February 4, 2015

ASKED BUT NOT ANSWERED: Question for Josh Earnest: Does Obama believe vaccines for kids should be mandated by law?

He was asked this no fewer than three times at today’s briefing. The first comes at around 58:00 in the clip below, the second comes courtesy of Major Garrett at 1:13:00, and the third picks up at around 1:18:00 when Jon Karl revisits it. If you have the patience for only one exchange, watch Karl’s, as he makes clear that he’s not asking about a federal vaccine mandate specifically but a mandate at any level of government. The media’s spent 36 hours treating Chris Christie and Rand Paul as cranks, not because they question the benefits of vaccination (well, Paul questions them in some cases) but because they question the state’s right to overrule parents on the decision to vaccinate children, at least with respect to some diseases. Simple question, then: Does Obama, avatar of liberal enlightenment, share their allegedly crankish belief that parents get the final say? Or does President Mandate think the state, whether at the federal level or lower, should have the final say? Three times Earnest is asked that — and three times he responds by saying we shouldn’t need to compel behavior that’s already clearly compelled by basic common sense. Vaccines are obviously the right thing to do, he says, so why should you need the state to twist people’s arms?

Marin County and Malibu are full of big Democratic donors. They’re also hotbeds of anti-vaccine sentiment. Keep asking this question. . . .

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