CNN's Candy Crowley Pounds McDonnell on Voter ID, Skips Asking Schweitzer About 'Polygamy Commune' Crack

On Sunday's State of the Union, CNN anchor Candy Crowley interviewed two governors, Virginia Republican Bob McDonnell and Montana Democrat Brian Schweitzer. Crowley pounded McDonnell with a set of questions about that state's voter ID bill and whether it disenfranchises Democrats, and she also brought up the "non-invasive ultrasound" abortion controversy. But Crowley skipped asking Schweitzer about his crack about Romney being born in a "Mexican polygamy commune," implying that Romney's father or grandfather were polygamists (they weren't). Crowley could have asked Schweitzer about whther he felt it was relevant that Barack Obama's father practiced polygamy.

This is the closest Crowley came to a  tough political question with Schweitzer: "I want to read you something, Governor Schweitzer, that you said -- this is from October 2006. Nothing goes away, as you know. If he -- meaning Mitt Romney -- gets the nomination I might support him." Schweitzer replied, "I think the whole Republican party has taken a right turn. This is far right of where Reagan was, and so I'm not supporting him." Look at the McDonnell pounding by comparison:

CROWLEY (One): Governor, let me move you all on to some issues key in your state. You have a voter ID law that is either near or sitting on your desk. You had criticized it in its current form, saying that you really worried it would disenfranchise some people who otherwise would
have votes that counted. Are you going to sign that or not?

McDONNELL: I'm still working through it. I mean, we're entitled to one man, one vote. Not two votes, but not no votes, and I'm trying to make
sure that the bill I got back strikes that proper balance with some of the things (inaudible) --

CROWLEY (Two): You know what's in it, though, and you have been opposed -- you didn't -- you wanted to soften it a bit, make it slightly easier.

McDONNELL: I wanted to make it easier to have a signature comparison --

CROWLEY: Sure.

McDONNELL: -- as opposed to making a voter come back. So I'm meeting with our state board of elections, with the attorney general, to find out whether or not this -- whether or not we can make --

CROWLEY (Three): Democrats say it would disenfranchise their voters.

McDONNELL: I don't think it -- I don't think it would. It would create an additional burden to have to come back and be able to show subsequent identity. We've had a number of cases of voter fraud. Most of them in the registration stage, and we want to make sure we have good clean elections. That's a fundamental of democracy.

CROWLEY (Four): Sure. Leaning one way or the other? You know what's in this.

He said no. McDonnell was getting preliminary vetting in case Romney picked him for his ticket. Later she added the ultrasound bill:

CROWLEY: You know, you signed a bill that required a noninvasive ultrasound for anyone that would get an abortion. Do you think that hurts you on that VP list?

McDONNELL: Look, that's completely up to Mitt Romney. I'm not worried about that.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis