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Santorum’s Interview with John Hawkins June 27, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.
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You can find the complete interview with Rick Santorum at this link. Here is an excerpt:

John Hawkins: If someone said to you, “Rick, I am undecided between you and Casey. Give me three differences between the two of you that would convince me to vote for you.” What would you tell them?

Rick Santorum: First, I’d say taxes are a big difference. He is against the tax reductions of 2001 and 2003. He said he would like to raise…rates up to 50% for the top bracket. He is absolutely a traditional tax and spend Democrat. So on taxes and spending, he is for spending a bunch more and taxing a bunch more….

The second issue that I think is especially important, particularly for Pennsylvanians, is medical liability reform. That’s an issue that is just killing our commonwealth. We are losing doctors hand over fist. We had 9 maternity wards close down in the city of Philadelphia, 5 in the city of Pittsburgh. We have a real crisis on our hands and Bobby Casey is a trial lawyer. That’s what he did. He sued doctors before he got into politics and there is a big difference between him and me on (that) issue.

…Those are the two big economic issues that are facing us. On the cultural side, probably the biggest difference is on the issue of marriage. I strongly believe we need to protect the traditional family in America and he does not feel that way. He is not in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. He is not in favor of a State Marriage Amendment. He would do nothing to stop the courts from doing what they (inevitably seem to do), which is to…take this issue of what marriage is out of the hands of the people and have the courts decide it for us in a way that is against the way most Americans think it should be.

I’d like to hear Casey’s perspective on these points as well. What would his answer be to the question Hawkins posed? I enjoy watching political debates because they are a true contest of ideas. In a debate, candidates are given an opportunity to express themselves without interference or editorializing by supposedly unbiased reporters. It is a shame that the importance of debates has fallen in politics. Candidates respond to each other through campaign advertising and the media on a daily basis, but they only debate a few times during an election.

Wouldn’t it be nice to read more news coverage that consisted of each candidate answering the same questions and then printing their answers side-by-side without any edits? It would be a handy way for voters to compare positions on issues without being influenced by a reporter’s personal bias.

Medical liability reform is a great example of why this kind of side-by-side interview or written debate would be helpful to voters. Newspapers report on liability reform, but it is always possible for a reporter to select facts that favor one position. Those in favor of liability reform point to skyrocketing costs, closing hospitals, cases where people died due to an emergency room closing, etc. Those opposed to liability reform highlight cases of people permanently disabled, mothers whose babies died during delivery, etc. Supposedly objective and unbiased articles are often slanted- perhaps inadvertently.

Why not give readers the facts and trust them to form their own opinions? If one candidate attempts to distort the facts in his/her written response, readers and experts would catch the error and hold him/her responsible in letters to the editor and blog postings. Don’t we deserve more honest debates?

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