Obama just can’t win

Obama is getting grilled from both sides for a comment he made in an interview with Katie Couric.

The comment (emphasis mine):

Katie Couric: Do you favor a government option that would cover abortions?

President Obama: What I think is important, at this stage, is not trying to micromanage what benefits are covered. Because I think we’re still trying to get a framework. And my main focus is making sure that people have the options of high quality care at the lowest possible price.

As you know, I’m pro choice. But I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care. Rather than wade into that issue at this point, I think that it’s appropriate for us to figure out how to just deliver on the cost savings, and not get distracted by the abortion debate at this station.

Thomas Peters at American Papist:

How are we to take seriously Obama’s claim that he wants to reduce the number of abortions in America when his attitude about the single-greatest expansion of abortion access in our nation’s history is … “let’s not get distracted”?!

Vanessa Valenti at Feministing:

In an interview with Katie Couric this week, he finally addressed abortion funding in health care reform, but it wasn’t too pleasing; he asserted he wasn’t looking to “micro-manage” which benefits are covered and that not funding abortion has generally been “the tradition” […] that doesn’t sound very pro-choice.

While Feministing is worried that Obama may be signalling that he could support a plan that excludes abortion coverage, pro-lifers are terrified that he wants to sideline the abortion question as a “distraction.”

How’s that “common ground” thing coming along?

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