CNN Blames Candidates for Not Answering Healthcare Question It Failed To Ask

At the now infamous CNN/YouTube Republican debate held last night in Florida, candidates received a number of questions from the over 5000 videos submitted for review. The questions were selected by a panel who went through them all, whittling down the choices to just a small number. Out of all those 5000 questions, CNN failed to choose one question about the issue of health care reform. And then CNN has the audacity to snivel about it on the Political Ticker last night. [Emphasis mine]

The issue of healthcare has sparked some of the most heated debate this campaign season on the Democratic front, but the Republican presidential contenders seemed to all but ignore what is considered a major priority for many voters.

Recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation polls show healthcare reform is consistently at the forefront of voter concerns along with the war in Iraq and the economy.

Candidates often find a way to include their talking points and campaign priorities in debate answers regardless of what the question posed to them actually is. Since no question was posed to the candidates about their healthcare reform plans, they all but ignored the issue choosing instead to emphasize their stances on illegal immigration and the war in Iraq.
–CNN's Emily Sherman

Sherman must have missed when health care was brought up by former Governor Mitt Romney (Mass.). When questioned about pork spending, Romney managed to include his experience with health care insurance.

"I took on a major issue, which was health care, found a way to get people health insurance without having to expand government, without having to raise taxes."

Sherman must have also missed when former Governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.) discussed health care coverage expansion for African-Americans. In response to a question asking why African-Americans don't vote for Republicans, Huckabee managed to mention his health care initiatives in Arkansas.

"And, while I was governor, I tried to make sure that we included people not only in appointments and employment, but also in the programs that would truly make a difference, like putting disproportionate amounts of help for health problems specifically targeted to African-Americans like hypertension and AIDS and diabetes. So there's a reason. And I just want to express that our party had better reach out not just to African-Americans, but to Hispanics and to all people of this country."

If the health care reform is such a consistent concern to voters, then why didn't CNN choose videos that best represented these very real concerns? The reason they focused on illegal immigration and Iraq is because those were the questions that were chosen by CNN. To my knowledge, the Republican candidates didn't get to choose which questions they received. Although, from the Newsbusters' reports noted here and here and here, the same can't be said about certain Democrat candidates.

Emily Sherman 'all but ignored' that her employer, CNN, failed to address this complaint. Instead she frames it as if the Republicans chose these questions. And shame on them for actually answering the questions they were asked instead of drifting off topic and discussing other things.

Maybe someone should hand Sherman some facial tissues, so she can wipe her nose and quit sniffling about it. That might meet her health care needs.

Crossposted on Conservative Belle.

Health Care 2008 Presidential Debates Emily Sherman Mike Huckabee