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CNN "Erin Burnett Outfront" - Transcript

Interview

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OUTFRONT tonight, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, she is co-chair of the Platform Committee. She voted for that language to remain the same today. I spoke with her just a couple of moments ago and started by asking her about those poll numbers.

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REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: Erin, you are going to find that there are -- the Republican Party is going to support a culture of life, and that is what is reflected in the platform. Now, you mentioned the issue of the exemptions and I would just say that the platform is silent on that, and basically, because of federalism, sends this issue back to the states.

BURNETT: All right, so let me just read you the words. These are the words that you know everyone has been saying have been in the Republican platform now since 1980. It says that --

BLACKBURN: That is right. BURNETT: That you assert the inherent dignity and sanctity of all human life, and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution. If you got that amendment, you say that the unborn child has a right to life that cannot be infringed, how does that allow for anyone to in any state to allow an exemption in the case of rape or incest?

BLACKBURN: Well and we continue to support a federal life amendment. At this point in time as you know the issue is directed back to the states. Now, under the Republican umbrella, and under the umbrella of life, you're going to find that many of us that have the position with Governor Romney that you allow those exceptions of rape, incest and life of the mother, and then you're going to find others that have other opinions. On whole, you're going to see that Republicans support a culture of life. They have and I think you will see them continue to support this.

BURNETT: I mean, I think you are making it very clear, but I am also interested when you said many of us, you know, and obviously this is an interesting question to ask to a woman and it is different in many ways than asking it to a man, but that you, yourself as chairwoman of this party platform support the sanctity of life, but also support those key exemptions of rape or incest?

BLACKBURN: Yes. You're going to find individuals that are going to have different opinions within the pro-life community, and I think that is great. And I think within our party that it is a very good thing that we have this, but reminding you whether it is prenatal or whether it is the end of life, Republicans support a culture of life. We have always done that, and you are going to the see us continue to come down on the side of life.

BURNETT: I mean, you know, and it's interesting, because I know there is so much politics in this, but it would seem all humans support a culture of life and the sanctity of life. It's how you define it and who can make the choices where all of the controversy occurs and that brings me to Todd Akin. You heard him say that he thinks many in his own party have overreacted. Do you think people have overreacted to his words and what he says?

BLACKBURN: I don't. I find his words disturbing and I was very concerned when I was made aware yesterday of those statements. You know, it is an indefensible comment.

BURNETT: And do you think he should step aside? I mean are you disappointed that he did not?

BLACKBURN: I'm deeply disappointed in the comments, and I think that this type insensitivity that I would have liked to have seen him move aside and then move forward with someone in the race so that we can put the attention back on the issue that the American people are talking about, and you have talked about our platform here in Tampa. You know most of the platform is about jobs and the economy. That is what the American people are talking about. That's where they want our focus, and that's what you are going to see when we give you that platform at 2:00 on Monday. That's exactly what you are going to find in that document.

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