating that strategy could be important following a presidential debate performance by Romney last week that created a surge big enough to all but erase the presidents double-digit lead among women voters, according to Fox News.
Media have leveraged war on women issues before
Thursdays debate did not mark this years only high-stakes political debate appearance of a contentious social issue impacting women. As the moderator of a January 2012 Republican primary debate, Raddatzs ABC colleague George Stephanopoulos took aim at then-Republican nominee hopeful Mitt Romney on restricting womens access to contraception (RELATED: Stephanopoulos struggles with fairness during NH debate):
STEPHANOPOULOS: Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?
ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that youre raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I cant imagine a state banning contraception. I cant imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were a governor of a state or
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the Supreme Court has ruled
ROMNEY: or a or a legislature of a state I would totally and completely oppose any effort to ban contraception. So youre asking given the fact that theres no state that wants to do so, and I dont know of any candidate that wants to do so, youre asking could it constitutionally be done?
That out-of-the-blue line of questioning was met with boos by the audience of GOP partisans. But Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton White House Senior Advisor, had set the stage for what conservative talker Rush Limbaugh and former Clinton adviser and Fox News political analyst Dick Morris later said was intentionally set in motion to make so-called war on women issues an unavoidable part of this years presidential contest.
The election is now just 25 days away. The Obama administration is absorbing criticism for potentially misreporting jobs data and mishandling a terrorist raid that killed Americas ambassador to Libya. And Obama is facing an opponent in Romney with momentum in his corner. Raddatzs decision to call attention to abortion may have been just what the doctor ordered for the presidents campaign.
Thanks markomalley, for both of these.
Campaign Denies Obama Supports Abortion-on-Demand, But Can’t Name One Restriction He Supports
Joe Biden claims to be a Catholic.
He aint no Catholic.
He is a Democrat.His religion is Democrat.
No one can be a Catholic and support abortion on demand.
They used to say that Hillary Clinton reminded every divorced man of his first wife.
Last night, Joe Biden reminded every divorced woman of her first husband.
It does not advance the War on Women with women voters to have a loud, overbearing brute as the Democrat spokesman.
For the record: Raddatz sucks as a moderator!
CNN had a replay of the debate with a running “like what the guy is saying” meter on the bottom. It was split between men and women and the women loved just about everything Paul Ryan said. It may just be that the big takeaway on this debate will be a shift to R and R by some of these women that are so enamored with Obama.
Under the new health care law, HHS issued a preventive services mandate requiring nearly all employers to cover abortion drugs and contraceptives regardless of religious or moral objection. Shouldn't Americans be free to live out their faith commitments beyond the four walls of their church -- in the public square and in the way they run businesses or nonprofits serving the community?
On Aug. 1, that HHS mandate took effect as part of the law that even President Obama now calls Obamacare. The policy's "religious exemption" effectively frees only houses of worship from complying. The mandate forces an impossible choice on other religious groups and family business owners: Violate your conscience or pay a fine of $100 per day per employee for daring to offer a noncompliant health plan.
Dozens of Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish groups, among others, urged President Obama to drop this conscience-crushing mandate. Despite signaling compromise, the administration stood by its mandate. Because of that intransigence, more than 80 religious schools, hospitals, charities and other employers have gone to court to defend their first freedom. We need serious debate on whether government should allow Americans to choose a health plan that meets their needs and respects their conscience.
Ryan T. Anderson, a colleague at The Heritage Foundation, commented after the first debate that evaluating how policy intersects culture and civil society is at least as important as the nuts and bolts of taxation and regulation, of Medicare and Social Security.
At the end of the day, culture and the institutions of civil society are what make America great," Anderson said. "Our government shouldn't be weakening them."
I Haiku because
If I stop and count fingers
I’m less of a jerk.
Did Raddatz ask abortion question to focus media on Obama war on women playbook?
Does a bear.... in the woods? Simply put, why else bring this up? It was actually a double question, the inference is Romney is Morman. The idea is to juxtapose catholics against mormans.
I just wish the RC “leaders” would say what you did.
I was following the debate feed on twitter last night and it was very odd that a bunch of the liberal tweeters starting asking “when are they going to talk about women’s health(gag)”? and several women tweeters started to tweet as if their uterus was doing the talking...all of this minutes before the moderator asked the question. Kind of makes you wonder if OFA folks got an advance copy of the script.
Well Chris; Barak spent Mahre's money on weed.
Where do you think he spent YOUR's?
We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this,
and we have two Catholic candidates, first time, on the POTUS ticket...
and the only time theres been no Christian on the top of the ticket for either side...
They all tell us to care for the helpless, the injured, the mindless hulks.
Without that teaching he'd been gone long ago!
Liberalism is the political expression of the religion of Humanism (which began with the lie “you will be as gods”).
This is what Joe’s religion is.
It's just another way to kill babies without seeming to kill babies.
The only saving grace is the Mormons have a history of giving up their innermost beliefs in the face of government force ~ e.g. polygamy, discrimination against blacks, etc. Specialists in the field say there are more. The First Born don't give up that easy, so I suspect I'll have to keep up the campaign against them long after the Mormons try out being Pro-Life.
The whole practice of prayer and counseling before committing sin is not, I believe, taught by the Catholics ~ at least not publicly, although I've encountered some Orthodox folks who complained their former priest (they left) did teach that doctrine privately.
I suspect most Catholics make a basic differentiation between Republicans and Democrats and that's about as far as politics goes, and a hardcore few hold to a Right To Life belief that counsels their voting habits.
Actually, this is a revealing statement, though it is a diversion.
"Those" mentioned in this statement really seek to keep abortion guilt-free. The legality is simply society's statement that "abortion is OK, and you need not feel guilt for having an abortion".
You'll find this is at the root of 90% of the motivation of "pro-choicers".
No one can be a Catholic and support abortion on demand.
The Catholic church is behaving badly in not excommunicating these murderous blowhards. Biden and Pelosi would be a good starting point and a few Kennedys could be thrown in for good measure.
-——The Catholic church is behaving badly in not excommunicating these murderous blowhards.-——
That assumes there is a powerful, politically meaningful Catholic Church. There isn’t. the power to influence events is long gone