Reporters ask questions. They seek answers. Sure, sometimes it’s to satisfy our own curiosity. But, in theory, it should always be in the public’s best interest. Journalists are public servants in that way. Two recent incidents come to mind where politicians don’t seem to want to give clear answers on where they stand on questions reporters feel are important to the state/country.
Obama vs. Romney
What does Republicans presidential (almost) nominee Mitt Romney think of President Obama’s executive order for the feds to stop deporting (most) children of immigrants, who like their parents came into the country illegally? I don’t know the answer to that question. Does anyone? We have learned that this week the campaign is vetting Florida Senator Marco Rubio for its vice-presidential short list, a perfect topic for breathless cable chatter. But I don’t know that anyone has learned where Romney stands on the president’s immigration decision. Would he overturn it when he entered office? Remember when then-candidate Newt Gingrich talked about letting grandmas stay here if they entered illegally, as long as they were good citizens (jobs, church, not criminals, etc.)? Romney came after him for it and pushed for self-deportation for illegal immigrants. What does Romney want to do? I have no idea. Shouldn’t voters know?
King vs. Vilsack
We know that former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack hopes to make an issue of the pay raises of Congressman Steve King, her Republican opponent for the 4th Congressional District. At least that’s been the topic of weeks’ worth of releases from her campaign recently. Where does Vilsack stand on other issues?
We are waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Critics have skewered Vilsack for repeatedly failing to answer what she thinks of the insurance mandate during her recent appearance on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press”. Does she favor it? Does she think it’s unconstitutional? Would she replace it? I have no idea. Shouldn’t voters know?
My inbox is jammed every day with emails of what the campaigns want to address. Too bad we can’t get answers on what voters want to know.