On Fox News Sunday this morning, NPR’s Mara Liasson said that President Bush’s expected veto of an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which passed both the House and Senate on a strong bipartisan basis, will be seen as “a heartless blow against children.”
Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who supports Bush’s veto, laughingly joked:
First of all, whenever I hear anything described as a heartless assault on our children, I tend to think it’s a good idea. I’m happy that the President’s willing to do something bad for the kids.
Kristol then disparaged yesterday’s Democratic Radio Address, delivered by a 12-year-old boy named Graeme Frost who had received care under the SCHIP program, calling it “pathetic.” “You really wonder how stupid they think the American people are,” concluded Kristol. Watch it:
NPR’s Juan Williams rebutted Kristol’s callous approach to children’s health care. “When you have 3.7 million uninsured children in America, you know you have a crisis,” said Williams. He then ripped Kristol’s disparagement of the Democratic Radio Address as hypocritical because conservatives “use soldiers and everything else to bolster their arguments”:
WILLIAMS: I’m surprised to hear you say, “Oh, how dare you use a child.” What do Republicans do except use soldiers and everything else to bolster their arguments.
KRISTOL: Soldiers aren’t children.
WILLIAMS: Oh come on. Yeah, use uniforms and everything else. And in fact, put on — politicians get in uniforms and get on ships to talk about “missions accomplished.” C’mon.
The expansion of SCHIP that Bush is threatening to veto would extend coverage to 4 million children who would otherwise be uninsured.