Last night, CNN’s Larry King Live featured a panel which discussed the impact of Sarah Palin on the 2008 presidential race. Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood repeated unchallenged the false contention that Sarah Palin cut funds for teen moms saying,
CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: I think she has created interest. Two weeks ago, no one knew who Sarah Palin was and I think people now are beginning to look at what she actually stands for, what she did as governor. This is a woman who I think is far out of the mainstream. She line item vetoed programs for teenage moms in Alaska.
Richards went on to criticize Palin’s views on abortion. And then, Huffington Post’s Hillary Rosen responded to a question about Joe Biden’s ill-advised statements about supporting stem-cell research as a test of love for special needs kids (another whole issue in itself). Rosen repeated the falsehood that Palin cut funding for special needs kids.
BIDEN: I hear all of this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both the joy, because there’s joy to it as well — the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who was born with a birth defect. Guess what, folks, if you care about it, why don’t you support stem cell research?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Hillary, apparently they are complaining about that. What was wrong with that statement?
ROSEN: Well, you know, nothing, really. People’s families should be off limits, as long as they themselves make them off limits. And I think it’s pretty fair to say that Sarah Palin is campaigning as a wife and a mom. And you’re not attacking a child by saying — making a life related point. Here’s the issue. When she was governor, she cut special needs funding for families by 62 percent. She’s against stem cell research. She wants to — she’s against health care reform for everybody else, even though John McCain and Sarah Palin have health care paid for by the government.
Rosen needs to read Factcheck.org’s review on the special needs funding claim. They debunk this claim and note that she tripled per pupil funding.
Take away the false claims and what you have is a difference over abortion and stem-cell research. Palin’s critics are using distortions of her record to paint her as talking the pro-family talk but not walking the walk. The thinking seems to run this way: Obama may be pro-choice but he sure cares about families and social needs. McCain/Palin on the other hand are pro-life but don’t really care when it counts. The problem is there does not appear to be substantial factual basis for these recent claims.
(h/t: Karen B for the King show)