What to do when your ratings suck? Maybe it’s time to change course. And so it is that on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd forced Reince Priebus to discuss abortion, even when Reince Priebus did everything he could to pivot off of the issue that is toxic for the Republican Party.
This is quite unusual for the show, that when helmed by David Gregory could have been called Meet the Republicans.
Chuck Todd actually called out RNC Chairman Reince Preibus on the hypocrisy of Republicans being against regulations until it comes to the topic of regulating businesses that perform abortions.
Chuck Todd called Preibus out on the party being all about social issues, but avoiding them in their “American renewal” list. Priebus responded to that by pivoting to claim that since Obama said that his policies were on the ballot this would be a bad year for Democrats.
Then Chuck went in for the I’m not a shill kill. “There was a Supreme Court — a court upheld a new law in Texas. One of the things about the Republican Party is you don’t like a lot regulation on businesses, except if the business is a abortion clinic. Eighty percent of these abortion clinics in Texas are gonna be basically out of business because at this new law. Too much regulation, is that fair? Why regulate on the abortion issue now… Why not wait until you win a Supreme Court where you outlaw abortion all together? Why restrict a business now?”
Priebus couldn’t answer that question, so he dodged, “You obviously have the same to talk to someone in Texas (wait, aren’t these Republicans in Texas? Why can’t the party chairman explain what they are doing?) but the fact of the matter is that we believe that any woman that’s facing an unplanned pregnancy deserves compassion, respect, counselling, whatever it is that we can offer –”
Chuck pushed, “– So they have to drive 2- 300 miles for that compassion?”
Priebus dodged, “No, look, listen Chuck the issue for us is one thing, and that is whether you ought to use taxpayer money to fund abortion. That is the one issue that – that I think separates this conversation that we’re having.”
But wait. There’s been a law against taxpayer money being spent on abortion for a long time. It’s called the Hyde Amendment. (Chuck Todd failed to mention this to Mr We Have Policies Priebus.) Mr. Priebus ought to check it out sometime if his party ever decides to get real about policy.
Conclusion? Priebus can’t defend the party’s hypocrisy on the matter of women’s liberty.
Priebus clearly didn’t want to talk about abortion, and he closed with trying to blame Todd for talking about abortion when people aren’t doing well economically. Obviously Priebus has never had to raise a child as a single parent, and therefore doesn’t get the connect between raising the minimum wage and parenthood. Republicans argue for forced parenthood while at the same time making it impossible for people to feed and clothe a child by killing social programs to help poor families.
Chuck Todd forced Priebus to defend something he can’t defend, and that is the party’s hypocrisy on the issue of regulations. Priebus dishonestly pivoted to the old GOP canard of taxpayer money as being the one thing that separates the Democrats and Republicans. It is not. It isn’t even real.
Furthermore, the Republicans even have the Personhood Amendment on their party platform, which would outlaw birth control. Priebus can’t afford to discuss on national TV the extremist social positions that keep the Republican Party alive.
Just seconds before denying affiliation with the extremists, Priebus claimed that the party is on the same page with Tony Perkins and the Tea Party. This is something he ought to keep a secret, if it’s true. This is not good news for the party or the country. Being unified with crazy is not a great thing to advertise.
Bonus points to Chuck Todd for trying to be a bit more than a megaphone for Republican Party talking points. The fact of the matter is Republicans can’t afford to discuss their policies, let alone their future plans to steal women’s liberty, because they need all the votes they can get.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.