Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio: 'Ignore' Gay Marriage Decision Because 'God's Rules Always Win'

In an interview today with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sen. Marco Rubio said that the Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage equality and abortion rights in the Obergefell and Roe decisions, respectively, are “not settled law.”

The Republican presidential candidate said that states should “do everything possible within the constraints that its placed upon us” to curtail abortion rights, before insisting that government officials “ignore” Supreme Court rulings if they believe they conflict with “God’s rules.”

“We are clearly called, in the Bible, to adhere to our civil authorities, but that conflicts with also a requirement to adhere to God’s rules,” he said. “When those two come in conflict, God’s rules always win. In essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin, violate God’s law and sin, if we’re ordered to stop preaching the gospel, if we’re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that. We cannot abide by that because government is compelling us to sin.”

Brody, unsurprisingly, took that as an endorsement as Kentucky clerk Kim Davis’ stance that she could flout the Supreme Court and refuse to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.


I’m in Iowa -- the heartland of America. Earlier today, I sat down with Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio. I asked him about same-sex marriage being so-called "settled law.” He had some interesting things to say about the moral conflict many Christians face when the Bible commands to obey civil authorities but also the overlying mandate to follow God’s law. What do you think of what Rubio had to say? Watch below. We'll have much more on this next week AFTER THANKSGIVING on The 700 Club. This is just a little taste of what's to come.

Posted by David Brody on Tuesday, November 24, 2015


GOP Candidates Seek Endorsement Of Iowa Anti-Gay Leader Bob Vander Plaats

Seven Republican presidential candidates will be travelling to Iowa today to take part in a “presidential family forum” hosted by The Family Leader, a social conservative group led by activist Bob Vander Plaats, who is seen as a kingmaker in the Iowa caucus.

Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum will all be speaking at the forum, at which the candidates are arranged family-style around a Thanksgiving table. (At the 2011 forum, Michele Bachmann memorably took it upon herself to serve water to all of the male candidates.)

The endorsement of Vander Plaats, whose backing helped catapult Huckabee and Santorum to Iowa caucus victories in 2008 and 2012, is one of the most coveted in the state. While most observers think that Cruz will nab Vander Plaats’ endorsement, the activist is keeping his options open. Vander Plaats told a reporter that although Donald Trump was unable to make tonight’s forum, he told him, “If you can guarantee me your endorsement, I will turn the plane around and get there.”

As Vander Plaats’ previous endorsements of Huckabee and Santorum show, he has a powerful machine ready to push an ideologically pure social conservative. Back in 2010, Vander Plaats also led a successful effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court judges who participated in the court’s landmark unanimous marriage equality decision.

But to get that endorsement, candidates must cater to an activist far the right of mainstream voters. Not only does Vander Plaats want to remove from office or defund the courts of judges who find in favor of marriage equality, he believes that anything, like gay marriage, that “goes against the law of nature” is by definition unconstitutional . He argues that the government is an institution of God and therefor its purpose is “to promote righteousness” and to apply “God’s principles and precepts.” He once warned that God might withdraw his blessing from America because of a Wiccan prayer at the Iowa state capitol.

Vander Plaats has suggested that marriage equality could lead to legal protections for pedophilia and “ a parent marrying their child” and compared the “public health risk” of homosexuality to second-hand smoke. He has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his “decisive leadership” in preventing “homosexual propaganda” in his country.

Taking its anti-gay sentiment to a new level, The Family Leader was a sponsor of a conference earlier this month — at which Cruz, Huckabee and then-candidate Bobby Jindal spoke — whose organizer, Kevin Swanson, called for the death penalty for gay people and warned that God would judge America for liking the Harry Potter series too much. (The group later clarified that it does not support violence against gay people but declined to denounce Swanson.)

Speaking at an event last year, Vander Plaats played a video showing a gay pride event alongside the Boston Marathon bombing and mass shootings as illustrations of the “darkness” that has fallen over America:

Vander Plaats had also dabbled in birther conspiracy theories, implying in 2011 that the president’s birth certificate was missing and praising Trump for his “bold” crusade to uncover the truth about the president’s past.

