Dover Bitch

Friday, May 04, 2007

Matthews on 'pro-choice'

During the post-debate banter, Chris Matthews said:

Should a person have a right to end a pregnancy? And what would be the conditions that would require them to be allowed to do it or not.

These are tough questions of philosophy, of metaphysics, of deep religion and belief about human life. They are not open to a clever one-liner that gets you out of trouble. Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice. I don't like the phrase "pro-choice." It sounds too frivolous.

Is that right? Or is it only frivolous when it's applied to Republicans?

DEAN: This administration continually wants to insert themselves into the family's business, the Terri Shiavio case, that's the family's business, not the government's business... all these abortion cases, that's the family's personal business. That's not the government's business and we'd like to keep the government out of the people's private and personal lives.

MATTHEWS: So the Democrats are the pro-choice party, period.

DEAN: Well, the government...

MATTHEWS: The Democrats, your party, is the pro-choice party.

DEAN: No, my party respects everybody's views, but my party firmly believes that the government should stay out of the people's personal lives.

MATTHEWS: But, you're the pro-choice party, are you not? You sound like you're against them for being pro-life. Are you pro-choice?

DEAN: I'm not against people for being pro-life. I actually was the first chairman who met for a long time with pro-life Democrats.

MATTHEWS: This is a complicated thing for people. The people believe the Republican party, because of its record, supports the pro-life position. Does your party support the pro-choice position?

DEAN: The position we support is, a woman and a family has the right to make up their own mind about their health care without government interference.

MATTHEWS: That's pro-choice.

DEAN: A woman and a family have the right to make up their own minds about their health care without government interference. That's our position.

MATTHEWS: Why do you hesitate at the phrase "pro-choice?"

DEAN: Because I think it's often misused. If you're "pro-choice" it implies that you're not also pro-life. That's not true. There are plenty of pro-life Democrats. We respect them, but we believe the government...

MATTHEWS: Do you believe in abortion rights?

DEAN: I believe the government should stay out of the personal lives of families and women. They should stay out of our lives. That's what I believe.

MATTHEWS: I find it interesting that you have hesitated to say what the party has always stood for, which is the pro-choice position.

DEAN: The party believes that government does not belong in personal decisions.

MATTHEWS: OK. I'm learning things here about the hesitancy I didn't know about before. We'll be right back with Howard Dean.

DEAN: You know what you're learning...

MATTHEWS: Now, you're getting hesitant on the war and hesitant on abortion rights. It's very hard to get clarity from your party.

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