For something that has caused so much of a bru-ha-ha in the USA, it was pretty difficult to find the exact quote on the net. Eventually I found this on abc.com…
If it were your sole purpose to reduce crime, Bennett said, "You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.
"That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he added.
Knowing a bit about radio studios as I do, I reckon the second sentence was uttered as a reaction to the collective faces of all within his line of sight after saying the first.
No doubt the Democrats will be all over this. I personally never heard of this guy. Not much chance of my learning anything interesting about this guy by way of their sites either.
I found this one, however, which gave me the skinny…
• Host of America’s Leading Talk Radio Program, Morning in America
• America’s Leading Intellectual Voice on Social and Cultural Issues
• Bestselling Author
William J. Bennett is one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political and education issues. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree from Harvard. He is the host of a national radio show called Bill Bennett’s Morning in America which is syndicated by the Salem Radio Network. The program airs from 6-9:00 a.m. (eastern). Dr. Bennett is the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and the Chairman and co-founder of the education company K12, Inc. He is also the chairman of Americans for Victory over Terrorism, a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion as the war on terrorism moves forward.
During the 1980s, Dr. Bennett emerged as one of the nation's most prominent political figures. He served as President Reagan's chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1985) and Secretary of Education (1985-1988) and President Bush's "drug czar" (1989-1990). In his various roles, he was perceived -- even by his adversaries -- as a man of strong, reasoned convictions who spoke candidly, eloquently and honestly about some of the most important issues of our time.
Bill Bennett has accomplished a rare feat: since leaving government, he has achieved an even greater impact on our national political debate. Dr. Bennett has written for America's leading newspapers and magazines and appeared on the nation's most influential television shows. He has also written and edited 16 books, two of which -- The Book of Virtues and The Children's Book of Virtues -- rank among the most successful of the past decade. The Book of Virtues has been made into an animated series that airs on PBS in the United States and Great Britain and has been seen in over 65 countries. Dr. Bennett's most recent book is Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism. Dr. Bennett was named by focus groups and leading analysts the "Best Communicator of 2002," the most well-received public commentator on the issues of "pride, patriotism, faith and moral conviction.”
Although he is a well-known Republican, Dr. Bennett often has crossed party lines in order to pursue important common purposes. He has worked closely with Democratic leaders to fight the decline of popular culture and to end worldwide religious persecution and he is the co-chairman of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America with former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
Thanks to his writings and speeches, William Bennett has extraordinary influence on America's political and social landscape. He, his wife Elayne and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.
I think the significant words here are “his writings and speeches”. Public speaking is BIG BIG money. This man has obviously made it his living. He has no choice but to stand by his words.
It was a stupid, stupid, thing to say. Let those who are offended have their say so that we can all get on with our lives.
Speaking of those who were offended, I wonder if there was any reaction from the pro-life campaign?