Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul suggested Wednesday that ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos was early in 2012 was part of a larger plot to make women’s issue, specifically birth control, part of the 2012 presidential election.
Birth control did become part of the discussion in 2012, especially after radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh made his ill-advised remarks about then-Georgetown coed and so-called birth control activist Sandra Fluke a month later.
In an appearance on Geraldo Rivera’s WABC radio show on Wednesday,
Paul had made that point in response to a question from Rivera as to whether or not Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was justified with his threats to pull Republican presidential debates off of NBC and CNN if they proceeded with their plans for pro-Hillary Clinton films.
“You can look back to the last primary season and you wonder whether there was collusion between some reporters,” Paul said. “You know, Stephanopoulos asked an obscure question about Griswold and birth control when no Republicans were bringing up anything about trying to put limits on birth control.”
Paul said he was for the actual Supreme Court’s Griswold vs. Connecticut decision. But he said the timing was curious, given that for the next year it would be a focal point of President Barack Obama’s presidential reelection campaign. Paul didn’t say outright Stephanopoulos was acting as an operative for the Obama campaign.
“I’m saying it makes you wonder, and he’s also said publicly that he has frequent correspondence with his friends who are still involved with the White House,” he said. “So the question is, are you going to get a fair shake and I think it’s a reasonable question for Republicans to ask, should we be scheduling debates and allowing people who used to and still do have active contact with the active Democrat[ic] Party — should we be subjecting ourselves to that, or should we trying to have more neutral or objective type of moderators.”
A week earlier, however, Paul did make the claim there was collusion. In a speech before the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute, the Kentucky senator alluded to the Griswold case and said the reference to it in the Stephanopoulos debate was evidence of a media that is hostile toward Republicans.