Rantz: Patty Murray exposed in train wreck CNN interview on school shutdowns, abortion

Sep 5, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 3:16 pm

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Senator Patty Murray was dragged on Twitter after a train wreck interview on CNN. It’s no wonder a new Trafalgar poll has her Republican opponent Tiffany Smiley within three points. It also reveals the reason Murray is refusing to debate Smiley.

Murray was unable to answer basic questions on CNN’s State of the Union when pushed by host Dana Bash. Instead of answering direct questions, the Senator filibustered with scripted and rehearsed campaign talking points that were sometimes wholly disconnected from the question. When she came close to answering, she was exposed as an extremist.

Her embarrassing and humiliating performance is a result of avoiding interviews that ask her tough questions. Instead, she’s relied on friendly Seattle media outlets that haven’t asked her a tough question in the last decade.

Patty Murray’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad interview

The incumbent Democrat Patty Murray did not shine on Sunday’s CNN interview.

Murray defended COVID school closures, even in retrospect, pretending “millions of Americans” died when the schools were being closed. She pretended to think Democracy was in peril, despite embracing a Democrat strategy to help so-called “MAGA Republicans” win primaries. And she declined to criticize third trimester and partial-birth abortion, a position that lands her well outside the mainstream, even in Washington state.

The Senator relied on a strategy employed by both sides: run out the clock.

Murray repeatedly pivoted to scripted answers when asked fairly basic questions. She ended up saying a lot, without saying anything at all. But what little answers she did provide, showed a Senator out of touch with Washingtonians.

Patty Murray still defends COVID school closures

Murray was a proponent of school closures — even after the science was clear: COVID does not threaten kids in a statistically significant way.

Bash asked Murray about the Democrat decision to close schools throughout much of the COVID pandemic. The question was inspired by a devastating report in the New York Times detailing the academic damage the lockdowns caused. American school children saw the largest decline in reading in three decades and the first-ever decline in math.

Was it a mistake to close schools? Not to Murray.

“Dana, this was a decision of local school officials and our scientific experts trying to get their hands around a pandemic that was killing millions of Americans to protect their children, to protect their staff, to protect their communities,” Murray responded.

“Millions of Americans” did not die from COVID by the time the decision was made to close schools. To this day, “millions of Americans” have not died from COVID. By March 18, 2020, the day after Governor Jay Inslee closed schools, Washingtonians only experienced 14 COVID-suspected deaths — and none of them were children.

Supports closing schools — even in retrospect

One could fairly argue that the decision to close schools was based on not knowing enough about COVID. Local leaders, including Republicans, were being cautious.

But we quickly learned that children are barely impacted by COVID and the death rate is almost non-existent. Further, we learned early on that young children were hurting academically and suffering emotionally as a result of being kept home.

Rather than apologize for getting the lockdowns wrong, Murray defended the decisions, even in retrospect.

“In retrospect, no second thoughts? And I know that hindsight is always 2020. But given the numbers that you’re seeing and the decline that we just talked about, you still feel comfortable with the way that school districts, even in your home state, handled the pandemic?” Bash asked.

“I think we were under unprecedented times. At that point where people really were struggling to figure out what was the best thing to do to make sure that their kids, their families, their children were safe,” Murray responded.

Abortion up until a baby’s first whimpers

Murray pretends that abortion access is under threat in Washington, even though she knows it’s easier to get an abortion than a cup of coffee in the state. She’s trying to paint Smiley as an extremist because the Republican is pro-life, though sees abortion as a state’s rights issue.

Ironically, it’s Murray who is the extremist on abortion.

Bash noted that John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democrat candidate for Senate, does not believe in any restrictions on abortion. This radical position means he supports third-trimester and partial-birth abortions. It means he wouldn’t ban eugenics.

“John Fetterman has said that he does not believe that there should be government limits on abortion at all. Do you support limits on abortion?” Bash asked Murray.

“Dana, what I believe is that we have a constitutional right in this country under Roe by the Supreme Court that allowed women and their families and their faith and their doctor to make a decision for them about whether or not they should carry their pregnancy,” Murray responded.

One can support abortion access under Roe v. Wade without supporting third-trimester or partial-birth abortions and eugenics. It’s not controversial to hold those positions. So either Murray doesn’t want to lose the support of abortion extremists or she is one. Either way, that puts her outside the mainstream of Washington voters.

Patty Murray can’t answer questions about fake threats to democracy

President Joe Biden is pretending that democracy is threatened if you don’t elect whom he wants you to. His divisive speech came up during the CNN interview.

Murray defended the claim that so-called “MAGA Republicans” are dangerous, and that “democracy is at risk today” as a result. It prompted an obvious question from Bash that Murray couldn’t answer.

The Senator Majority PAC, a Democrat group, is spending money to defeat moderate Republican candidates and help candidates it views as extremist “MAGA Republicans” because they think it makes races more winnable for Democrats. The Democratic Governors Association and Democrat-aligned political action committees are doing the same.

“If election deniers are a threat to democracy, are you okay with your fellow Democrats helping them win their primaries?” Bash asked.

Murray refused to answer directly because doing so would easily expose the political grift. Democrats don’t view “MAGA Republicans” as serious threats; it’s just something to argue against since Democrats can’t run on inflation, crime, border security, and foreign policy as Biden and Democrats have failed on those issues.

After bloviating with scripted talking points, Bash said she’ll take her answer as a “yes”.

Patty Murray takes you for granted

If the election were held today, Murray would beat Smiley by only three percentage points, according to a new poll by the Trafalgar Group. That’s bad news for Murray, who should be up by twenty points, given her primary result and incumbent position. But it’s easy to see why Smiley is gaining such traction.

Murray seldom sits down for interviews. And when she does, they’re almost always friendly. Local outlets throw softballs at her because the reporters conducting the interviews are Murray supporters. Friendliness also ensures they stay on Murray’s staff’s good side. They need access.

Her lack of experience in tough interviews is why she embarrassed herself on CNN. It’s also why Murray is still refusing to commit to a debate schedule with Smiley.

The more people who hear from Smiley, the better she does. Murray knows that and she’s stalling in committing to a debate schedule. In the meantime, her campaign sends statements to media transcribers claiming she’s agreed to debate. She has? Apparently, she won’t tell us when those debates will occur. They must be secret debates.

Murray is the kind of politician you get when you live in a one-party state. They take us for granted and they don’t even care if their positions hurt the people they’re supposed to serve. They know they’ll benefit from the power their party has in the state.

But signs continue to indicate this year could be different. And if we’re lucky, it will be.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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