Marco Rubio hit Chris Christie with an accusation that Christie “personally contributed to Planned Parenthood” last night. Christie denied it on the podium, after denying it two days ago to the Washington Post.
I asked him about the tiff over whether he donated to Planned Parenthood. “I never donated to Planned Parenthood,” he says flatly. “I’ve been strongly pro-life for 20 years. I had a change of heart. Not everyone is born pro-life.” He argues that converting people to the cause is “what we should be shooting for.” What about a report in 1994 that quoted him as saying he personally gave to Planned Parenthood? “Listen, this is a quote from 21 years ago. I’m convinced it was a misquote. Understand what was going on. In 1994-95, I was fighting against county funding of Planned Parenthood even though I was pro-choice.” He said he was making the case then that people could spend their own money on a cause they believed in, just as he did. He is emphatic he was not referencing Planned Parenthood specifically as the kind of cause he gave money to.
Clearly, Rubio’s oppo-research department worked overtime for last night’s debate. Perhaps Rubio’s “missing-in-action” criticisms point to the fact that he’s been prepping heavily.
But a report from 1994? It seems specious to argue that against Christie, unless you’ve got better proof. On the other hand, it does seem to go hand-in-hand with other statements Christie has made over the years, like saying “I’ve evolved” on gun control.