This Week With George Stephanopoulos
January 8, 2012 by staff
This Week With George Stephanopoulos, George Stephanopoulos was more aggressive in pursuing the issue of government involvement in contraception when he questioned Republican presidential candidates in a debate Saturday night in New Hampshire than he was in January 2009 when he questioned then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on ABC News’s “This Week.”
Before going to work for ABC, Stephanopoulos worked as the communications director for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and White House.
On Jan. 25, 2009, when Congress was preparing to pass President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill-which the Congressional Budget Office now says cost $825 billion-then-Speaker Pelosi appeared on “This Week.” Stephanopoulos, who then hosted the show, asked Pelosi about the proposed stimulus including what he called “hundreds of millions of dollars” for family planning. “How is that stimulus?” he asked.
Pelosi gave a brief answer in which she concluded: “One of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the state and to the federal government, too.”
Stephanopoulos did not press Pelosi on the issue-asking her exactly one follow-up question. It was: “So, no apologies for that?”
Pelosi responded: “No apologies. No. We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn to our economy.” Without any interference from Stephanopoulos, Pelosi then segued into talking about Food Stamps and unemployment insurance.
Stephanopoulos’s and Pelosi’s entire discussion about the “hundreds of millions” in the Obama stimulus that would go to fund contraception lasted a little more than one hundred words.
The scene was far different at the Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire on Saturday night. There former Clinton Communications Director Stephanopoulos brought up former Sen. Rick Santorum’s argument that the 1965 Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut had been wrongly decided. That decision said there was a “right to privacy” in the Constitution that prevented states from prohibiting contraceptives. The “right to privacy” the court created in that case was used by the court eight years later–in Roe v. Wade–to declare there was a constitutional right to abortion.
Without mentioning the link between the contraception case and the abortion case, Stephanopoulos asked former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney if he agreed with Santorum’s view on the contraception case.
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