Marco Rubio Hires Culture Warrior Eric Teetsel as Faith Outreach Director

Largely unnoticed in the media coverage of the Republican presidential primary this week was Marco Rubio’s hiring of a major millennial anti-gay, anti-choice culture warrior. Eric Teetsel, who has been executive director of the Manhattan Declaration, has been hired to be Rubio’s faith outreach director. One who took notice was right-wing activist and pundit Erick Erickson, who gushed over the “huge and impressive hire.”

Where other candidates are hiring folks from the dying “Moral Majority” coalitions of the past, Eric Teetsel is plugged into those power centers, but has transcended them. He’s of a more youthful generation of Christian evangelicals who respects past contributions, but is also focused on the future and not nursing past grievances.

Teetsel is, indeed, well plugged in if not as well known to the public as his more visible counterpart at the Heritage Foundation, Ryan Anderson. Like Anderson, Teetsel is part of the anti-equality crowd that orbits Robert George, a co-author of the Manhattan Declaration and a founder of the National Organization for Marriage. And like George and Anderson, Teetsel has written a book about (one man, one woman) marriage. The acknowledgments section of his book reads like a Who’s Who of the Religious Right, including George, Anderson, Brian Brown, Tony Perkins, Mark Tooley and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.

And, as Igor Babic noted at the Huffington Post this week, Teetsel has also been a vocal part of the Religious Right chorus denouncing the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, complaining that the court “has bestowed its imprimatur to homosexuality as both an identity and a way of life.” Teetsel wrote:

"A significant cultural impediment has been removed, and so sin will spread. This is regrettable because sin, of course, leads to suffering. As our LGBT neighbors continue to experience the ravages of their sin, will anyone be there to explain to them its cause?"

The Manhattan Declaration brings right-wing Catholics together with their evangelical counterparts to advance their shared strategic goal of portraying opposition to LGBT equality, abortion and contraception in religious liberty terms. Signers and promoters of the Manhattan Declaration compare themselves to martyrs and pledge civil disobedience:

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Teetsel has appeared at numerous Religious Right political gatherings and shows up in Rick Santorum’s “documentary” about the “erosion” of religious liberty in America. More notably, he spoke at the recent World Congress of Families summit in Salt Lake City, which honored an activist who defends African laws that punish gays with long jail terms. In fact, Teetsel is listed in the WCF program as a member of the “SWAT Team” charged with “Strategic Planning for the Future” along with that activist, Theresa Okafor, and other anti-gay and anti-choice leaders from around the world.

Teetsel’s hiring is almost certainly a better reflection of Rubio’s commitment to anti-gay culture warriors than his much-ballyhooed endorsement by billionaire Paul Singer, who has backed gay causes but seems more interested in what Rubio can do for the profitability of his vulture capitalism.

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/10/15

Dolores Huerta, Wisconsin Latino Leaders and Community Members Speak Out Against GOP Candidates’ Dangerous Agenda

Today, People For the American Way (PFAW) board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta joined Voces de la Frontera Action leaders and members for a press conference to address how the Republican candidates onstage tonight are driving an extreme agenda that’s out of line with Wisconsin families and Latino communities across the country.

People For the American Way board member and civil rights legend Dolores Huerta stated:

“When we think of people like Rubio and Cruz, they may have a Spanish last name, but they're attacking immigrants, working people, and our communities.

“The Republican candidates are going down the wrong path with all of these attacks they’re making on our community. They’re against raising the minimum wage, against fighting climate change, even though families are struggling and global warming is going to affect every one of us.”

Voces de la Frontera Action Executive Director Christine Neumann-Ortiz stated:

“Who sits in the presidency will either expand President Obama’s executive actions that protect families or promote policies of hatred. We’re committed to exposing Republicans’ mass deportation policies. We condemn not just Trump, but candidates such as Marco Rubio who affirmed once again that he would repeal DACA and deport DREAMers. The Republican candidates are appealing to voters based on bigotry.

“We’re also celebrating a local victory today: [Immigrants and all people in Milwaukee] can apply for a Milwaukee County ID, helping them feel more welcome in our communities. This victory is thanks to Latinos and other voters who elected progressives. And it reflects a shift in public support for immigrant rights,  that’s not reflected in this Republican presidential primary. The Republicans are on the wrong side of history.

