Reposted from Laura Clawson by a2nite
Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he believes abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest, yet he signed a bill prohibiting rape crisis counselors from telling victims that abortion is an option. That's not a contradiction he's prepared to talk about, though—and especially not if his Democratic opponent is the one doing the asking. At an endorsement meeting for the Cleveland Plain Dealer—the video of which the Plain Dealer is trying to keep from being seen by the public—both candidates were present, and Ed FitzGerald put the question directly to Kasich: "Why was it important to have a piece of legislation that literally imposed a gag rule on rape crisis counselors?"
FitzGerald even specified that "I hope you don’t just fall back on your usual kind of generic statements that you’re pro-life, or that you have sympathy for people that have gone through sexual assault," which is exactly what Kasich did. Eventually.
Kasich would not answer the question until it was repeated (in fumbling fashion) by a Plain Dealer editor. In fact, Kasich literally pretended FitzGerald was not there and that no one had spoken to him. FitzGerald finishes asking this rather important question and Kasich just sits there, staring into space. When the editor asks "Would you like to answer that, governor?", Kasich replies "Do you have a question?" After some back and forth in which FitzGerald is forced to explain to the editor that "He’s trying to pretend he didn’t hear me say it, so you need to repeat it," Kasich finally—as predicted—falls back on generic statements that he's pro-life. Which the male editor of a newspaper that went on to endorse Kasich after watching him pointedly pretend his opponent wasn't there, in the manner of a child trying to annoy his sibling, accepts as an answer to the question of why Kasich imposed a gag order on rape crisis counselors, even though he didn't pretend to answer it. Eventually, a female editor jumps in:
EDITOR: Governor, let me push you on that a little bit more. Because if I’m a female voter, and I’ve been raped, and I go to a rape crisis counselor, I’m not going to be able to get the information I need to make a decision. What are you trying to tell that voter?
KASICH: I’m not trying to tell them anything. The voters in this state, I think by and large, know I’m pro-life. And let me just say that what Ms. Rios was just saying — I mean, this has been a debate that’s gone on since I’ve been around politics. We have Democratic women who are fervently pro-life. We have Republican women who are not. I mean, that’s just the way it is. And so what I choose to focus on is that we can debate this all day long. But at the end of the day, I respect people that have a different position beyond that. But they need to understand my position. It’s just that simple. I’m pro-life.
"I'm not trying to tell them anything" seems like the crux of this. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is preventing rape crisis counselors from giving full information to rape victims, and he has nothing to say to anyone who might be affected by it. Nothing. You've been raped? Kasich is not interested in explaining how his policies affect you. The only information he wants out there is that he's pro-life, without any discussion of how his laws affect women who've been raped.
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A Republican trying to hide the details of his extreme positions on abortion is an everyday occurrence. A major newspaper like the Plain Dealer
allowing a governor to refuse to answer a question while behaving like a bratty 11 year old, then trying to cover up the video evidence is something special. And Ohio voters really do deserve to know why John Kasich is trying to come between rape crisis counselors and the women they treat. (Video of the meeting, which the Plain Dealer
is likely to have removed from YouTube again, is below the fold.)