This is an important technique that every Republican politician and candidate for President should use when asked about Planned Parenthood.
Let me edit the transcript down to the parts I want to highlight for educational purposes:
Mark Halpern: “Governor, I would like to ask you a couple questions about Planned Parenthood. [snip] Second, why are you so troubled by this video?”
[Rick] Perry: [snip] Mark, let me ask you. You looked at that video and you’re good with it?”
Halpern: “I think the video raises a lot of questions, and you and others have raised them.”
Perry: “It does, indeed. I think you just answered the question for us. Thank you.”
That is exactly the right response. Flip it around: Wait, are you OK with that video? Aren’t you bothered by what you saw in it? – Because, as you saw, Mark Halperin didn’t want at all to have it established that he had no moral qualms after seeing that video. The man has a public reputation to protect, after all.
Which is, by the way, Planned Parenthood’s central PR problem here, and one that won’t get addressed by them trying to argue that no laws were broken*. Basically, the issue here is that Planned Parenthood has an internal culture that spits out senior personnel who can combine a nice salad and wine with a soulless-eyed brag about how good they are at breaking up the useless bits of babies, the better to get to the commercially-viable valuable bits. Mark Halperin is probably pro-choice; but his instincts still screamed that it was better to look like a frightened bunny on national TV than to say that that video was no big deal.
And, in fact, his instincts were perfectly correct. No reporter is going to want to admit that he or she is unmoved at the admission that Planned Parenthood abortionists deliberately crush babies in order to get at their livers. The pro-choice narrative is that abortion is a necessary tragedy that nobody wants to have happen any more than it absolutely has to: such a stance sublimates like paper-mache in a blast furnace when faced with the reality that there’s both money and expectations in baby harvesting. And since the Media Is Not Our Friend, anyway…
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Hot Air has the followup to that exchange. Short version: Mark Halperin had to end up conceding that Rick Perry wasn’t just being partisan on this subject. Like Ed Morrissey, I sincerely doubt that would have been the takeaway if Perry hadn’t served the ball right back at Halperin.
*In our culture, the phrase ‘No laws were broken’ is inevitably a false statement: you can pretty much always find a law that was broken. The limiting factor is whether an agent of the State is willing to prosecute you for breaking that law. This is a long-term problem that we’re eventually going to have to fix, of course – but it’s kind of looming over Planned Parenthood’s head in the meantime, and I can’t make myself feel too bad about it.