“We’re committed to getting out the Latino vote, as it’ll be decisive in Wisconsin elections. Latinos vote for those who are denied the right to vote, for keeping families united, for economic justice.”

Dolores Huerta is available for follow-up interviews throughout the day. To schedule one, please contact Laura Epstein (



Right Wing Bonus Tracks - 11/3/15

  • Recently released tax scofflaw Kent Hovind told Bryan Fischer today that he intends to sue the federal government for $9 million for false imprisonment (a million dollars for every year he spent behind bars).
  • Speaking of Fischer, he has some concerns that Ben Carson may not be anti-gay enough.
  • Similarly, Peter LaBarbera is worried that one of Marco Rubio's billionaire backers is too pro-gay: "I think this is very dangerous, and the whole party is trending in a pro-gay direction – so there's a lot to worry about ... It doesn't matter if you're a Republican: if you're supporting the homosexual agenda, that's just as evil as if a Democrat is doing it."
  • The Montana Supreme Court's Office of Disciplinary Counsel has recommended that Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes be disbarred.
  • Some good advice from Rep. Steve King: "The most important thing we can do, especially young people: Have a lot of babies and raise them right."
  • Finally, Larry Tomczak explains that CNBC's Republican presidential debate was so "biased" becuase Satan controls the airwaves: "The 'prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience' (Eph. 2:1-2), exerts real diabolical power through the airways. Since Jesus labeled Satan a 'liar and the father of lies' (John 8:44), those who are not under the loving Lordship of Jesus Christ are being influenced to do his bidding. Therefore, lies and deception permeate our culture in alarming ways with political leaders and personnel in media advancing his diabolical schemes."

Marco Rubio Picks Anti-Gay Birther To Chair Alabama Campaign

Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign announced last week that its operation in Alabama would be chaired by state Rep. Will Ainsworth and former state Republican Party chairman Bill Armistead, according to

The choice of Armistead and Ainsworth is slightly surprising from a candidate who is trying to position himself in contrast to some of his more far-right competitors in the GOP race.

We first encountered Armistead in the lead-up to the 2012 election, when he urged an audience to watch the insane birther film “Dreams From My Real Father,” which posits that President Obama has been hiding the fact that his real father was labor activist Frank Marshall Davis, who groomed him from birth to stage a communist takeover of America. “This is absolutely frightening,” Armistead told the audience. “I’ve seen it. I verified that it is factual, all of it. People can determine.”

Armistead is also apparently a fan of the work of another anti-Obama conspiracy theorist, Wayne Allyn Root, once distributing to the state party’s email list a column by Root alleging that the president is a clinically diagnosable sociopath.

Armistead is not a fan of LGBT rights, either, writing on the state party’s website earlier this year that Alabama risked inviting "God’s wrath" if it accepted marriage equality:

So, how is it that God’s truth can be turned on its head as the debate now rages in Alabama regarding the meaning of marriage? The answer is that we, as a society, have become our own god. We have made God in our image. But, God will not be mocked. The State of Alabama and the United States of America will reap God’s wrath if we embrace and condone things that are abhorrent to God, such as redefining marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman.

Ainsworth, the Rubio campaign’s other Alabama co-chair, takes a similar view of marriage equality. In February, he urged a probate judge in his district to defy a lower federal court ruling requiring the state to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, saying that officials should follow “God’s law, not the unconstitutional and immoral law being manufactured by liberal activists”:

"The probate judge in Marshall County, who is a Democrat, must not capitulate to the ungodly and immoral attacks on traditional marriage," he continued. "If I were in his shoes, I would stand strong and hold my ground in defense of God's law, not the unconstitutional and immoral law being manufactured by liberal activists."

"Marriage can exist only between a man and a woman because it is an institution created and ordained by God, and it is the analogy he used for salvation," Ainsworth said. "Every society that has allowed the marriage covenant to be destroyed has withered away and vanished. I do not believe we should hate homosexuals because every person should be treated with love and respect, but something that is immoral does not become moral simply because an activist judge decided it is legal."

Ainsworth commented on many new writer and politicians saying Alabama needs to avoid "being on the wrong side of history" in trying to prevent gay marriage.

