The mainstream media constantly reminds its audience that social issues will not dominate this election cycle because voters are more concerned about the economy. They also emphasize how New Hampshire voters are less concerned about social issues than voters in Iowa and South Carolina.
Yet, on Saturday night, liberals George Stephanopolous and Diane Sawyer, of ABC, interrogated the Republican candidates on social issues — they very issues they say people are not concerned with — speaking to the presidential candidates as if they were unsophisticated, knuckle-dragging neanderthals. In doing so, the moderators proved they were the ones out of touch with the issues viewers and voters are concerned about.
First, Stephanopolous and Romney got into a discussion about abortion, and the former Clinton spokesman seemed to not understand that Romney said he felt Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Then, he asked Romney various hypothetical questions about whether states had the right to ban contraception but worded the questions so strangely that it left Romney with a rightfully puzzled look on his face. Then, Stephanopolous initiated a discussion about, out of all things, Griswold v. Connecticut, which was a case about the right to privacy.
When Stephanopolous and Ron Paul seemed to imply that a right to privacy was in the Constitution, Santorum stepped in and corrected them both.
“But that’s not what the Griswold decision nor the Roe v. Wade decision were about,” Santorum said. “They created through a penumbra of rights a new right to privacy that was not in the Constitution.
“I am for overturning Roe versus Wade. I do not believe that we have a right in this country, in the Constitution, to take a human life. I don’t think our founders envisioned that. I don’t think the writing of the Constitution anywhere enables that,” Santorum said.
Now, it was Sawyer’s turn to beat the social issues drum.
Sawyer then said she wanted to turn to “something closer to home and to maybe families sitting in their living rooms all across this country.”
Not jobs. Not taxes. Not the NFL playoffs.
The question she asked from a viewer was not about the economy, taxes, or job creation but, as she said: “And I’d like to post one, because it is about gay marriage. But at the level — and I would really love to be able to ask you what you would say personally, sitting in your living rooms, to the people who ask questions like this.”
The question, from Phil in Virginia, was: “Given that you oppose gay marriage, what do you want gay people to do who want to form loving, committed, long-term relationships? What is your solution?”
After Messrs. Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman, and Romney were asked to give answers to this question (it is worth noting that no other question or topic was asked to four candidates), Gingrich stepped in and said that he wanted to “raise a point about news media bias.”
“You don’t hear the opposite question asked,” Gingrich said. “Should the Catholic Church be forced to close its adoption services in Massachusetts because it won’t accept gay couples, which is exactly what the state has done? Should the Catholic Church be driven out of providing charitable services in the District of Columbia because it won’t give in to secular bigotry? Should the Catholic Church find itself discriminated against by the Obama administration on key delivery of services because of the bias and the bigotry of the administration?
The bigotry question goes both ways. And there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today than there is concerning the other side. And none of it gets covered by the news media.”
After nearly 30 minutes of this type of questioning, the debate turned to a question about jobs.
The Republican presidential candidates and leadership need to put an end to primary debates hosted by members of the liberal mainstream media. These debates do the general viewers, conservatives, and the presidential candidates a disservice.