For the second time in two days, CNN anchor John King equated "pro-family voters" with "conservatives" during interviews on The Situation Room.
On the October 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN chief national correspondent John King twice equated "pro-family voters" with "conservatives." In an interview with Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL), King reported that "Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council (FRC), told us ... his guess [is] that many Christian conservatives, other pro-family voters might simply stay home this year" because of the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL); the clip showed Perkins talking about "Republican turnout." Later in the program, King asked Wendy Wright, president of the conservative Concerned Women for America (CWA), if "pro-family voters, conservatives across this country who made this party, made the Republicans the majority party," should trust the Republican leadership in the wake of the disclosure, reported by The Washington Post and Roll Call, among other outlets, that they have known for months about emails allegedly sent by Foley to a 16-year-old male congressional page.
As Media Matters for America noted, on the October 2 edition of The Situation Room, King prefaced a question to Perkins by similarly stating that "pro-family voters" looked to the conservative FRC "for guidance and advice in moments like this."
From the October 3 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
KING: Well, let's talk about what you think will happen. You're not only a veteran of the Congress, you're a veteran of congressional staff. You know how politics works quite well. There will be a federal investigation, state investigations into Mark Foley's conduct. There will be a continued inquiry internally and by journalists and the like as to who knew what when and what they did about it. But the American people have to vote in five weeks. Democrats are making an issue of this. And also, you know how this works in a midterm election, turnout is traditionally low. You need your base to turn out.
I want you to listen to something Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, told us in discussing this last night. And his guess that many Christian conservatives, other pro-family voters might simply stay home this year because they're disgusted by this.
PERKINS (video clip): I think this is a real problem for the Republicans as they, right or wrong, are seen as the guardians of value, the party that preserves and works for family values. This certainly is not a family value. This is going to be, I think, very harmful for Republican turnout across the country because it's inconsistent with the values that the Republicans say that they represent.
KING: But should they trust -- the biggest issue -- the short term issue politically -- and I don't mean to make this all about politics, but there is an election in five weeks, and the Republican leadership is saying, "Trust us, keep us in power." My question to you: When you communicate with pro-family voters, conservatives across this country who made this party, made the Republicans the majority party, should they still trust them?
WRIGHT: Well, I think we need to recognize that pro-life and pro-family people don't just blindly follow one party or the other. We look at individuals. And Mark Foley himself was not someone who voted pro-life or pro-family. He's not someone that our constituents would have supported.