Former New York Governor George Paraki and New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox held a conference call with reporters this morning ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering. Mr. Pataki claimed his emphasis on lower tax rates and de-regulation led to the creation of the school while President Obama’s policies have failed at spurring private sector development.
Though Messrs. Pataki and Cox focused on criticizing the president’s economic policies, they were also asked by Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller about the uproar over Vice President Joe Biden’s comments in support of same sex marriage yesterday and the lingering questions about where President Obama stands on the issue.
“I think it’s pretty simple, either you’re for something, or you’re against it and Vice President Biden has made it plain he’s for it. President Obama, on the other hand, is looking to have both sides where he’s appealing to those who are supportive of gay marriage, but is afraid to alienate those who don’t.”
At a press conference today, Christine Quinn and a host of fellow elected officials–including all of the top contenders for mayor–called on Republicans in the State Senate to withdraw their opposition a bill that would expand abortion rights in New York State.
That bill, called the Reproductive Health Act would, among other things, taking abortion out of the criminal code and put it in the health code. The bill would also permit abortions after the 24th week of pregnancy if the mother’s health is deemed to be at risk. Under current law, an abortion after 24th week is only legal if the life of the mother is at risk.
Asked if she would favor any restriction on the right to an abortion, Ms. Quinn said no–in fairly graphic terms.
State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. released a lengthy thousand word statement today outlining his views on abortion. Mr. Diaz explained why he believes abortion amounts to the “killing of unborn babies” and why he thinks it’s time to “forget about being politically correct by being Pro-Choice.”
“Hitler was pro-choice. He chose to send the Jews to Auschwitz. That was not their choice that was Hitler’s choice,” Mr. Diaz said. “Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice.”
President Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, released a statement in response to Mitt Romney’s statement today he’d “get rid of” Planned Parenthood as part of his efforts to reduce the debt. Ms. Cutter said Mr. Romney’s pro-life positions prove “American women cannot trust Mitt Romney to stand up for them.”
“Mitt Romney’s comments today that he would ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood show how low he is willing to go to pander to the most extreme elements of the Republican base,” Ms. Cutter said. “Planned Parenthood is a vital health care provider for millions of American women, giving them affordable access to life-saving services like mammograms and cervical cancer screenings. Even more offensive is that he would justify on fiscal grounds the elimination of Planned Parenthood, which represents 0.01% of the federal budget, even as he proposes a $5 trillion tax plan that would give massive tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.”
Much Ado About Abortion
Mitt Romney said he’d “get rid” of Planned Parenthood during a campaign stop in Kirkwood, Missouri today. Mr. Romney made his remarks during an interview with local news station KSDK when he was suggesting programs he would cut as part of his plan to reduce the debt.
“The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that. The subsidy for Amtrak, I’d eliminate that. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities,” Mr. Romney said.
On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was asked about the Reproductive Health Act and punted.
“I don’t know if I have taken a public position on it, Fred,” Mr. Cuomo said of the bill. “I don’t know if I’ve taken a position on this bill, obviously I’m a long-term supporter of reproductive rights.”
However, in the past, Mr. Cuomo has directly stated his support for the legislation and indeed even raised the issue in his State of the State speech this year. His spokesman, Josh Vlasto, reiterated Mr. Cuomo’s support over Twitter and said Mr. Cuomo’s comments came purely in the context of what he would discuss with Cardinal Timothy Dolan in a meeting today.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest lawmaker to criticize the House for holding a hearing on President Barack Obama’s controversial contraception coverage rule without including any women on the opening panel. In an email sent to supporters today, Ms. Gillibrand said she was “outraged” by the absence of female speakers at the House oversight committee hearing.
“I don’t know about you but I was outraged yesterday when the House held a hearing on birth control, without including a single woman on the opening panel,” she wrote.
Much Ado About Abortion
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum addressed a small rally held by the pro-life group Students For Life at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference today. Mr. Santorum praised the young activists for their work and explained why he believes they must fight to end abortion in this country.
“We need to go out and challenge the left, which is constantly telling the public that conservatives are anti-science,” Mr. Santorum said. “Well, if there’s one group of folks that’s anti-science it is, in fact, those who call themselves pro-choice, because the choice that they’re choosing is to kill an innocent human life, without question an innocent human being.”
Much Ado About Abortion
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pleased with the breast cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, reversing its controversial decision to stop giving Planned Parenthood grants for breast cancer screenings.
“While this has been a sad week for everyone that cares about women’s health, I am glad that Susan G. Komen for the Cure has come to the right decision,” Ms. Gillibrand said today.
Mayor Bloomberg believes teenage girls should have access to morning-after contraceptives.
Chris Christie texted Joe Scarborough to complain about liberal guests on “Morning Joe.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants Governor Cuomo to sign the taxi bill.
Potential 2013 mayoral candidate Greg Floyd took a shot at John Liu.