On Friday, Connecticut senate candidate Linda McMahon really stepped in it when she told the Hartford Courant editorial board that she thought Catholic hospitals should be able to deny emergency birth control to rape victims, not exactly a position a true pro-choice politican would take. So here she is in last night’s debate, trying to clean up the mess with a flip-flop, and, well, failing spectacularly.
MCMAHON: It was really an issue about a Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in in an emergency rape. That was my response to it. I absolutely think that we should avail women who come in with rape victims the opportunity to have those morning after pills or the treatment that they should get.
Emergency rape? Is that anything like “legitimate” rape? Would McMahon deny birth control to non-emergency rape victims? And how many rape victims, emergency or not, go to a Catholic church for treatment?
The question from the editorial board was clearly this: “So a rape victim, in a hospital. And it’s a hospital that is run by a Catholic institution.” And McMahon said the hospital could deny that care. That she’s trying to restate that question and her answer in such a hamhanded way shows that, well, she’s utterly out of her element when it comes to thinking and talking at the same time.
McMahon is clearly not the pro-choice candidate she’s pretending to be. She’s also not the qualified candidate she’s pretending to be. There’s a reason one newspaper editorial board said that she “gives the impression of someone who has memorized talking points and doesn’t know the difference between them and actual thoughts or policy positions.” That’s because that’s who she is as a candidate.