Republican Candidates for President Hit on Health Care at Debate
The 10 declared Republican presidential candidates at their first debate on Thursday discussed their differences on a number of issues, such as federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and the decision by lawmakers to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case in 2005, the Los Angeles Times reports (Barabak/Reston, Los Angeles Times, 5/4).
The 90-minute debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, aired on MSNBC and was moderated by Chris Matthews of MSNBC and John Harris of Politico.com (Nagourney/Santora, New York Times, 5/4).
During the debate, most of the candidates said that they oppose expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, but Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said that he supports the proposal.
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that he supports expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research "as long as we're not creating life in order to destroy it," and former HHS Secretary and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson said that he could not provide a definitive response on whether he supports the proposal (AP/Winston-Salem Journal, 5/4).
Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.) said, "It's not necessary to kill a human life for us to heal people."
Giuliani, McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said that lawmakers made a mistake when they intervened in the Schiavo case.
However, the other candidates disagreed.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (Calif.) said, "I think Congress did the right thing," adding, "When there's a question, err on the side of life" (Los Angeles Times, 5/4).
According to the New York Times, health care, abortion, the Iraq war and terrorism also "weighed heavy during the debate" (New York Times, 5/4).
MSNBC video excerpts of the candidates' comments on Roe v. Wade and abortion rights are available online.
Summaries of additional broadcast coverage of the debate appear below.
- NPR's "All Things Considered": The program on Thursday included a discussion with NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe, who attended the debate. The segment includes comments about the candidates' remarks on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research (Siegel, "All Things Considered," NPR, 5/3). Audio of the segment is available online.
- NPR's "Morning Edition": The segment includes candidates' comments on abortion rights, among other issues (Jaffe, "Morning Edition," NPR, 5/3). Audio of the segment is available online.
- KCRW's "To the Point": The program on Friday is scheduled to include a discussion about the debate ("To the Point," KCRW, 5/4). Additional information about the segment is available online. A broadcast schedule is available online.