CNN’s Paul Begala Slams Josh Hawley as ‘Despicable’ for ‘Beating Up on Trans Kids’

“He’s doing a terrible job on crime, health care, jobs for his state,” said Begala

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CNN’s Paul Begala slammed Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley as “despicable” Sunday for “beating up on trans kids” by pursuing a “transphobic” line of questioning during a Senate hearing.

In a heated exchange between Hawley and law professor Khiara Bridges during a Tuesday hearing in Washington, Bridges called Hawley’s line of questioning “transphobic.” At one point Hawley suggested that abortion was not really a women’s issue – which Begala seized upon.

“Under Josh Hawley, Missouri is fourth in gun deaths, 40th in life expectancy,” said Begala. “It has above the national average of child poverty, below the national average of median income. He’s doing a terrible job on crime, health care, jobs for his state. And so he wants to beat up on trans kids, the most vulnerable people in our society? It’s despicable.”

During the hearing, which met to examine the impact of Roe v. Wade’s reversal by the Supreme Court, Hawley asked Bridges, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, why she used the phrase “people with a capacity for pregnancy” when discussing abortion access, and if it referred to women.

Bridges explained that while some cisgender women have the capacity for pregnancy, other cisgender women do not, and elaborated that there are trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as nonbinary people who are capable of pregnancy, to which Hawley responded, “So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue?” In response, Bridges noted that Hawley’s line of questioning was “transphobic.”

In regard to the exchange, CNN’s David Urban defend Hawley’s question on Sunday’s “State of the Union,” saying “Republican voters are going to agree with Josh Hawley asking the question he asked the professor,” and noted that Bridges was “aggressive” in her response.

Begala clapped back on Urban’s defense of Hawley and pointed out the Missouri senator’s failures, including his poor performance in “crime, health care [and] jobs,” and noted that his choice to “beat up on trans kids” was “despicable.”

“He needs to do his doggone job and bring jobs and health care to his state, instead of beating up on some California law professor,” Begala concluded.