"If the choice is between being on the wrong side of a distorted, immoral, liberal perception of history, or violating God's laws, teachings, and biblical admonitions, I will happily disappoint the liberals every time," Ainsworth said. "During the campaign, my signs carried the slogan 'Fight Obama,' and, make no mistake, the gay rights agenda is the bedrock of Obama's agenda. I will use the upcoming session to look for every legislative remedy and tool that can be used to protect our traditional, conservative Alabama values, and I will continue the fight even after others have surrendered."

After the Supreme Court struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide, Ainsworth said, “God has told us that marriage exists only between a man and a woman, and His ruling supersedes any ruling by nine appointed judges.”

Rubio: Bush Is Not At Fault Because The 'Plot To Conduct 9/11 ... Happened Under The Watch Of President Clinton'

Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on Newsmax TV yesterday, where he was asked about Donald Trump's rather obvious assertion that the 9/11 attack happened on George W. Bush's "watch."

Newsmax host Ed Berliner asked the GOP presidential hopeful to comment on whether it was "reprehensible for Donald Trump to dredge up 9/11 and dredge up that day and try to use it for political gain." Fully expecting Rubio to agree that it was indeed reprehensible to use 9/11 for the purpose of launching a political attack, Berliner was probably surprised when Rubio responded by doing exactly that ... but shifting the blame onto President Bill Clinton.

Trump's attack on Bush was "wrong," Rubio said, because "the truth is that George W. Bush inherited all sorts of things from the Clinton administration, including intelligence agencies and others who were not doing a very good job and were siloing off and not sharing information across agencies, including a government under President Clinton that had not taken seriously al Qaeda and the threat that they posed, even after the USS Cole, even after the first Trade Center bombings, and all of the other challenges that we faced around world."

"President Bush was only in office nine months when this happened," Rubio continued, omitting the fact that the Bush administration ignored al Qaeda threats before the 9/11 attacks, "but that plot to conduct 9/11 and the steps that it took to bring it about, those began well before he was even sworn into office. It happened under the watch of President Clinton":

Marco Rubio's Planned Parenthood Whopper Places Him In Far-Right Fringe

There have been several layers of lies that have grown out of the smear campaign that anti-choice groups are currently waging against Planned Parenthood.

The first is the baseless allegation found in the heavily edited tapes that activists calling themselves the Center for Medical Progress have been slowly releasing: That Planned Parenthood violated federal laws by profiting from its voluntary fetal tissue donation program. (Or, in CMP’s words, is “selling aborted baby parts for profit.”)

Those allegations do not hold water. CMP’s videos edited out many instances of Planned Parenthood employees making clear that the organization does not profit from fetal tissue donated to medical research. Several states launched investigations into Planned Parenthood after the videos were released, and every investigation to conclude so far has found no wrongdoing.

The next layer of lie is the claim that Planned Parenthood participates in fetal tissue research in order to turn a profit. This claim, rooted in the anti-choice movement’s years-long campaign to frame abortion providers as a money-hungry “industry” is completely absurd, especially given that just two of the organization’s 59 affiliates and just one percent of its clinics offer patients the opportunity to donate fetal tissue to research.

But the third lie, the truly astounding whopper, is that Planned Parenthood only offers abortions in order to sell fetal tissue for profit. Although this is the thought process that the Center for Medical Progress seems to hope that people will follow, only the farthest-right of the anti-choice fringe has put it into so many words.

Alveda King of Priests for Life alleged that Planned Parenthood makes “a lot of money” by using birth control to give women breast cancer and coercing women to have abortions so they can sell the fetal tissue. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, made a similar claim when he suggested that Planned Parenthood opposes the 20-week abortion ban that was blocked in the Senate today because they can profit more off of fetuses in later stages of development: “This suggests why they may have been opposed to bans such as this, these five-month bans, because the longer the pregnancy goes, the more valuable the parts.”

But yesterday, Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida and supposedly “establishment” presidential candidate, gave this completely absurd idea a new platform when he claimed on an Iowa TV news program that women are pushed into abortions so that those tissues can be harvested and sold for a profit”:

Yes, not only does Rubio think that women who choose to terminate pregancies are “pushed into” it, but that the providers who are supposedly doing the pushing are doing it solely to protect a nonexistant fetal-tissue racket.

