Does former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney believe ABC’s George Stephanopoulos coordinated with the White House over Stephanopoulos’ contraception question during Jan. 7’s New Hampshire primary debate?
It sure sounds like that was what Romney was suggesting Wednesday night during CNN”s Republican presidential primary debate in Arizona moderated by John King. (RELATED: More on Mitt Romney)
“John, what’s happened — and you recall back in the debate that we had George Stephanopoulos talking out about birth control, we wondered why in the world did contraception — and it’s like, why is he going there? Well, we found out when Barack Obama continued his attack on religious conscience,” Romney said.
During the Jan. 7 New Hampshire debate, Stephanopoulos asked the presidential contenders if states have the right to ban contraception. Romney attacked the question, noting that no state was even considering it and it was therefore a non-issue.
However, weeks later on Jan. 20, the question of contraception burst onto the national scene as a major issue when the Obama administration announced that religiously-based schools, hospitals and non-profits would be required to provide insurance coverage to their employees for contraception. The White House later attempted to modify the mandate amid outcries from religious groups and conservatives that the mandate was an attack on religious freedom, but the compromise didn’t mollify many of the plan’s critics.
The Romney campaign did not return TheDC’s request for comment on whether the governor intended to suggest coordination between the White House and ABC’s Stephanopoulos.