CNN's Cuomo Turns Discussion of Trump's Daycare Plan into Gay Rights Debate

When Iowa Republican Representative and Donald Trump supporter Steve King appeared as a guest on Wednesday's New Day to discuss Trump's plan to use the tax code to assist families with children, host Chris Cuomo managed to redirect the conversation off to a discussion of gay rights for a significant portion of the interview.

The CNN host insisted that research shows that homosexual couples "are doing just as well if not better than" families with both a father and mother in raising children, and declared: "There is not a reason to believe that you have to have a man and woman to do that. And if we see anything with the breakdown of the family, the man and the woman thing has its own shortfalls, right? Look at the divorce rate, look at single-parent families, look at all the destruction of children and family welfare in this country. It doesn't look like a sure thing."

The interview began with a discussion of Rep. King's reservations about the Trump plan, although the Iowa Republican was hopeful that such a plan would help increase the nation's birth rate and head off demographic problems in the future. Cuomo then inserted gay adoption into the discussion, leading to two and a half minutes out of the eight-minute segment being devoted to a debate over gay rights. Cuomo began:

When you say "encourage families," "more babies," and all that, would you include the LGBT community in that in terms of families to encourage having kids and expanding them. Obviously, Mike Pence, as the Indiana governor and running mate, may weigh in on that decision. Would you be open to this meaning all families?

After Rep. King indicated a preference for "the natural family," and, prompted by Cuomo, clarified that he believes families with both a father and a mother are likely to work out better for raising chidren, the CNN host followed up:

But you do know that even on a scientific level, when we look at social research, they're finding out more and more that babies adopted into LGBT families are doing just as well if not better than what you call a "natural family." What does that suggest to you?

After King expressed doubts about such research, and repeated his belief that two-parent families with both a father and a mother raising children have been proven to work, Cuomo pushed back:

Right, but what we know that what works is loving the kid, giving them the attention, giving them the time. There is not a reason to believe that you have to have a man and woman to do that. And if we see anything with the breakdown of the family, the man and the woman thing has its own shortfalls, right?

Look at the divorce rate, look at single-parent families, look at all the destruction of children and family welfare in this country. It doesn't look like a sure thing. Why not encourage anything that gets a child loved and provided for?

The Republican Congressman responded: "Chris, I just don't think it's true that there's no reason to believe that a child needs a man and a woman to raise them. I child needs a father and a mother to raise them."

Cuomo then jumped back in to oddly claim that he had not really stated what he had just stated: "No, I didn't say there's no reason to believe it. I'm saying there's plenty of reason to believe it's not the only way that it can be done well. That's what I'm saying."

After Rep. King repeated his belief that traditional families are preferable for raising children than homosexual couples, Cuomo promised to send him some studies to try to change his mind: "I will send you some research. It's an important discussion to have."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, September 14, New Day on CNN:

CHRIS CUOMO: When you say "encourage families," "more babies," and all that, would you include the LGBT community in that in terms of families to encourage having kids and expanding them. Obviously, Mike Pence, as the Indiana governor and running mate, may weigh in on that decision. Would you be open to this meaning all families?

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): I want to respect all people, but I want to promote the natural family, Chris, and I think that's the most wholesome thing that we can do, and I am happy to-

CUOMO: What is the -- what's the "natural family"? What's the "natural family," in your opinion?

KING: The natural family is a man and woman joined together hopefully in holy matrimony, blessed by God, with children.

CUOMO: But you do know that even on a scientific level, when we look at social research, they're finding out more and more that babies adopted into LGBT families are doing just as well if not better than what you call a "natural family." What does that suggest to you?

KING: I think I'd need to look a little further into some of that research and, you know, we got down the global warming argument and found out there was another side to that equation, too, so, no, I'm not looking at that research. I would want to look at it, and, as I say, I want to respect all human persons who are all gifts from God. But I want to encourage the natural family. That's the best and most wholesome way to raise a child that's been the case throughout thousands of years of human history, and I think we need to go with the things that we know work.

CUOMO: Right, but what we know that what works is loving the kid, giving them the attention, giving them the time. There is not a reason to believe that you have to have a man and woman to do that. And if we see anything with the breakdown of the family, the man and the woman thing has its own shortfalls, right?

Look at the divorce rate, look at single-parent families, look at all the destruction of children and family welfare in this country. It doesn't look like a sure thing. Why not encourage anything that gets a child loved and provided for?

KING: Chris, I just don't think it's true that there's no reason to believe that a child needs a man and a woman to raise them. I child needs a father and a mother to raise them.

CUOMO: No, I didn't say there's no reason to believe it. I'm saying there's plenty of reason to believe it's not the only way that it can be done well. That's what I'm saying.

KING: I say the evidence is very heavy on the other side of this thing. To have a role model as a man in the home, to have a role model as a woman in the home, especially a model of a father and a mother that are joined together in a team. That is the best way we can hope for that all children are raised. And so I'm not discouraging or disparaging anyone, but I'm suggesting we should put our energy into promoting the model that has worked. And that is the natural family. You could call it the nuclear family. That's what the research that I see supports, and that's the experience that we have for hundreds and hundreds of years.

CUOMO: I will send you some research. It's an important discussion to have.

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