Plenty of people have already stood up to condemn North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest’s latest bizarre and outrageous comments about Planned Parenthood, but this morning’s lead Capitol Broadcasting Company editorial on WRAL.com does a particularly good job.
Forest, as you will recall, brought his special knack for uttering absurd claims (years ago, he claimed that Raleigh’s News & Observer planted plants hidden messages in its news headlines that are designed to advance its “agenda”) to bear once again last week when he said that the reproductive health organization “was created…to destroy the entire Black race.”
Today’s editorial exposes that outrageous claim for what it is:
Just how wrong was this? Fully and completely.
In 2011, presidential candidate Herman Cain said Planned Parenthood’s early objective was to “help kill black babies before they came into the world.” PolitiFact, the much-honored fact-checking organization, researched and found “Cain’s claim is a ridiculous, cynical play of the race card.” It was rated “Pants on Fire.”
Factcheck.org, another independent fact-checking organization, investigated the same allegation and came to the same conclusion. “Herman Cain has offered an alternate version of history,” they concluded. “We find no support for that old claim.”
In September 2015, presidential candidate Ben Carson said Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger “believed that people like me should be eliminated.” Substantial evidence shows, PolitiFact reported, “that she was not racist and in fact worked closely with black leaders and health care professionals. Carson’s statement bears no relation to historical reality.” It was rated “False.”
After summarizing a Forest campaign spokesperson’s bogus response to questions about the statement, the editorial concludes this way:
Spreading falsehoods and fostering divisiveness may help the lieutenant governor win a primary in a few weeks. But no reputable candidate will allow truth and unity to be campaign battlefield casualties.
North Carolina deserves honest candidates who will work to unite the state in pursuit of excellence. The primary voters should insist upon it when they go to the polling place.
Forest must apologize for spreading lies and commit himself to a campaign that elevates truth and the common good.