Scott Swenson is the Editor of RH Reality Check.
NBC's Brian Williams asked Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin about their attacks on Sen. Barack Obama and his association with Bill Ayers, and if they would define abortion clinic bombers as domestic terrorists.
Palin said she wouldn't condone such actions and ultimately worked her way to saying that "terrorist" would be defined as anyone who seeks to destroy innocent Americans, meaning that she seems to agree that abortion clinic bombers are terrorists. McCain felt the need to to clean up the answer later in the interview saying that anyone who breaks the law, including bombing an abortion clinic, should be punished to the full extent of the law.
Here's an idea -- how about just de-politicizing private, personal health care decisions that individuals should make for themselves, and repudiating the extremist rhetoric of the anti-choice protesters that create a culture where clinic violence is celebrated. Better yet, how about repudiating the lies being told right now in mailers, robo-calls, and in TV ads about the so-called "Born Alive" bill that contribute to the culture of anti-choice extremism and violence.
McCain has previously said he was "proud of everyone attending our rallies" which includes Paul Schenck who has been linked to numerous acts of violence, including the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian. Former Republican Congressman and host of MSNBC's Morning Joe has regularly suggested the media discuss Ayers more, but has yet to raise the McCain-Palin links to these un-repetent domestic terrorists. Schenck was recently given VIP passes to a McCain-Palin rally.
Later in the interview in a discussion of elites, McCain defines an elite as someone who "thinks they can dictate to America what they believe, instead of letting Americans decide for themselves." That seems to make the McCain-Palin views on a woman's right to make her own health care decisions, "elitist".
Other anti-choice extremists have been linked to efforts in Colorado to pass a law giving all fertilized eggs human rights, while many conservative, pro-life Republicans have been openly taking a stand against the extremism in the anti-choice movement calling for a change in the abortion debate. Several Republican leaders, including Gen. Colin Powell, have suggested one reason they are supporting Obama is because the Republican Party has moved too far to the right and adopted an extremism that causes them concern.
In the same interview Palin was asked if she is a feminist, and again dodged the question preferring not to associate herself with "labels" even though she is a member of Feminists for Life.
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