In an April 19 USA Today op-ed, Ross K. Baker spread the false -- but often-repeated -- claim that former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey was prohibited from speaking at the 1992 Democratic National Convention because he opposed abortion rights. In fact, Casey was denied an opportunity to speak at the convention because he refused to endorse the Clinton-Gore presidential ticket. Furthermore, other Democrats who oppose abortion rights spoke at the 1992 convention and at every convention since then.
Baker, who is a Rutgers University political science professor and a member of USA Today's board of contributors, stated:
Democratic me-tooism can be seen in the efforts by some Democrats to seek out pro-life candidates such as Bob Casey Jr., son of the late governor of Pennsylvania, who was snubbed at the 1992 Democratic convention for his pro-life views.
As Media Matters for America has pointed out on numerous occasions (here, here, here, here, and here) Casey was denied speaking time in 1992 over his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket, not his anti-abortion views. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Sens. John Breaux (D-LA) and Howell Heflin (D-AL), and five other governors who opposed abortion rights did address the convention in 1992, as detailed in a September 16, 1996, article in The New Republic on the Casey myth. In addition, anti-abortion speakers have spoken at every Democratic convention since 1992, including Breaux in 1996 and 2000, former House Democratic Whip David Bonior (D-MI) in 1996 and 2000, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2000 and 2004.