Martin Bashir | October 12, 2012
>>> the vice president and his challenger are both committed members of the catholic church , and in one of the most compelling moments of last knight's debate, they were invited to explain how their faith has defined their views on abortion. congressman ryan made it abundantly clear that a president romney has no intention of living with a law that was settled by the supreme court in 1973 .
>> i don't see how a person can separate their public life from their private life for from their faith. the policy of a romney administration is to oppose abortion with the exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. we don't think that unelected judges should make this decision.
>> as for vice president biden and the president himself, turns out they still believe in separation of church and state .
>> life begins at conception. that's the church's judgment. i accept it in my personal life , but i refuse to impose it on equally devout christians and muslims and jews. i just refuse to impose that on others.
>> joining us now, julian epstein is a democratic strategist and former chief minority counsel to the house judiciary committee and maria teresa kumar is president and ceo of voter latino. julian , it is breathtaking to observe mr. ryan at work. he breezes past the constitutional separation of church and state , and if that wasn't astonishing enough, he then argued that the supreme court has no business ruling on the issue in the first place. i mean, is it his view that a mormon bishop like mitt romney should decide the issue?
>> well, it's a good question, martin. look, the easy answer, one easy answer to his point about separating faith from your public life is the catholic church also says divorce is wrong, but the catholic church does not say that if you're an elected official who happens to be catholic that you must impose a divorce prohibition on the rest of the country. look, what happened last night and why it was so significant is because the chickens are now coming home to roost. mitt romney and the republican party have a very extreme position when it comes to contraception and abortion, a position that makes -- that offends most women and many, many men. they have an extreme position on medicare that seniors go running for the hills when they understand that the voucher program means that the medicare system cannot work because the economics don't work. they not only have an extreme position on taxes, they have an incoherent position on taxes because the numbers don't add up. not only that, it's not a jobs plan. there's no analysis out there that suggests that the tax plplan that they articulate will do much to create jobs. i think what's happened is they've played this kind of stunt, this game, that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but the problem for mitt romney and the republicans as was shown in the debate is these positions, whether it's soths issues or others are not sustainable over time , and what democrats now -- ya they're so he be ewe lent today is because we understand if they focus on the issues and focus on the extremism and incoherence of the republicans, we will ride to victory on the backs of the issues.
>> to that point, isn't there a lack of seriousness about the way these two treat such an important and personal issue as it relates to women's health? i mean, they changed their positions by the day. they dismiss the supreme court 's ruling with such disregard. i mean, these people aren't serious about such a sensitive issue, are they?
>> well, it's a catch-all mitt i think it what we should start calling him and ryan his running mate. this is the problem. basically what he did last night was officially announce that abortion is on the ballot come november.
>> that's an incredible opening for the democrats because when you start saying that you don't care -- that you want government not to be in your medicine cabinet, you don't want government anywhere else except when you walk into your doctor's advice sout, that's not only going to irritate women but put them up in arms. there are fathers as well who want to support women's rights. it's so egregious the fact they want to turn back the clock back to 1973 and actually put women's lives at risk for something that is so narrow-minded in their view of how the world should be.
>> right. julian , given the way both candidates were invited to discuss the implications of their catholic faith last night and, indeed, the way republicans repeatedly question the president's christian faith , why is there such a reluctance to ask detailed questions about the mormon candidate in this race? why the reluctance?
>> well, i think if you did that, mitt romney would find a way of dancing around that, and i don't think democrats necessarily need to go there because it's thinly veiled religious bigotry, and i think it's important and it's instructive to note that democrats have not attacked mitt romney for the faith that he has as opposed to republicans who have attacked barack obama for the faith that he does not have. and, again, i think this is unnecessary for democrats to go to this place. it's distasteful, but more importantly and to maria's point if the democrats -- what they need to do right now is focus. focus on the extremism of the social policies like contraception and abortion, focus on the extreme policies on health care . they want to destroy the medicare system as we know it. they don't want pre-existing conditions covered for tens of millions of people. and on the economics, they do not have a plan. if democrats focus on those issues rather than to go to these other matters of romney 's faith, they will win this election.
>> and they talk about freedom every day, but they don't want to continue with the separation of church and state . maria teresa kumar and julian epstein, thank you both, and