CNN Asked the GOP Candidates the Dumbest Abortion Questions Possible

My expectations for Jake Tapper and Dana Bash before Wednesday night were low but...holy shit.

CNN Asked the GOP Candidates the Dumbest Abortion Questions Possible

It was just two psychos onstage at the fifth GOP presidential debate on Wednesday night in Des Moines, Iowa. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley duked it out during the last debate before voting begins on Monday, January 15, with the Iowa caucuses and they are definitely still feuding.

Going in, I hoped that, instead of asking whether the candidates supported a federal abortion ban, moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash would specifically needle them on conservative activists’ goal to have the next president enforce a 19th-century zombie abortion ban called the Comstock Act. Right before the thing kicked off, I managed my own expectations and accepted that, no, they probably wouldn’t ask about Comstock, but surely they’d ask about Kate Cox, the Texas woman who sued to try to get an emergency abortion. That question still would have been insufficient, but at least it would have been a question about the state of reproductive rights in the U.S. But CNN moderators couldn’t even manage that level of mediocrity.

No, instead, Tapper and Bash asked what amounted to Mean Girls: GOP Primary Edition. The moderators began the (too-short) abortion section by asking if the candidates believed former president Donald Trump is “pro-life” enough. This Earth-shattering question was courtesy of DeSantis’ recent comments that Trump is not “pro-life” and has “flip-flopped” on the issue since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (And DeSantis said this after Trump called his six-week ban “a terrible thing.”) Haley said Trump should have been at the debate to explain his positions, while DeSantis doubled down on his original criticism.

Then, when they didn’t immediately announce they were moving on to another topic, I held out hope for something—anything—instructive. And the next question from Bash was: “Gov. [DeSantis], yesterday in Iowa you criticized Governor Haley on this issue of abortion. You said she’s ‘indulged in left-wing tropes and chastised pro-lifers.’ Do you believe Gov. Haley is sufficiently pro-life?” Ron mumbled and then Haley responded. What. On. Earth. I’m not even going to type their answers because it doesn’t matter! It was all vibes and no substance. It was basically Gretchen Wieners and Karen Smith kind of shit-talking Regina George while working in digs at each other.

I’m still in shock that Bash and Tapper just let DeSantis and Haley dunk on each other rather than ask anything specific about what they’d do on abortion if elected. Honestly, the only redeeming part of the entire debate was Haley dragging DeSantis for favoring private jets and for his campaign blowing through millions of dollars on paid door-knockers and god knows what else.

And in case you’re thinking, what was everyone else up to tonight? Well, Trump did a Fox News town hall where he said the fall of Roe was “a miracle.” Vivek Ramaswamy is spending money on TV ads after previously calling them idiotic. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was very busy dropping out of the race earlier this evening. Meanwhile, a former Governor of Arkansas just won’t quit and earned this recent Washington Post headline: “Asa Hutchinson reminds Iowans who forgot him: ‘I’m still running’”.

Trump is the runaway favorite to win Iowa (and the GOP nomination) so this debate was probably pointless. I’ll never get these two hours of my life back.

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