Saturday, March 17, 2007

Do Republicans get a pass?

So a minor political dust storm was kicked earlier this week when both leading Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seemed to hesitate for a moment on whether homosexuality was "immoral" in the wake of General Peter Pace's comments to the Chicago Tribune.

Both Clinton and Obama quickly released statements (here and here, respectively) seeking to quell the rising sentiment that they were perhaps more concerned about losing potential votes from centrist Democrats or moderate Republicans.

But what about those leading Republican presidential candidates?

The Politico has asked the question to representatives from the top three Republican presidential candidates (McCain, Giuliani and Romney) and - guess what - they all dodge the question as well.

In the meantime, John McCain seems to have stumbled on a question he didn't like either. No, not just on the issue of "immorality" of homosexuality but on the use of condoms to stem the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

From the Washington Post's On the Campaign Trail blog:
And then someone asked about public funding for contraception in Africa to prevent the spread of AIDS.

"I'm sure I've taken a position on it in the past," he stammered as he looked to his communications director. "I'm sure I'm opposed to government funding."

Sensing a vulnerable moment, reporters kept the questions coming. What about sex education in the schools? Should it mention contraceptives? Or only abstinence, like President Bush wants?

"I think I support the president's present policy," he said, tentatively.

More questions: Do condoms stop sexually transmitted disease?

A long pause.

A stern look.

"I've never gotten into these issues or thought much about them," he said, almost crying uncle. "Obviously, we all want to stop the spread of AIDS. Everybody wants to do that. What's the most viable way of doing that?"

Well? The reporters asked?

In a last ditch attempt to rescue himself, McCain told an aide to go get a briefing paper prepared by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, a doctor, who he said has been advising him on "these issues." But the aide couldn't find the briefing paper. "We've lost it," McCain mumbled.

"Whether I support government funding for them or not, I don't know," McCain said about contraceptives. He then said he'd look into it for the reporters, who finally let him off the hook and moved onto other subjects again.

Yikes! This sure will be one looong presidential race...

1 comment:

miss wild thing said...

After all these years and so many deaths and they-R's- don't have an answer. Sickening.