Rather than take a moment to condemn GOP debate audiences that cheered for executions and to leave a man to die, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he didn’t have “any particular reaction.” When host David Gregory asked McConnell on Meet The Press if the cheers troubled him as a Republican, McConnell deferred, saying there would be lots of debates and audience reactions during the campaign. Watch it:
As Gregory explained, Republicans say they are the “party of life,” but many aren’t matching their rhetoric to their ideals.
First, audience members cheered at the GOP debate in California when moderator Brian Williams brought up Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s death penalty execution record, which at the time was 234. Then, the crowd at the most recent GOP debate in Florida cheered when Wolf Blitzer asked candidate Rep. Ron Paul (TX) if he thought society should allow a man to die if he had no health insurance but suddenly became needed intensive treatment, with some cheering to “let him die.” (A fictional scenario which, it turns out, mirrors the life and tragic death of Paul’s 2008 campaign strategist.)
So far, Perry is the only GOP presidential candidate to come out against the “let him die” question, saying he was “taken aback” by the cheers. But when a leading Republican was given the chance, McConnell did not step up to condemn the cheers for death from GOP debate audiences. Instead, he remained silent.