That’s something that we expect to hear from the farthest fringes of the anti-choice movement, not from a presidential candidate.

Rubio And Cruz Hail Planned Parenthood Board Member Rosa Parks In GOP Debate

At last night’s GOP debate, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz both advocated for adding Rosa Parks’ picture to U.S. currency, with Rubio saying she should be on the $10 bill and Cruz saying that she should be on the $20 bill. Donald Trump also liked the idea of putting Rosa Parks on the $10 bill, but said he would probably choose his daughter, Ivanka, for the honor.

Many conservatives have attempted to whitewash Parks’ legacy, like those of other civil rights leaders, claiming that Parks was simply a woman who was too tired to get up from her seat on a segregated bus.

These GOP leaders may not realize that Parks was actually a political activist for the very same movements that have in recent years become targets of Republican ire.

Parks was an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for more than a decade before she helped to instigate the Montgomery bus boycott, and was a leading member of the group’s local chapter by the time she refused to give up her seat on the bus. “Contrary to the folkloric accounts of her civil rights role, Mrs. Parks was not too tired to move from her seat,” the NAACP points out. “Rather, she had been a knowledgeable NAACP stalwart for many years, and gave the organization the incident it needed to move against segregation in the unreconstructed heart of the Confederacy, Montgomery, AL. Mrs. Parks headed the Youth Division of the Montgomery NAACP branch for years.”

Parks also served on the board of a group that Cruz, Rubio and Trump have roundly denounced: Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders, Parks supported Planned Parenthood, the bête noire of today’s GOP.

Parks received training at the trade unionist Highlander Research and Education Center and attended meetings of the Communist Party, and she and her husband both worked with party members involved in the Scottsboro case. She backed King’s Poor People’s Campaign, which called for full employment and guaranteed income.

Danielle McGuire notes that Parks “worked to secure ‘Black Power,’ fought for open housing and against police brutality, railed against the war in Vietnam, and campaigned for George McGovern.” The New York Times adds more details: “Supporting U.A.W. Local 600, calling Malcolm X her hero, visiting a Black Panther school in Oakland, opposing American involvement in Vietnam and attending the Million Man March at the invitation of Louis Farrakhan, she collaborated with left-wingers and Black Power advocates.”

Today, an activist like Rosa Parks would be at the very center of Glenn Beck’s blackboard.

'What's Wrong With Slavery?' And Jan Mickelson's Other Worst Pro-Confederacy, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Gay Moments

If you are a presidential candidate, you spend a lot of time talking to people in Iowa. And if you’re a Republican, that means a lot of time on Iowa conservative radio, including popular programs hosted by right-wing activists Steve Deace and Jan Mickelson.

The fact that Deace and Mickelson have long histories of extreme rhetoric has not dissuaded Republican candidates from joining their shows. But Mickelson just upped the ante with comments he made on his program today.

Media Matters caught Mickelson proposing that undocumented immigrants in Iowa become “property of the state” and pressed into hard labor. When a listener called in to point out that Mickelson’s proposal “sounds like slavery,” Mickelson asked, “Well, what’s wrong with slavery?” Undocumented immigrants, he went on to say, are the ones who are enslaving American citizens:

It will be interesting to see if any of the GOP candidates who have been on Mickelson’s radio program recently — which, according to Media Matters’ count, includes Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal — repudiate his remarks.

But the fact is that if these candidates were concerned about Mickelson’s rhetoric, they should have stopped going on his show long ago.

When Graham appeared on his program in June, Mickelson declared his allegiance to the Confederacy, as Graham scrambled to distance himself:

Mickelson has also backed Jim Crow-type voting laws.

Today’s comments are hardly Mickelson’s first foray into anti-immigrant extremism either. He has proposed barring undocumented children from public schools and said that if someone has a Hispanic name and is involved with the police, “I assume you’re not here legally.” After an interview with anti-immigrant activist Ann Corcoran, Mickelson promised to press every candidate he had on his show to oppose the U.S. resettlement of refugees from war-torn Muslim countries, which he said was an “act of jihad.” When he asked Rand Paul about it, Paul said the U.S. shouldn’t resettle Iraqi refugees because “we won the war.”

