Issues

White House Won’t Commit to Veto of Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

Earnest accuses GOP of playing politics with 'some selectively edited videos'

White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not commit Thursday to whether President Obama would veto any legislation defunding Planned Parenthood in the wake of undercover videos showing its officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal organs.

"I don’t have a blanket principle to share with you, but I can tell you that on balance, the president would not be supportive of any sort of congressional [action] like that," he said.

Earnest did say Obama does not support the efforts to defund it, and he accused Republicans leading the effort of playing politics with "some selectively edited videos."

‘This is a tactic we have seen used before. Obviously the president does not support that ongoing effort," Earnest said.

Later, the Daily Mail’s Francesca Chambers called out Earnest on not taking a definitive stance on the veto and asked if Obama had seen any of the videos that were posted.

Earnest said that he did not know if Obama had followed the story in the news but wasn’t sure whether he had seen any of the videos themselves.

"There is ample reason to think that this is the tried-and-true tactic from some extremists on the right to edit this video and selectively release an edited version of the video that grossly distorts the position of the person who is actually speaking on the video," Earnest said.

Earlier in July, Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla) spoke out against Planned Parenthood's abortion methods in an emotional speech.

"It seems the ultimate irony to me that we spend time talking about humane treatment of animals being put down, like in horse slaughter, and we completely miss children being ripped apart in the womb and their body parts being sold," Lankford said. "It doesn’t bring me comfort to know that one child is torn apart so maybe they can do research on the child’s organs so at some future moment [they can] help a different child."