Last Saturday night, six presidential hopefuls (Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman) took the stage in New Hampshire for the 417th debate of this election cycle. Ok, I made that number up, but it sure does feel like it, doesn’t it?
The economy still sucks, Iran has a nuclear program, and we’re dealing with a Mexican drug war along our southern border, so naturally the debate moderators focused on birth control and gay marriage. Wait, what?
Saturday night’s debate was the most social-issue heavy debate thus far, with candidates discussing marriage equality and whether or not states should have the right to ban contraceptives for over an hour before moving onto the economy. Just when things started to get substantive, the debate was cut short and we were moved to post-debate analysis.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney summed up his feelings on the ridiculous line of questioning when George Stephanopoulos asked him about condoms and states rights. Romney dismissed the question as “silly,” saying that no state wants to ban contraceptives, so why bother asking such a dumb question? He said, “Contraception, it's working just fine. Leave it alone.”
Can we please leave lame hypothetical questions out of the debate and talk about something that matters, like how we can balance the budget, or repealing Obamacare, or lowering gas prices or keeping our country safe from those that will attack us? Republican voters are hungry for a legitimate conversation on issues that are forefront in our minds.
Birth control, gay marriage, and anything falling under the ‘social issue umbrella’ needs to take a backseat right now to economic prosperity and national security. We have a president who is spending our way toward bankruptcy, who bows to foreign leaders, who won’t let us drill our own oil, and who believes that Republicans threaten the very core of what America stands for.
Will these gotcha questions continue in the general election after the GOP has settled on a candidate? Will Diane Sawyer ask Obama if he thinks states should be able to outlaw condoms? Or is that above his pay grade?
Get it together, mainstream media. Start asking some real questions, or your relevancy will become completely obsolete.
Image via fibonacciblue/flickr