No Republican forum could be complete without someone taking a swipe at Planned Parenthood. And on Thursday evening, the moderators of the first prime-time debate for the GOP presidential candidates certainly did not disappoint. After nearly an hour of slowly building the tension between Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, and Rick Santorum with questions on immigration, the Middle East, and the economy, host Martha McCallum finally asked the question we were all waiting for: Would the Republican candidates move to defund Planned Parenthood if elected president?
In the wake of the Republican-led vote in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood, the candidates were well-prepared for the question. Indeed, even though the organization provides important reproductive and healthcare services for millions of women who would otherwise be unable to afford it, the GOP has been clamoring to end its federal funding in the wake of the release of videos aimed at undermining the organization.
Of the GOP's second-tier roster of candidates — known affectionately on Twitter as the "kiddie table" — George Pataki, Bobby Jindal, and Lindsey Graham were given a chance to respond. And the result was that each tried to outdo the other in declaring just how quickly they would vote to defund the healthcare provider.