Mickelson’s anti-gay activism includes calling AIDS an “invention” of God to punish homosexuality and agreeing with former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on the issue of homosexuality.

The Iowa talk radio host also enjoys promoting fringe right-wing conspiracy theories. Mickelson helped to bring the Jade Helm 15 conspiracy theory into the GOP mainstream, asking Paul on his program about the supposed federal plan to take over Texas .

And just last week, Mickelson was getting Rep. Steve King to entertain the conspiracy theory that a botched EPA mine cleanup in Colorado was a deliberate plan to pollute a river to create a Superfund site:

Republican candidates may try to avoid Mickelson’s show after today. But given their track record, we somehow doubt that they will.

Marco Rubio Reiterates His Opposition To Rape Or Incest Exceptions

Sen. Marco Rubio called into Glenn Beck's radio program today and reiterated his position that abortion ought to be outlawed, including in cases of rape or incest, predicting that within 100 years, people will look back on legal abortion with disbelief.

"I believe a human being is entitled to life, irrespective of the circumstances in which that human being was conceived and so forth," the Florida Republican said. "Now I recognize that other people don't hold that view and in order to save lives in this country, I have supported bills that had to have exceptions in them, and I know a lot of people who are pro-life but support exceptions because they feel it goes too far."

"I personally feel very, very strongly that every human life is entitled to the protection of our laws," he continued. "If we as a society start deciding which lives we're going to protect and which lives we're not, we've put ourselves on a very slippery, dangerous slope. I actually think in a hundred years or so, or less, future generations are going to look back at this time in history and say that it's really unbelievable that so many unborn human beings, their lives were ended simply because they didn't have a birth certificate, couldn't hire a lawyer, didn't vote, or we couldn't see them yet."

Mike Huckabee Wouldn't Let A 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Access Abortion. He's Far From Alone In The GOP

Mike Huckabee’s statement on Sunday that he thinks a 10-year-old Paraguayan girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather should have been denied access to abortion was no gaffe or fluke. In fact, Huckabee was expressing a belief shared by many of his fellow Republican presidential candidates and by the anti-choice establishment.

Even “mainstream” candidates Scott and Marco Rubio came out forcefully against rape exceptions in this month’s GOP presidential debate, with Walker also clarifying that he would not allow abortions that would save the lives of pregnant women.

Major anti-choice groups agree. The head of the Susan B. Anthony List, which has sponsored trainings to teach candidates how to speak about the abortion issue, decried rape exceptions as “abominable” and “completely intellectually dishonest,” and only supports them as a means to the end of passing legislation criminalizing abortion. Similarly, the National Right to Life Committee went after GOP congresswomen who undermined an anti-choice bill earlier this year because they thought its rape exception was much too narrow.

While Huckabee wants to bring Paraguay’s harsh abortion policies to America by granting constitutional protections to zygotes (the same plan proposed by Rand Paul) and possibly sending federal agents to raid abortion clinics, the Guttmacher Institute points out that “highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates.”

Indeed, the World Health Organization recorded [PDF] nearly 3,000,000 unsafe abortions taking place in South America in 2008, or 32 per 1,000 child-bearing aged women, even though abortion is banned in most South American countries. While there is no evidence that laws banning abortions eliminate the procedure, such restrictive laws are associated with maternal death and complications.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/11/15

  • Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Rubio reminds voters: fertilized human eggs don’t become cats.
  • Joe Jervis: Heavily Armed “Oath Keepers” Show Up Under Guise Of Protecting Crackpot Reporter.
  • David Edwards @ Raw Story: Psychotherapist warns Fox: Kids won’t know ‘what their gender is’ because of Target’s gender neutral toys.
  • Amber Belus @ In Touch: Michelle Duggar Struggling After Josh Duggar’s Molestation Scandal.
  • Kevin Drum: Donald Trump, the Tea Party, and Political Correctness Have All Collided in 2015.

Marco Rubio's Fetal Personhood Argument In Disguise

In last week’s GOP presidential debate, Mike Huckabee made an explicit argument in favor of radical fetal personhood laws, claiming that Congress could pass a law granting rights to fertilized eggs and fetuses under the 14th and Fifth Amendments, thus criminalizing all abortion and possibly common forms of birth control in one fell swoop.

