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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

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We`re -- we have got Marsha Blackburn here and Michelle Goldberg.

Congresswoman Blackburn, are you comfortable with this platform that`s just going to be approved tonight on -- let`s talk -- we will start with reproductive rights, abortion rights, giving the unborn the rights of the 14th Amendment to life, liberty and property. Are you confident that that`s something the American people will be happy with?

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: Chris, I am. We have the Hyde language. Our provisions are what they have been. We are the party of life. And we send the issue back to the states. It`s federalism. And in my remarks I made, when we approved our platform, I talked about our renewed commitment to federalism.

MATTHEWS: Yes, but about the -- just quickly, the 14th Amendment, the rights to life, I mean, how can you have any abortions without risking criminal action if you -- if you say that an unborn child is an actual person under the 14th Amendment?

BLACKBURN: Well, what we have done is to use the language that we have had in our platform over many years.

And then we send the issue back to the states. And when there are exceptions, the states make -- you know, that`s a state issue.

MATTHEWS: Well, it`s not in your platform.

Let me go to Michelle Goldberg.

It seems like the language is really radical here, more than just pro-life no.

BLACKBURN: No, it isn`t. It`s not.

MATTHEWS: In principle --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: It is -- they are on --

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Well, I`m reading it. Do you want me to read to it you?

BLACKBURN: Sure. No, I --

MATTHEWS: "We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and
endorse and endorse -- "

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: I`m capable of reading --

(CROSSTALK)

BLACKBURN: What we did was to remain silent on any exceptions.

MATTHEWS: But you say also in the language, in addition to a life amendment to the Constitution, you say, "We endorse legislation to make clear that the 14th Amendment`s protections of life, liberty and property apply to unborn children."

You go beyond a life amendment. Congresswoman, why did you go beyond?

BLACKBURN: I`m sorry, I can`t -- oh, I`m sorry. I`m sorry, Chris. I`m not able to hear you.

MATTHEWS: OK. Let me go to Michelle.

Well, let`s go back to Michelle on this. What do you make of this?

Because this situation is created where a woman, if she has an abortion, could under common law be guilty of murder if a person has the right to life under the 14th Amendment.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY BEAST: Right.

MATTHEWS: How do they reconcile that with these exceptions they talk about for rape and incest?

GOLDBERG: Well, they don`t talk about the exceptions. Romney talks about the exceptions.

But the party has been very clear That those exceptions --

BLACKBURN: I can hear you.

GOLDBERG: -- do not appear in a platform.

And I think some people who have defended have said, well, this is the RNC`s platform, and not Romney`s platform. And so there`s a big disconnect between what Romney espouses and what his party espouses. But again the platform -- and they do this every -- this platform has been actually consistent over several cycles. They often call for these human life amendments.

It`s only because of Todd Akin that people are now paying attention to the extremism of the GOP on abortion.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Congresswoman. We have got a new poll from Gallup. It maybe conforms to your thinking that there should be exceptions
for rape and incest even; 67 percent of your party in the Gallup poll, which is a respected poll, say they`d like to see an exception for those two situations.

And the platform does not make an exception.

BLACKBURN: The platform is silent on exceptions.

And I`m one of those members of Congress that supports having those and allowing those exceptions. We send it pack to the states, Chris. And bear in mind that the platform is a visionary document. It is not a reactionary document.

MATTHEWS: How do you, by the way, decide on whether a woman was a victim of rape in the time that you have to decide whether she can have an abortion?

Most criminal trials for something as serious as -- as rape would take a lot more than nine months, or certainly more than five or six months.

Why would -- how would you know to allow a woman to have an abortion based
on the law?

BLACKBURN: Chris, what we do, there -- again, there are many of us that are for exceptions that are in the pro-life community.

Our language has been consistent. We send the issue back to the states. And I think that what we`re seeing is that the Democrats keep trying --

MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you.

BLACKBURN: -- to divert the issue.

MATTHEWS: OK. I thank you so much. And it`s always great to have you on, Congresswoman Blackburn and Michelle.

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