The One Issue Democrats Probably Won’t Mention Tonight

Photo credit: Teresa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Photo credit: Teresa via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

During the second GOP presidential debate — also on CNN — the investigative video series on Planned Parenthood’s grisly business of abortion and the sale of baby parts took center stage. But, will we see the same during the Democratic debate tonight?

While the Democrats would much rather spend two hours discussing the antics of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, they need to be asked the difficult questions and the American people deserve to know their answers.

CNN needs to ask the Democratic presidential candidates about the Planned Parenthood controversy and they each need to be pressed for specifics. Don’t pivot, don’t give a non-answer — be specific.

Planned Parenthood has come under fire over the past three months since the Center for Medical Progress investigative series, #PPSellsBabyParts, was launched back in July, and the heat has yet to cool. Congress debated defunding Planned Parenthood, the government nearly shut down because of it, and now Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Congress. Cecile Richards was even called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently, which is probably a first for her.

But, even though this was huge news, the Left has tried everything to ignore it. They change the subject if it comes up, and they will never, I mean never, mention the word “abortion.”

The Obama administration avoided the videos completely in hopes that they could also avoid any direct questioning and that they could just use the Planned Parenthood talking points of “edited” when asked. This has worked so far.

Hillary Clinton on the other hand, was a major flip-flopper on the videos. She originally defended Planned Parenthood, saying: “For more than a century, Planned Parenthood has provided essential services for women. And I think it is unfortunate that Planned Parenthood has been the object of such a concerted attack for so many years. And it’s really an attack against a woman’s right to chose.”

But then, once she had actually seen the videos she told the New Hampshire Union Leader, that she found the videos “disturbing.” But, then she just hopped back on the Planned Parenthood support train and showed her full support for the abortion giant in a campaign video.

Bernie Sanders completely ignored the facts and decided he would support Planned Parenthood to the death (no pun intended). “They’re not selling fetuses,” Sanders said. “And this is something, I think the tone of that discussion was unfortunate. But if the question is, do I support Planned Parenthood? I absolutely do. … I will defend Planned Parenthood.”

Governor Martin O’Malley said, “I haven’t seen the videos. And I don’t generally make a habit of responding to right-wing videos.” Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb have been silent on the issue.

But, overall, it’s all the same narrative coming from the Democrats. Don’t watch the videos, don’t comment on them and whatever you do — do not mention abortion! This despite the fact that the whole video is about abortion and the sale of the body parts of unborn children who are aborted at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and every other GOP presidential candidate has commented on the Planned Parenthood controversy. And during the last debate on CNN, the Republican debate last month, the Planned Parenthood controversy took center stage.

Will we see that happen again tonight — this time to the Democrats?

The Democratic candidates should each be asked — “Have you seen the Planned Parenthood videos? What is your response to them?” If they haven’t seen the videos, CNN should make them watch a clip and make them respond.

Anderson Cooper, the moderator of the debate tonight, would do everyone in America a favor if he made the Democrats stop beating around the bush and made them answer the Planned Parenthood question straight.

Kate Bryan is the Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.