SC Debate Audience Protests CNN Effort to Censor Ron Paul

On Thursday night, the four remaining Republican presidential candidates clashed in the final GOP debate prior to the South Carolina Primary.  Earlier in the day, Texas Governor Rick Perry dropped out of the race and endorsed Newt Gingrich.  It was a bitter-sweet day for the former Speaker as one of his ex-wives publicly accused him of asking her to agree to an open marriage so that he could continue his affair with congressional aide, Callista Bisek.

Gingrich was given the first question of the debate, asked by John King if he would like to respond to the allegation.  Newt offered a blistering rebuke of John King and CNN, suggesting that opening the debate on this topic was “as close to despicable as anything [he] could imagine.”  Some would suggest that a far more despicable thing might be a politician guilty of nearly half a century of serial adultery who markets himself as a “family values” Christian. 

Eventually the debate moved forward with Congressman Ron Paul hammering away with his signature message of smaller government.  On one point, even Paul’s detractors can agree.  Ron Paul does not change his positions to suit the preferences of the audiences to which he is speaking.  His is a message of consistency.  Before a crowd that strongly favored privileges for military veterans, Paul was asked if returning veterans should be given special tax breaks.  Congressman Paul didn’t pull any punches.  He explained why specific groups should not be singled out for special treatment.  Paul also pointed out the need to reform the government-run health care system to address the needs of military personnel returning home from deployments. 

Unfortunately, the debate quickly devolved again into a dog-eat-dog circus.  For the next 45 minutes, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum took shots at each other – hurling mud and fighting among themselves to rewrite their various histories of support for big government programs and unconstitutional legislation.  Congressman Paul was again largely ignored by the debate moderator – a repeat of his experience in the previous Fox News GOP debate in Myrtle Beach.

The problem facing Ron Paul is that the mainstream media (MSM) cares more about providing opportunities for inter-candidate mud-slinging than in providing an atmosphere conducive to a substantive exchange of ideas.  Paul has consistently come out ahead in forums that have favored intellectual debate on real issues, such as in his excellent debate performances in Iowa and New Hampshire.

In the closing minutes of the CNN debate, after continued refusal to extend an opportunity for Paul to speak (this time of the subject of abortion), the South Carolina crowd became angry and vocally protested with boos and jeers.  Under pressure, John King reluctantly ceded time to Paul.  For the second time during the debate, Paul pointed out to King that, as the only medical doctor on the stage, it should be natural to think to include him in the debate questions on health care.  Paul said:

“John, once again, it’s a medical subject. I’m a doctor,” drawing cheers from the crowd. “I do want to make a couple comments because I can remember the very early years studying obstetrics and I was told — it was before the age of abortion –  I was told that in taking care of a woman who is pregnant, you have two patients. I think that solves a lot of the problem about when life begins.”

Dr. Paul continued:

“I also experienced a time later on in my training in the 1960s when the culture was changing. The Vietnam war was going on. The drugs were there. Pornography came in and abortion became prevalent even though it was illegal. The morality of the country changed. The law followed up. When morality changed, it reflects on the laws. The law is very important. We should have these laws. Law will not correct the basic problem. That’s the morality of the people.”

With such honest and masterful answers, it is no wonder that the audience demanded more time for Congressman Paul to speak. 

Following the debate, Congressman Paul sent an email to his supporters touting his performance.  He wrote:

“My debate performance tonight is already turning heads. What the crowd saw tonight was my opponents savaging each other over and over in a desperate attempt to defend their Big Government records. Me?  I wasn’t touched once.  Because quite frankly, I can’t be. I’ve spent 30 years fighting against establishment politicians – like my opponents – to finally put an END to politics as usual.”

The brazen efforts by the MSM to silence Paul cannot be denied. And yet political pundits still pontificate in their spin rooms as to why Paul supporters behave like angry hornets.  Tonight, the audience in South Carolina sent a message to the media elite.  Ignore Ron Paul, and you’re going to get stung.


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Jake Morphonios has worked as a political consultant and campaign strategist for over two decades and is the author of “Organizing a Grassroots Political Machine”, used in the Steve Forbes 2000 Presidential campaign.

The Author with Ron Paul in South Carolina, 2009

Other Articles by Jake Morphonios:

The Serial Adultery of Newt Gingrich

The Nuclear Option: False Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Custody Disputes

Ron Paul Shines in SC Debate, Despite Fox News Antics

The Real Dirt on Slick Rick Santorum


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