The Democrats often assert that Republicans keep bringing up divisive social issues, ignoring the economy and jobs. And of course the establishment liberal media (the “DeMSM”) help their party to spread this false narrative.
Senator Charles Schumer was on ABC News This Week yesterday:
…Democrats are focused like a laser on jobs, the economy, and the middle class. Republicans, realizing that that’s not their strong suit, are going off on these other things, women’s issues and women’s health and contraception.
But of course that isn’t true. It was the Democrats who brought up contraception and made it an issue. It was the Obama Administration which chose to put the promise of a free contraceptive giveaway above the 1st Amendment guarantee of religious liberty.
Host George Stephanopoulos digressed by asking Senator Schumer about Bill Maher, but didn’t do anything to correct Schumer’s false premise, that Republicans had brought up the contraception issue. (Schumer didn’t express any opposition to Maher’s obscene misogyny, and said Obama’s super PAC shouldn’t return Maher’s million dollar donation. This tells us a lot about where their real values lie).
And also yesterday on Meet the Press, host David Gregory introduced a segment as a debate between social issues and economic issues:
And coming up here, a preview of the debate of the big issues in the fall campaign. Will social issues trump talk of the economy and job creation? Two of the nation’s top governors weigh in. Head of the Democratic Governors Association, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and head of the Republican Governors Association, Virginia Governor and Romney supporter Bob McDonnell.
Gregory opened with a question about the economy, asking (hopefully) if the improving job creation numbers over the past several months would help President Obama’s campaign. Governor O’Malley diverted the conversation to social issues:
GOV. O’MALLEY: …instead, under Governor Romney’s leadership, they ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation. So I think you’re going to have a pretty clear contrast here. And if you look at the presidential campaign, I mean, let’s be honest, there’s been a lot more time spent pandering to the extreme right wing ideologues of the new Republican Party than has been spent talking about jobs and the economy. Rick Santorum in the Arizona debate mentioned the word jobs not once, not a single time. So I believe that the president is looking strong, is strong, is focused on the economy, and that’s going to carry him through this election.
“Pandering to the extreme right wing ideologues”. So much for Democrats’ civility.
Governor McDonnell tried to get back to the economy:
GOV. McDONNELL: Well, I think that’s a manufactured issue. I think the Democrats and this president are trying to do everything they can to take the issue off of jobs and the economy, debt, deficit, energy, because they don’t have a plan. I would say that Republican governors have had something to do with that [the lower unemployment rate]. The seven out of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates are governed by Republican governors. …
David Gregory continued trying to steer the conversation back to social issues, while the Republican governor tried to stay focused on the economy:
MR. GREGORY: Let’s talk about social issues because in some cases in the, in the Republican race, this has overshadowed talk about the economy and you, in fact, in Virginia, have been at the center of some of this. You backed an abortion bill initially that included a very invasive procedure as part of an ultrasound [False. The bill didn’t require an invasive procedure, it merely required an ultrasound. We can always count on David Gregory to repeat Democratic Party talking points.] that the state would have required and then you backed off of that. Were you wrong to support that initially or did you simply back off because the political heat got turned up the way it did?
GOV. McDONNELL: No, I think–listen, that was one bill out of a thousand that we passed that was all focused on jobs and economic development, education, and a number of other things. That’s my agenda is restoring the American dream for people in Virginia. We’ve got the lowest unemployment rate in the Southeast and surpluses for two years. That’s what I’m doing. You know, this bill allows Virginia to join about 20 other–23 other states that have an ultrasound procedure.
MR. GREGORY: It’s actually only about seven that have these kind of procedures.
GOV. McDONNELL: No, but there’s 23 that require a, a, a woman to have an opportunity to see an ultrasound.
Gregory spent several more minutes pressing McDonnell on the issue, before turning to Democratic governor O’Malley:
MR. GREGORY: Do you think the sense that certainly Democrats are talking about and that some women feel that there is a growing assault on reproductive rights, can it become a more central issue in the race? Or is that going to become a side issue, as the governor says?
GOV. O’MALLEY: Well, I think the central issue in this race is creating jobs and expanding opportunity. I think these cultural–don’t like to use the term wars–these cultural divisive wedge issues, these sort of roll back of women’s rights, roll back of women’s access to contraception and other health, roll back of voting rights, roll back of workers rights, all of these things that take us back are not strengthening our economy and creating jobs. And I think that people start to see a pattern, David, emerging in states like Wisconsin, states like Ohio, states like Florida.
MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
GOV. O’MALLEY: And sadly, recently even in Virginia, where these cultural issues are crowding out the things that really should concern us most.
GOV. O’MALLEY: Seven, seven out of 10–seven out of the best 10 states for creating 21st century jobs in science and technology, are governed by Democratic governors. Now Virginia, credit where credit is due, is one of those top states. The question is whether we’re making the right investments in jobs, education, more affordable college, that will keep Virginia in that top ranking in the future. Maryland’s there. We’re making college more affordable, we’re creating jobs at twice the rate of Virginia. And these cultural battles that drive people apart are not helpful to driving us forward.
MR. GREGORY: Do you think your counterpart here in Virginia would be a good running mate for Romney or would you cast him as an extremist?
But Governor O’Malley and his Democratic party comrades in the Maryland state legislature have in fact not been focusing on the economy. Governor O’Malley just signed into law a bill passed by the Democratic majority of the legislature which changed the definition of marriage in the state to include same-sex unions. They’ve spent a lot of time debating the issue.
And David Gregory, who had plenty of time to press the Republican Governor of Virginia on social issues, never even bothered to bring it up. A law requiring a major social change in the state of Maryland was signed by the Democratic governor just this month, and Mr. Gregory didn’t bother to bring it up, in a discussion about social issues.
Why didn’t David Gregory bring it up? Why didn’t he ask Mr. McDonnell if Mr. O’Malley is an “extremist”? These are of course rhetorical questions, because the discussion was premised on the idea that Republicans are the ones focusing on social issues, and Mr. O’Malley’s record doesn’t fit that narrative. So Gregory didn’t bring it up. An unbiased, professional journalist would not have made such an obvious omission.