Cecile Richards in the spin room
BY: Matthew Walther Follow @matthewwalther
October 20, 2016 4:30 pm
LAS VEGAS—I don’t know what I will be doing with my time four years from now. Maybe I’ll be in a house on the shore of Lake Superior writing a book that will sell modestly but receive glowing reviews. Maybe I will be playing pedal steel in a country-rock band. Maybe my family will move to Kenya. It is hard to say. Whatever it is, I hope it doesn’t include standing awkwardly in a loud and crowded room trying to ask people I dislike questions I know they can’t answer.
My first target—oops, does that sound too weaponized?—in the spin room at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Wednesday night was Cecile Richards, the CEO of what is ostensibly a nonprofit corporation, one whose business concerns include the abortion of children and the sale of their body parts. Richards was there acting as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton. As it happens, I had a paperback copy of Stephen King’sIT in my backpack. As I walked across the room toward the circle of about 10 journalists, most of them cameramen, asking Richards questions, I could not help recalling Pennywise’s words to the young Stan Uris: “I am the eater of worlds, and of children. And you are next!”
I clammed up for a moment, half expecting her suddenly to metamorphose into a giant bird or a mummy or a killer clown and soar into the air clutching a handful of colored balloons.
Instead she stood there with a knowing, slightly nasty smirk answering questions that I would describe as “softball” if I could do so without casting unfair aspersions on that noble pastime. I thought of Stan and Bev and Richie and Haystack and Eddie and Mike and Stuttering Bill. They would have wanted me to do something, even if it meant I would be carried off to a sewer and eaten myself.
I waited till she had finished ignoring a query from a Weekly Standard reporter and took my shot.
“Since abortion is a form of ritual sacrifice, is defending it an issue of religious freedom?” I asked.
“I’ve got, actually, an interview,” she said, refusing to make eye contact.
“Is it?” I said.
She walked away.
As far as I’m concerned, Trump did as bad a job Wednesday night as he ever has convincing pro-life voters, especially those at odds with him and the party about economic and other issues, that it’s worth their while to pull the lever for him. Compare his mealy-mouthed comments about letting the states decide abortion law with Carly Fiorina’s plain speaking last September: “I dare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up in and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.”
I honestly have no idea what Trump thinks about abortion, so, for the second time in my life, I tried to ask Katrina Pierson a question. Two other reporters interrupted me while I waited for my turn. Rather than be accused of making up spin-room quotes, I shall reproduce our illuminating exchange in full.
“So Gov. Pence has said over and over on the campaign trail that under a Trump-Pence White House abortion would be eradicated in the United States. But Mr. Trump seemed to suggest tonight that this is an issue he thinks should be left up to the states. What is the position of the campaign? What is Mr. Trump’s personal view?”
“Mr. Trump stated his personal view tonight. He doesn’t believe that the federal government should be making personal decisions like this.”
“So does he think that abortion is murder or killing?”
“So murder is a personal decision?”
“We have people who want to protect trees but not babies. And I think when you take a baby out of the womb at nine months, I think you can call that murder. And Mr. Trump is simply saying that the federal government should not be in charge of those decisions and that the states should be.”
“But what about at one month? It’s true that the states put the murder statutes on the books, but murder is still illegal in all 50 states.”
Then communication began to break down.
“Lying to Congress is also illegal.”
“Would Mr. Trump like to see abortion illegal in all 50 states?”
“Lying to Congress is also illegal, but we see what happens there.”
“Right. But personally would Mr. Trump like to see abortion illegal in all 50 states?”
“What Mr. Trump would like to see is that decision being made by the people of the United States and not the Supreme Court.”
“So it’s up to the people of the United States to decide whether or not murder is legal?”
“For their states.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
Eighteen more days.
Thank You Mr Wather and Free Beacon.