CNN’s John King is on notice: Never ignore Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul again.
During the Thursday CNN debate in Charleston, S.C., King skipped over Paul during an exchange about the candidates’ pro-life bona fides.
King prompted the candidates with a question about mailers, sent by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign, which question former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s commitment to pro-life political priorities.
Following a back-and-forth exchange between Gingrich, Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, each trumpeting his pro-life credentials, King moved on to another question — only to be met with a chorus of boos from the audience because he had completely ignored the fourth candidate on stage, Paul.
Paul laughed off the oversight.
“John, once again, it’s a medical subject and I’m a doctor,” said Paul, an obstetrician, who explained that during his training as a physician, before the era of abortion, he was taught that with pregnant women there are two patients. “I think that solves a lot of problems as to when life begins,” he said.
The Texas congressman went on to voice his concerns about federal funding of institutions that provide abortions, and the need to return such powers to the states.
“All funds are fungible, even funds that got to any hospital if you say, ‘well it’s not for birth control, and its not for Planned Parenthood, and it’s not for abortion.’ If you send it through the hospital they can still use that money,” said Paul. “This is an indictment of government-run medicine because you never can sort all that out. You need the government out of that business or you will always argue over who is paying what bills.”
Santorum viewed Paul’s comments as an attack on him and lashed out accordingly, accusing Paul of having a National Right to Life rating comparable to that of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Paul responded that Santorum was not even on his mind when he answered the question.
“Just for the record I was not even thinking about you when I gave my answer, so you are overly sensitive,” Paul said to cheers from his partisans in the audience. He then reiterated his contention that the states, not the federal government, should deal with abortion and other health-related issues.