CNN’s Jack Cafferty Compares Speaker Pelosi to Chinese Dictator Mao

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgDuring his regular “Question of the Hour” segment on Monday’s Situation Room, CNN commentator Jack Cafferty compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s idea to spend hundred of millions of dollars on contraception as a cost-reducing measure to the oppressive birth control policies of the Chinese Communists under Mao: “What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for contraception supposed to stop people from having babies? [That’s] starting to sound a little like Chairman Mao.”

The commentator began his 5 pm Eastern hour “Cafferty File” segment by describing President Obama’s proposed stimulus package, and how this past weekend, “lawmakers were out on their soap boxes. Democrats were selling the plan. Republicans were pointing out problems with the plan.” He then addressed Speaker Pelosi’s comments to George Stephanopoulos on This Week: “On ABC, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, defended hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus package earmarked for contraception. She said family planning reduces costs and explained that the stimulus plan includes assistance to states, and part of that includes children’s health and education. That includes contraception, which Pelosi said will, ‘reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.’”

Cafferty concluded his segment with his Chairman Mao comparison, and his Question of the Hour: “[I]s Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding birth control to the stimulus package will help the economy?”

Seven minutes before the top of the 6 pm Eastern hour, Cafferty read some of the viewer responses to his question. He actually split the responses, with three agreeing with the Speaker, and three criticizing her remarks.

The full transcript of Cafferty’s segment, which began six minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour of Monday’s Situation Room, and the viewer responses near the end of the hour:

JACK CAFFERTY: The $825 billion stimulus package that President Obama wants on his desk by mid-February is supposed to begin to turn the economy around. The president talked about transparency. He even announced that there’ll be a Web site that will give an accounting so people can see how the money is being spent, and he also vowed there will be no pork in this bill.

Now over the weekend, lawmakers were out on their soap boxes. Democrats were selling the plan. Republicans were pointing out problems with the plan. On ABC, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, defended hundreds of millions of dollars in the stimulus package earmarked for contraception. She said family planning reduces costs and explained that the stimulus plan includes assistance to states, and part of that includes children’s health and education. That includes contraception, which Pelosi said will, ‘reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.’               

What exactly did she mean? Are the millions of dollars for contraception supposed to stop people from having babies? [That’s] starting to sound a little like Chairman Mao. When asked if she had any apologies for what some saw as controversial remarks, Madame Speaker answered, ‘No apologies.’

So here’s the question -- is Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding birth control to the stimulus package will help the economy? You can go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog.
  
-5:53 pm EST

CAFFERTY: The question this hour is -- is Nancy Pelosi right when she says adding contraception to the stimulus package will help stimulate the economy?

Marie in Salt Lake City: “Having birth control either covered by Medicaid or by one’s health insurance will save our nation millions, if not billions But it’s not enough to hand out birth control pills. We need to educate women, especially the poor undereducated women in our cities and rural areas. If poor women would use birth control responsibly, we would cut the cost of welfare moms, and for the pro- life folks, we’d cut the number of abortions as well. Pelosi’s right.”

Pete in New York says, “Ah yes, the values of a rich white San Franciscan. Perhaps Nancy was looking across to Oakland and its poor people and she became a bit uneasy. I hate to say it, but this could fall into the category of racist comments if we could get her to describe the kind of person who’s going to receive the condoms. What would the reaction be if somebody in the GOP said we needed to stop the poor from breeding so that we could save money? This is a Democratic leader and not some flaky back-bencher. What an embarrassment to the country.”

Don in Canada says, “She’s right, Jack. If we had enough sense to plan our families, we wouldn’t have so many mouths to feed, jobs to fill, or kids to educate. It’s these same no-to-birth-control crusaders that are the first to criticize poor welfare families.”

H.D. in Phoenix: “You must be joking. With all the hard challenges this country is facing, this is the best she can come up with to help stimulate the economy? The People’s Socialist Republic of California needs to put a muzzle on that woman.”

Melanie in Iowa says, “She knows what she’s talking about. As many of us remember during the barrage of presidential commercials, a lot of people with financial trouble give up medicine first. Helping provide birth control is a cost-saver for the government in the long run.”

And Mary in California: “Pelosi needs to mind her own business and stay out of Americans’ personal lives. Not only is the idea pork -- it’s also socialism.”

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center