Gov. Corbett Defends ‘Ultrasound’ Comments: “Taken Completely Out of Context”
Gov. Tom Corbett went on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT’s “The Dom Giordano Show” Tuesday morning as part of a long-time-coming effort to get himself a publicity makeover, now that a large majority of Pennsylvanians want anybody but him representing them come 2014. As part of that conversation on the conservative radio program, he was asked about what some liberals have called the Republican “war on women”—and his particular place in it. He denied such hostilities existed between Republican politicians and females and even defended some out-of-touch comments he made last year after a forced transvaginal ultrasound bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania House.
“I don’t know why people would call it a war on women,” he told the Philadelphia-based Giordano. “We do not have a war on anybody.”
Of the many policies of the Republican party which have been called anti-woman, the forced transvaginal ultrasound bill proposed in Pennsylvania last session stood out amongst the country. In late 2011, Rep. Kathy Rapp introduced a bill which would force women considering abortions to receive an ultrasound and have their face turned toward the video screen while a doctor recorded their eye movement, making sure they were looking (then giving a photo of the ultrasound to the woman thereafter). An amended incarnation of the bill passed through committee, but never came up for a vote in the full House. Corbett seemed to acknowledge his support of it in an awkward comment made last spring.
When asked about the bill then, he made like it was no big deal. “I’m not making anybody watch, OK,” he said, in a video circulated by PA Independent, “because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.”
Corbett addressed that comment and the outrage it caused while on Giordano. “Other than one comment that was taken completely out of context and didn’t draw any attention back when there was a bill under consideration,” the governor continued. “There’s no other comments that I have said about women out there.”
The governor became a huge party liability from the point of that comment on, with everyone from U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz to President Barack Obama hitting him for political points during the campaign season.
“[The recent comments] just speak to how out of touch he is with women in Pennsylvania and people in Pennsylvania,” says Mark Nicastre, communications director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “This is a pretty good example, and there are many others, that he just doesn’t understand that what he’s saying has consequences.”
The Democratic party has already begun raising money off the comments made this week on WPHT. In an email yesterday afternoon, Interim Director Elena Cross writes, “If we have the money to run ads bashing his anti-women rhetoric, we’ll win. But we have to start immediately.”
“He still hasn’t either apologized for what he said originally or even acknowledged that it’s hurtful and pretty offensive to folks,” Nicastre continues. “He also hasn’t acknowledged the policies he’s backing are the wrong policies.”
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