CNN Hypes ‘Flashpoint’ of GOP Extremism on Abortion, No Mention of Radical Dem Stance

CNN on Tuesday spent over seven minutes hyping Republicans trying to hide their allegedly extreme position when it comes to abortion. Reporter Kyung Lah spotlighted GOP senatorial candidates changing their website now that they have the nomination. But nowhere in the segment was there anything on the extreme stance of Democrats when it comes to abortion. 

Host Brianna Keilar parroted the Democratic talking points about radical Republicans: “The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade has energized voters and made abortion rights a flashpoint in the midterm elections. It’s given Democrats a boost. Now, some Republican candidates who were strongly opposed to abortion are suddenly softening their stance.” 

After noting that Arizona senatorial candidate Blake Master has dropped “100 percent pro-life” from his campaign page, Lah investigated other Republican website changes: 

Masters’ campaign says he remains 100 percent pro-life. But he’s not the only one retooling. In Michigan’s 7th congressional district, challenger Tom Barrett fundraised in the Republican primary as 100 pro-life, no exceptions. Over the weekend, his website that listed a value section to protect life from conception is now gone. Barrett’s campaign tells CNN, we regularly update the website.

No mention by CNN that Texas senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke supports abortion up to birth. 

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No mention by CNN that Pennsylvania senatorial candidate John Fetterman supports abortion up to birth

No mention by CNN that Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock voted for the most extreme pro-abortion bill in the history of the Senate. 

A follow-up segment with CNN panelists also avoided any hint that the Democrats might be extreme on abortion. But the network should know. On Sunday, State of the Union anchor Dana Bash grilled Democratic senatorial candidate Tim Ryan: 

You’re criticizing your Republican opponent for not supporting abortion exceptions. So, I want to ask about your position. What restrictions, if any, do you believe there should be on abortion? 

The covering for radical Democrats on abortion was sponsored by Ensure. Click on the link to let them know what you think. 

A transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN’s New Day
8/30/2022
7:30 a.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade has energized voters and made abortion rights a flash point in the midterm elections. It’s given Democrats a boost. Now, some Republicans candidates who were strongly opposed to abortion are suddenly softening their stance. CNN’s Kyung Lah has more.

BLAKE MASTERS: Most people support common sense regulation around abortion.

KYUNG LAH: Republican U.S. Senate Nominee Blake Masters surrounded by his children trying to reset the debate over abortion rights.

MASTERS: I support a ban on very late term and partial birth abortion, and most Americans agree with that.

LAH: Just after this digital video dropped, Masters’ campaign site scrubbed strict anti-abortion language. Before, Masters wrote he’s 100 percent pro-life, calling Roe v. Wade a horrible decision, then listed a series of strict stances on abortion. Now, a softer tone, Roe went from horrible to a bad decision. The words 100 percent pro-life removed from this section. And that list of positions, shorter.

JOHN THOMAS (GOP strategist): There’s no way getting around that abortion, in his particular race, is a hot, hot issue for one of those swing coalitions. He has to speak to that issue and being pro-life 100 percent of the time isn’t going to get him there. So, he has to attempt to make that pivot.

LAH: Masters’ campaign says he remains 100 percent pro-life. But he’s not the only one retooling. In Michigan’s 7th congressional district, challenger Tom Barrett fundraised in the Republican primary as 100 pro-life, no exceptions. Over the weekend, his website that listed a value section to protect life from conception is now gone. Barrett’s campaign tells CNN, we regularly update the website.

RADIO AD VOICE: Should all abortions be illegal in this country?

LAH: In Iowa’s Republican primary to represent the third district.

RADIO AD VOICE:: All abortions, no exceptions.

LAH: The man in the center, Zach Nunn, won the Republican nomination. The incumbent, Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne turned that primary debate moment into a campaign ad.

RADIO AD VOICE: Even in the case of rape, even in the case of incest, even if a woman’s life is in danger.

LAH: Nunn’s campaign did not respond directly to CNN’s request for comment on the Democratic attacks but Nunn wrote in an editorial that the ad was false and says, while he opposes abortion, we must be compassionate toward both women and unborn children. In Minnesota’s gubernatorial race, Republican Nominee Scott Jensen, a doctor, said this in a radio interview before the primary.

SCOTT JENSEN (Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate): If a mother’s life is in danger, I think that that would have to be a medical consideration and an area for potential exception.

JENSEN: That would have to be a medical consideration and an area for potential exception.

HOST: No exceptions for rape or incest?

JENSEN: Unless a mother’s life is in danger.

LAH: Now, in the general election, he’s calling his previous words clumsy.

JENSEN: If I’ve been unclear previously I want to be clear now. Rape and incest, along with endangering the mother’s mental or physical health are acceptable exceptions.

JOHN THOMAS (Republican strategist): It is an animating issue, particularly in very tight congressional and Senate races where there are lots of college-educated white women, but that’s not every district in America. So in select races, you’re seeing these shifts on abortion. The challenge is on some of these very hot issues the other campaign keeps receipts, meaning they have the website, they have the primary T.V. ads.

ANTI-BLAKE MASTERS AD: Too dangerous for Arizona.

LAH (voice-over): Those receipts are now appearing in general election ads. Democratic campaigns and groups have spent more than $50 million in ads referencing abortion since Roe was overturned, sensing a chance to energize voters this November. Pivots in politics are certainly not that unusual. Whether it works on a wedge issue like abortion is how convincing the candidate is, if the candidate is sincere, and most importantly, whether voters believe it.

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