Following the liberal media's precedent at GOP conventions, CNN hit the Republican Party for being too extreme and intolerant on Monday morning. As NewsBusters reported Monday, the media have repeatedly lectured Republicans at the conventions for being too conservative and exclusive of women and minorities.
"Some Republicans worry that the Republican Party will come off even more conservative during – over the course of the next three days," warned anchor Carol Costello, framing the party's hypothetical rightward shift as a bad thing. Anchor Ashleigh Banfield questioned the party's "big tent" label.
Banfield interviewed an Alabama delegate over her efforts to allow for an exception for rape victims in the section of the party's platform that banned abortifacients. "If the Republican Party wants to be considered a 'big tent' party, how 'big tent' is it, given what you went through, and how do you feel now, post that discussion?" she pressed the delegate.
Costello quoted former "ultra conservative" Dan Quayle criticizing the GOP for sometimes being too exclusive. She also called Quayle "the Paul Ryan of his time." So is she thus branding Paul Ryan "ultra conservative"?
Costello also fueled the narrative of Republicans being anti-women. "But Congressman, the gender gap is humongous between Romney and Obama. Obama is on the winning side," she lectured former Congressman Tom Davis (R-Va.). Davis responded that "with men he's [Obama's] on the wrong side."
A transcript of the segments, which aired on August 27 on CNN Newsroom, is as follows:
[9:24 a.m. EDT]
CAROL COSTELLO: Some Republicans worry that the Republican Party will come off even more conservative during -- over the course of the next three days. I mean, even the former Republican Vice President Dan Quayle came out. You might call him the Paul Ryan of his time. I mean, he was Mr. Murphy Brown according to the Democrats.
He told The New York Times, this is from Dan Quayle, quote, "The philosophy you hear from time to time, which is unfortunate, is one of exclusion rather than inclusion."
"You have to be expanding the base, expanding the party, because compared to the Democratic Party, the Republican Party is a minority party."
This is coming from Dan Quayle, who in his heyday was considered ultra conservative.
TOM DAVIS, former congressman, (R-Va.): Right. I think the party's a pretty big party at this point. It's a coalition of people who are upset with the policies of the Obama administration --
COSTELLO: Yes, but that's not what the polls show, though.
DAVIS: It's a very – it's a very wide net. Now, you can talk about ethnically how it's made up. The Democrats basically aren't a party. It's one interest group stacked on another interest group.
DAVIS: But the party has got pretty broad support. We have a lot of women. We have lot – women in Congress. We've got women committee chairmen. We have women.
COSTELLO: But Congressman, the gender gap is humongous between Romney and Obama. Obama is on the winning side.
DAVIS: It is. Well, with women he is. With men he's on the wrong side. And let's see how this ends up at the end of the day. Part of the Democratic narrative is to say the Republicans are somehow anti-women. I don't think so. Women have suffered more under the economic policies of this President than almost any other group.
[11:15 a.m. EDT]
ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: And the reason we're talking to Jackie is she's the youngest person on the platform committee. She's a member of Alabama's delegation to that convention. And, Jackie, you actually had a part in forming that plank. You helped to draft the original part of that plank and, yet, you put your hand up and you said, hold on there. I think we're missing something. Can you tell me what it was you thought you were missing, why you put your hand up to say so, and how you were received when you did?
JACKIE CURTISS, Republican delegate from Alabama: Yeah, there was an amendment opposed – or, there was an amendment that was sponsored to ban – to have the FDA ban any drugs that could be considered abortive.
And, you know, I just – the language was really broad and, so, I just simply raised my hand and asked if that included the morning-after pill for rape victims and the answer I got kind of – it told me that it might and I wanted it to be very clear that it did not count the morning-after pill for rape victims and that we did have an exception there.
And when we voted the amendment, it passed, but we started a discussion about the exceptions and I think that's really important.
BANFIELD: So, just to be very clear, when we're talking about, you know, pills, abortive-style pills, there are the Plan B-style pills. There's the RU-486-style pills and, ultimately, the platform doesn't allow for any of these pills, correct?
CURTISS: It does -- it wants to have the FDA ban any pills that could be abortive.
BANFIELD: So, how "big tent" is that, especially for someone like you who, by the way, I think the reason you put your hand up was about Todd Akin's comments and that these need to be discussed because heretofore they had not been discussed. If the Republican Party wants to be considered a "big tent" party, how "big tent" is it, given what you went through, and how do you feel now, post that discussion?
CURTISS: Yeah, I think the Republican Party has so many aspects of it that are "big tent," that people can get behind, and the social issues may have dominated in the media last week. But we have the economy and jobs and the national debt and those are the most important issues to American voters and the young people like myself, and hopefully, those things are "big tent" and, hopefully, those are the things people will be voting on in November.