But one of Huckabee’s fellow candidates made a very similar comment, which has received less attention because he did not explicitly acknowledge the personhood movement. Here’s what Marco Rubio said when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked about his support for abortion bans that have contained exceptions for survivors of rape and incest, a deal-breaker for personhood proponents:

Kelly: You don’t favor a rape and incest exception?

Rubio: I have never said that. And I have never advocated that. What I have advocated is that we pass law in this country that says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection. In fact, I think that law already exists. It is called the Constitution of the United States.

And let me go further. I believe that every single human being is entitled to the protection of our laws, whether they can vote or not. Whether they can speak or not. Whether they can hire a lawyer or not. Whether they have a birth certificate or not. And I think future generations will look back at this history of our country and call us barbarians for murdering millions of babies who we never gave them a chance to live.

As Katie McDonough at Fusion pointed out, Rubio’s answer was a “roundabout” personhood argument.

By saying that the Constitution already entitles fertilized eggs and fetuses to “the protection of our laws” and that Congress merely needs to “pass a law” stating that “says all human life at every stage of its development is worthy of protection,” Rubio seems to be arguing for a personhood bill such as that proposed by fellow GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul in the Senate. (Personhood proponents believe that there is a loophole in Roe v. Wade that allows a ban on all abortions and some common forms of birth control to be accomplished legislatively, rather than through a constitutional amendment.)

However, Rubio did not sign on as a cosponsor of Paul’s bill. And the Florida senator has supported abortion bans containing rape and incest exceptions, although he clarified after the debate he did so out of political necessity, not because he supports such exceptions.

Even anti-choice activists are unclear about what Rubio meant in his answer to Kelly. The Christian Post thinks that Rubio was taking the same position on Personhood as Huckabee. Personhood USA, the group behind state-level personhood ballot measures, was more skeptical, writing that while Rubio expressed a “noble sentiment,” he must “repent” for supporting laws containing rape and incest exceptions and “will have to clarify” his position.

What is clear is that Rubio’s answer was calculated to appeal to radical anti-choice activists without being immediately off-putting to viewers who are terrified of fetal personhood laws. Beyond that, he should be asked to clarify what his position on personhood really is.

Right Wing Round-Up - 8/7/15

  • Joe Jervis: Ben Carson: America As We Know It Will Be Destroyed By Independent Trump Run.

2016 Republican Candidates Report

As the GOP embraces the reactionary politics and anti-government zealotry of the Tea Party, it is steadily purging “moderates” and empowering extremists. Nothing shows this trend more clearly than the lineup of Republican presidential candidates.

Some Questions for the Republican Candidates

As the leading Republican presidential candidates prepare to take the stage on Thursday for the first official presidential debate, we know that they all share a common goal of promoting an far-right agenda in the White House.

We don’t expect to get much clarity on the Republicans’ extreme positions on Thursday. But if we had the chance to moderate the debate, here’s some of the questions we’d ask each of the candidates:

  • Jeb Bush: Why are you catering to the anti-immigrant base of the Republican Party by condemning undocumented immigrants to second class status through denying them any path to citizenship?
  • Scott Walker: You have an abysmal record when it comes to the environment and fighting against climate change. But just like you’ve punted on so many other critical questions, you’ve never actually told us your position on climate change. So, do you deny the science of climate change or do you accept that it’s a reality that must be addressed?
  • Mike Huckabee: You’ve compared Obama and abortion rights to the Nazis and their genocide. How and why did you think that was appropriate?
  • Ted Cruz: Why did you cook bacon on a machine gun?
  • Ben Carson: You’ve compared Obamacare to slavery. How is ensuring access to quality, affordable healthcare – as the ACA does – like slavery in any way?
  • Marco Rubio: This past April, before the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, you said that anyone who believes that gay people have a constitutional right to marriage has a “ridiculous and absurd reading of the U.S. Constitution.” Is that still your belief today?
  • Rand Paul: In a talk you once explained that while direct cheating is off the table, “I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic.” What are some examples of times that you’ve “misinformed” the American people?
  • Donald Trump: How does deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants or denying spousal rape make America great again?
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