For the last week or so, as the economy continues to dominate the news cycle and presidential election, the Right has been lamenting that their anti-abortion, anti-gay agenda has been relegated to the back burner and wishing that they could choose right-wing moderators to run the debates.
But since they can’t do that, they’ve decided to do the next best thing and petition Bob Schieffer, the moderator of the final debate, to make sure their issues play prominent in tonight’s debate. Earlier this week, Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council, wrote an “open letter” to Schieffer decrying Tom Brokaw’s failure to work their agenda into the last debate:
Mr. Brokaw’s choice of topics for the second debate robbed the American people of what was intended to be a look into the more personal and controversial aspects of the candidates. In that debate focusing on domestic policy, there was not a single question about the Supreme Court, gun control, abortion, gay marriage or immigration. It strains credulity to assert that of the more than 1,000 questions offered to Mr. Brokaw, he could not find any that spoke to these issues.
And now the FRC has followed suit. Declaring that “no issue our nation faces is more important than the protection of innocent unborn life,” the FRC has launched a petition to try and pressure Schieffer into asking questions designed to rally so-called “values voters” behind John McCain:
The American people face many crucial issues in this year’s elections, including the state of the economy, immigration, health care, the environment, and foreign policy. The first two presidential debates this year, however, have failed to include the most pressing social issues on the minds of values voters. We the undersigned urge you to ask questions along the lines of those listed below, which discuss the future of marriage and the sanctity of human life. These are questions that matter to all Americans, and you have the last remaining opportunity for the American people to compare the candidates’ answers as they appear together for the final presidential debate of 2008.
* Do you believe that the U.S. Constitution contains a right for homosexuals to marry?
* Would you change the traditional definition of marriage contained in the federal Defense of Marriage Act?
* Do you support the Defense of Marriage Act’s provision allowing states not to recognize same-sex marriages from other states?
* Have you ever opposed any ballot initiative seeking to define marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman?
* Do you agree or disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the government to ban abortions that kill a partially born baby?
* Have you ever supported or opposed any law designed to protect the lives of babies that have survived an attempted abortion?
Moderating a debate is a great responsibility that rests on your shoulders. We ask that you exercise that responsibility with great care to ensure that the American people have the chance to know where the candidates stand on every pressing issue.
And just in case this effort doesn’t work out, FRC Action is doing its own part to support McCain by running anti-Obama ads in several battleground states:
Today, FRC Action PAC announced an initial $100,000 TV and radio ad campaign in key battleground states aimed at educating voters on Senator Barack Obama’s promise to make the radical “Freedom of Choice Act” his top priority as President. The “Freedom of Choice Act” will overturn virtually all federal and state limitations on abortion. The ad campaign is a response to the Matthew 25 initiative, which sought to mislead voters and downplay Obama’s extreme pro-abortion views. The initial TV and radio ad buy will run this week in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Michigan, with additional television commercials airing in the Washington, D.C. market. The radio ads will target Christian radio stations that earlier this year carried the Matthew 25 campaign.