Toobin Lectures GOP for Everyone Having ‘Bad Moments’; Laments John Roberts Criticism

CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin took part in the network’s post-Republican debate panel Saturday night and used the occasion to lecture the GOP candidates for all having “bad moments” in “a raucous screamfest” and rallied to the defense of Chief Justice John Roberts to lament the direction of the party he doesn’t even belong to. 

Further, liberal CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley proclaimed that “Donald Trump won the debate” by being “bombastic” and prepared “to rumble” with the five other candidates.

Right off the bat at the 10:58 p.m. Eastern mark, Toobin whined the CBS News debate in Greenville, South Carolina “was more demolition derby than debate” that grew into “a raucous screamfest and I think there were bad moments for every candidate.”

Brinkley chimed in two minutes later to rule that the loud billionaire was the winner of the debate and anyone else:

I think Donald Trump won the debate. He was bombastic. He was bully. Many times you just wanted to shake the TV at him, but in the end, he's leading by a de margin in South Carolina and I don't see somebody pulling him down. The other ones sort of clustered. Cruz gets some points. I agreed with what everybody said. Rubio some points here. But in the end I think Donald Trump has to be very pleased with this performance. He came ready to rumble and he did.

On the subject of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected passing, Toobin chided that there’s unfortunately “a very big controversy over who's going to fill that seat” before going onto bash the Republican Party for voicing criticism of Roberts over his liberal votes on ObamaCare (and failed to add his position on the Arizona immigration law):

[T]he remarkable transformation of John Roberts into the liberal that they are portraying him is so unbelievable. It is true, as Donald Trump said, that on two occasions Chief Justice Roberts voted to uphold the ObamaCare law, the Affordable Care Act. But other than that he has been a down-the-line conservative, whether it's about Citizens United and campaign finance or the future of the Voting Rights Act or affirmative action or gay marriage, but this Republican Party is so conservative that John Roberts has been excommunicated because of just those two votes. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s Republican Debate Special on February 13 can be found below.

CNN Republican Debate Special
February 13, 2016
10:58 p.m. Eastern

JEFFREY TOOBIN: This was more demolition derby than debate. This was really a raucous screamfest and I think there were bad moments for every candidate, but Ted Cruz has decided from the very beginning that he wants to be the most conservative candidate running. I think that's what he was tonight and that's what he wants to be.

(.....)

11:00 p.m. Eastern

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: I think Donald Trump won the debate. He was bombastic. He was bully. Many times you just wanted to shake the TV at him, but in the end, he's leading by a de margin in South Carolina and I don't see somebody pulling him down. The other ones sort of clustered. Cruz gets some points. I agreed with what everybody said. Rubio some points here. But in the end I think Donald Trump has to be very pleased with this performance. He came ready to rumble and he did.

(....)

11:03 p.m. Eastern

TOOBIN: Yeah. You know, in this mud wrestling contest, it is worth pausing to just say one of the giants of American law passed today. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Antonin Scalia, this is one of the handful moments influential people in the history of American law. Just including everyone and so, that is — that's what today is a very big deal and we now have a very big controversy over who's going to fill that seat, but again, the remarkable transformation of John Roberts into the liberal that they are portraying him is so unbelievable. It is true, as Donald Trump said, that on two occasions Chief Justice Roberts voted to uphold the ObamaCare law, the Affordable Care Act. But other than that he has been a down-the-line conservative, whether it's about Citizens United and campaign finance or the future of the Voting Rights Act or affirmative action or gay marriage, but this Republican Party is so conservative that John Roberts has been excommunicated because of just those two votes. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center