Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Sunday suggested that Democrats invented the contraception debate and the Republican Party was “more tolerant” on diverse opinions about a woman’s right to choose.
Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Mitt Romney’s possible vice presidential running mate if the Republican Party would “take this country back when it comes to gay rights, when it comes to birth control, when it comes to abortion?”
“On the issue of life, yes,'” Rubio agreed. “Although there is diversity in the Republican Party on the life issue. In essence, there are such a thing as pro-choice Republicans, there are very few pro-life Democrats that are certainly tolerated within the mainstream of the Democratic Party. I think that’s important to point out. On that issue, I think there’s actually more tolerance in the Republican Party.”
While Rubio is right that there are pro-choice Republicans, there are more Democrats in Congress that are against abortion rights than there are Republicans who support them.
For example, ten Democrats voted with the Republican majority last year to strip Planned Parenthood of funding, while only seven Republicans voted against the measure.
The senator from Florida also said Republican opposition to mandating that all insurance plans cover contraception for women wasn’t really about birth control.
“I don’t know anything about a contraception debate,” he insisted. “I do know about a religious liberties debate that we had in this country about whether the federal government should have the power to force a religious institution — in this case, the Catholic Church — to have to pay for something that the church teaches against. That’s what that issue was about.”
“I understand the president turned it into a contraception issue because it ties back to this strategy of this administration. He doesn’t want to run on his record. So instead, they are constantly in search of some issue that they can divide the American people on.”
Rubio added: “The president we have today is a typical Washington politician that’s prone to hyperbole and divisiveness and false outrage. And I think it’s very sad.”
Watch this video from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast May 6, 2012.