Andrea Mitchell Really Wants Hillary Clinton to Talk About Megyn Kelly’s Menstrual Cycle
The Megyn Kelly/Donald Trump feud spilled over into the Democratic presidential primary campaign when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked to weigh in on Trump’s barrage at the Fox News host. At a New Hampshire press conference Monday, Hillary immediately brushed aside reporters’ grilling about Trump, and instead threw hot coals at Marco Rubio for wanting to force women to carry and deliver rape and incest spawn. Those comments are getting a lot of attention, but very little attention is paid to the jaw-dropping questions that sparked them.
From the outset of the press conference, Clinton drew a contrast between Trump’s “offensive” comments and the anti-woman policies being promoted by the rest of the Republican candidates, particularly Rubio’s opposition to rape and incest exceptions to anti-abortion laws, and repeatedly reinforced the notion that the latter are far more harmful than the former.
But even after this was covered in Hillary’s opening remarks, and several previous questions, NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell still couldn’t believe her ears. Mitchell pressed Clinton to reconsider the premise that forcing women to deliver rape babies is worse than being mean to Megyn Kelly. Here’s Mitchell’s first question to Hillary, with the audio enhanced:
MITCHELL: Madame Secretary, regarding Donald Trump, this language was, you can disagree with Republicans on Planned Parenthood and a lot of other issues, but his language, how does that differentiate him from any other candidate, in either party? Is he qualified to be president of the United States? He’s still continually, he’s not apologized, and he made reference today, again, to the bimbo comment regarding Megyn Kelly.
CLINTON: What part of “you must carry your rape-spawn to term” are you having trouble understanding, Andrea?
That last part may be a bit of a paraphrase, but you get the general idea. Whether you agree or disagree with Andrea Mitchell’s assessment, it is clearly not her job to make that kind of a value judgment. The fact that her judgment is so very wrong is just a bonus.
Not content to simply inject her opinion about the relative importance of mean comments to oppressive legislative proposals, Mitchell then decided to press harder, and inject her own facts:
MITCHELL: When you refer to a woman questioner at a national debate, and refer to her menstrual cycle as the reason why she asked a difficult question, don’t you think that that is appreciably different than a profound disagreement over the rights of women…
CLINTON: Yes, Andrea, it is actually worse to force women to carry rape-spawn. What’s wrong with you?
Again, I’m paraphrasing, and in fact, Hillary was actually a lot closer to saying they’re equally bad, which is a bit weaker than I think she should have been. Regardless of your judgment about the comparison, though, what Mitchell is doing here is stating, as fact, something that is at best a popular interpretation of what Donald Trump said, and at worst, a falsehood. Trump says he wasn’t referring to Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle, and despite how easy that is to disbelieve, I actually believe him. There is no doubt that he belittled Megyn Kelly in a number of ways, but that was not one of them.
Andrea Mitchell’s twisted sense of priorities is just a concentrated version of the larger political media’s sick ignorance of the truly important issues to emerge from Thursday night’s debate. Marco Rubio wasn’t the only Republican candidate to roll out a new product that night. While Trump’s spat with Megyn Kelly, whom Hillary rightly pointed out is very capable of defending herself, Republican “establishment” candidate Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) was telling women to drop dead:
KELLY: Governor Walker, you’ve consistently said that you want to make abortion illegal even in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. You recently signed an abortion law in Wisconsin that does have an exception for the mother’s life, but you’re on the record as having objected to it. Would you really let a mother die rather than have an abortion, and with 83 percent of the American public in favor of a life exception, are you too out of the mainstream on this issue to win the general election?
WALKER: Well, I’m pro-life, I’ve always been pro-life, and I’ve got a position that I think is consistent with many Americans out there in that…
WALKER: …in that I believe that that is an unborn child that’s in need of protection out there, and I’ve said many a time that that unborn child can be protected, and there are many other alternatives that can also protect the life of that mother. That’s been consistently proven.
Now, I’m at least as engaged as most voters — I get all the Emily’s List emails — but this was the first I’d heard of any politician opposing an exception for the life of the mother, let alone a leading presidential contender. As Megyn Kelly pointed out, this is not a mainstream opinion, it is a disqualifying one. Even on its own terms, what Walker is saying is that protecting women at risk from pregnancy is a roll of the dice (“that can protect”), and he wants the law to place that bet for you, or your wife, or your daughter.
What’s truly shameful, though, is that while news organizations rigorously fact-check the ludicrous utterances of Donald Trump and others, I have yet to see anyone challenge Walker’s assertion that there is always another way (that you should be forced to take). Walker’s statement flows from a batshit rationale that ignores many of the medical circumstances that necessitate therapeutic abortions. For example, when the “alternative” to abortion is the mother dying and the baby dying:
Cecily Kellogg, 44, a writer who lives near Philadelphia, says that was the situation she faced when she was nearly six months pregnant with twin boys in 2004 and developed severe preeclampsia. One fetus had already died and “my liver had shut down, my kidneys had shut down and they were expecting me to start seizing at any minute,” she says. The doctors said they had to quickly dilate her cervix and perform an abortion to save her. “I fought it,” she says. “But they told me I would die — that it was either me and my son or just my son.”
Scott Walker believes that the law should have prevented doctors from saving that woman’s life, or any woman’s life, if her pregnancy threatens to or is certain to kill her. Scott Walker makes Marco Rubio sound like Cecile Richards.
Almost as insane as Andrea Mitchell’s angle on Trump is that Hillary Clinton never once mentioned Walker’s much worse position on abortion rights, but it’s not at all surprising. Scott Walker isn’t polling any better against Clinton than any other Republican, but Rubio represents a dual threat to Hillary. Even if Rubio doesn’t manage to wait out the other candidates and surge to the nomination, he is very likely to be the eventual nominee’s running mate. There should be enough sunlight to disinfect both of these guys.
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