DALLAS - Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, R., knocked the liberal media for fueling "distrust" among Americans, particularly over its recent coverage of the abortion debate.
Just days after the leaked Supreme Court majority draft opinion in May signaled the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Stitt made national headlines for a bill he signed into law that bans abortions from conception, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. News outlets across the country were quick to call it "the most extreme abortion ban in the country," a characterization the governor shrugs off.
"I don't know how much more clear we have to be in Oklahoma. We don't believe in abortion in Oklahoma," Stitt told Fox News Digital last week. "We believe that life begins at conception and that's why I signed that bill, overwhelmingly got to my desk by 80% of the legislators."
"I'll be the first to admit that every state is going to do things differently. Some states will ban it at the heartbeat, maybe at eight weeks or the European countries – this is something people don't realize – France bans abortion at 14 weeks. Most European countries are 12 to 14 weeks, and Colorado just did an abortion on demand all the way up to birth. And I think we can all agree that life begins before the moment before birth," he continued. "I represent Oklahomans, we overwhelmingly support life, and we also love the mother… the left tries to muddy the waters to say that we're going to somehow take away health care for women or contraceptives or something like that – that's totally not true. But we do believe that God uniquely designs every single person, and they have quality of life, and we want to make sure we protect that."
Stitt, who spoke at CPAC 2022 in Dallas, says the media hasn't covered the abortion debate responsibly, accusing journalists of trying to "confuse" Americans into thinking the Supreme Court banned abortions across the country.
"Nine people cannot determine what every single state does," he said. "The media needs to do a better job of making sure people understand and yeah, Oklahoma is different than Texas, or Kansas, or California, or Colorado, and that's OK. That's how our founders set this thing up."
When asked about Republicans who don't favor any exceptions, Stitt responded by calling it "fine" while defending that's how "the system works," though he did describe that position as being part of the "far, far right."
He is confident the heated abortion debate will not help Democrats maintain control of Congress the way they think it will, pointing to inflation, the energy crisis and education as top of mind for voters. He added the left has become "so out of touch with normal America" that "we're going to win the House back."
Stitt believes that disconnect also applies to the media that's out of touch with "flyover country."
"The life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is different in Oklahoma than it is in New York or Maryland, and that's the way our founders set this thing up," Stitt said. "I'm a fourth-generation Oklahoman, I represent Oklahoma values, and we don't want big government telling us what to do in Oklahoma."
The governor laughed off the media peddling the Biden administration's attempt to redefine a recession, which has long been known as being two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, something that occurred in the first six months of 2022.
"I think Oklahomans and I think Americans are too smart. They understand that this media is totally walking, talking the party lines for the Biden administration. And I think people are tired of it," Stitt said. "That's why the distrust in the media, it's not just reporting on the facts anymore, it's literally trying to editorialize whatever position they want to push people towards. And that's unfortunate. That's why you see people turning to different forms of news media to get kind of the real story that they want. So there is certainly a distrust, and that's disappointing. We need to get back to some honest journalism."
In the interview, which took place before former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home was raided by the FBI, Stitt was asked whether he would support him in 2024, something he refrained from directly answering. He instead generally boasted about the "great candidates" who are considering a White House bid and encouraged them to "let them go compete."
When asked if he himself was considering a run for president, he called the question "flattering" but claimed he was just focused on winning re-election in November.
He did appear to not deny that he was mulling a 2024 bid, telling Fox News Digital, "We'll let, you know, the future dictate what it does."