CBS Worried GOP Congress Will Actually Pass Legislation

On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell fretted that the newly elected Republican Congress would dare to pass legislation: "If you look at a number of these new senators, they're quite conservative. Why wouldn't they go along with what Rand Paul has said? They're gonna send bills up to the President, as he told Charlie Rose last night, 'We're going to keep sending bills up to the President and we'll see whether the President wants to work with us or not.' Is the President going to be forced to veto a bunch of bills?"

In response, political director John Dickerson had to give O'Donnell a brief lesson on the Constitution: "Yeah, but that's okay. That's the way it's supposed to work....the way they designed this whole American system was you could send them up, they get vetoed, then you have a conversation, you fix it, and then something goes through."

Earlier in the exchange, fellow co-host Gayle King similarly wrung her hands over Senator Paul: "But what kind of message does it send if last night Rand Paul is already raising the question, 'Will President Obama obstruct justice – will obstruct the process, rather – or work with us?' If he's putting that out there already?"

Here is a transcript of the November 5 exchange:

8:07 AM ET

(...)

GAYLE KING: But what kind of message does it send if last night Rand Paul is already raising the question, "Will President Obama obstruct justice – will obstruct the process, rather – or work with us?" If he's putting that out there already?

JOHN DICKERSON: Yeah, well, Frank will know – his focus groups will tell you that's probably not a message that people want to hear.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Frank?

KING: Frank?

FRANK LUNTZ: Yeah. The number within attribute according to Each American Dream survey, the number one attribute that they describe towards Washington is frustration. And so they don't want on election night for someone to be saying no. There are no absolutes from today forward. And this goes for blue states, for purple states, and for red states. The amazing thing is that it was a universal just standing up and saying no to what is happening today, no to the status quo.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, here's my question. So you have – let's talk about the new people in the Senate. You have Mitch McConnell, you have Joni Ernst from Iowa who says, "We're going to make them squeal in Washington." We have Gardner in Colorado, very conservative former House member there. If you look at a number of these new senators, they're quite conservative. Why wouldn't they go along with what Rand Paul has said? They're gonna send bills up to the President, as he told Charlie Rose last night, "We're going to keep sending bills up to the President and we'll see whether the President wants to work with us or not." Is the President going to be forced to veto a bunch of bills?

DICKERSON: Yeah, but that's okay. That's the way it's supposed to work. So that's not necessarily bad. It's just a question of whether the bills when they get there, everybody looks at them and says, "Okay, those are serious pieces of [legislation]."  

O'DONNELL: So we're going to have another election, another change election where voters kick out members of parties because they're sick of them?

DICKERSON: It depends. In the old way – the way they designed this whole American system was you could send them up, they get vetoed, then you have a conversation, you fix it, and then something goes through. That's if people are serious on both sides. If the legislation that's sent up is just gimmicky, is just a show thing, and the President's making his own showy behavior that has nothing to do with getting to an end result, then you'll have another kind of rejection.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is the Senior News Analyst for MRC