An oatmeal cookie!
An oatmeal cookie to the first reporter who gets around to asking North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge (D) why he refused to answer a crucial ObamaCare question during his debate last Saturday with his Republican challenger, Renee Ellmers. The fact that he refused to answer was amazing. And the fact that the Raleigh News & Observer completely neglected to report the refusal in its story about the debate is even more amazing. Here is a transcript of Etheridge refusing to answer the ObamaCare question with the video clip below the fold:
Renee Ellmers: "Congressman, you said that something will have to give, well the people of district two are going to give, and give, and give, in order to keep this massive healthcare bill in place. Am I correct to assume, and I guess this is a question, you believe the government can handle one sixth (1/6) of the economy better than the free enterprise system? That Americans, North Carolinians can't make those choices and put those things in place better than the government?"
Moderator Kim Genardo: "Rebuttal, or shall we move on?
Congressman Bob Etheridge: "Move on."
So how did the Raleigh News & Observer cover that debate highlight? By not covering it. Here is the News & Observer account by Lynn Bonner of the discussion of ObamaCare during the debate with the Etheridge refusal to answer the question notable by its absence:
The debates focused on domestic issues such as the new health care law, the federal budget, Social Security and unemployment benefits.
Republican Renee Ellmers, a registered nurse who manages her husband's medical practice in Dunn, described herself as "a citizen candidate" and "not a longtime political hack, so to speak."
She disagreed with U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, a Democrat and seven-term incumbent from Lillington, on the value of the new federal health care law.
A self-described tea party conservative, Ellmers said the law is too expensive, and she vowed to seeks its repeal and create free-market solutions.
The people of the 2nd U.S. House District "are going to give and give and give to keep this massive health care bill in place," she said. The largely rural 2nd District includes parts of Wake, Chatham, Harnett, Johnston and other central North Carolina counties.
Etheridge said that the law isn't perfect but repealing it would mean that insurance companies would again deny coverage to sick children and that elderly people would lose help paying for prescription drugs.
Hmmm... Could the News & Observer's willingness to toss Etheridge's ObamaCare non-answer down the memory hole be related to its editorial position? Let us take a look at their endorsement in this congressional race:
BOB ETHERIDGE There are a few lonely liberals in Etheridge's home county of Harnett, but he isn't one of them. Instead, as he's shown over three-plus decades of capable public service, he is a man of the pragmatic middle. That nicely suits his district, which is largely rural and small town even though it extends into the heart of Raleigh.
Etheridge isn't a liberal? Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I now enter into evidence the testimony of Real Clear Politics which described the voting record of Etheridge during the current term:
This time around, however, Etheridge has generally voted the national Democratic line, earning a 95 percent rating from Americans for Democratic Action. He voted for the stimulus package, for "cap and trade" legislation and for the healthcare bill.
So what do you have to do to be described as a liberal in the eyes of the News & Observer? Storm the Winter Palace with Lenin & Co.?
Of course, no story about Bob Etheridge would be complete without his infamous "Who are you?" video so enjoy!