Hours before the first Republican debate of 2016 on Thursday, NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America both eagerly hyped a report in The New York Times that Ted Cruz failed to disclose a loan from Goldman Sachs to help fund his 2012 Senate campaign.
On Today, co-host Matt Lauer labeled the Texas Senator a hypocrite: “Isn't the bigger issue, though, a bit of hypocrisy? Here’s a guy running who was running as a darling of the Tea Party, railing against Wall Street and the big banks. And yet, what people didn't know, was that he had gone to one of the big banks, Goldman Sachs, where his wife worked, to get a personal loan.”
Bloomberg Politics managing editor Mark Halperin saw doom for Cruz: “For a lot of voters making up their mind, just tuning into this race, if one of the first things they learn about Ted Cruz is that he has a financial relationship with Goldman Sachs, there's no worse brand name for the populist wing of the Republican Party than that. Ted Cruz is going to be tested now, including, I think, tonight at the debate.”
On GMA, co-host George Stephanopoulos touted Cruz “facing new questions about his finances.” Correspondent Tom Llamas followed: “This morning, Senator Ted Cruz's campaign in damage control after a new report shows he took up to a million dollars in loans from big Wall Street banks to finance his run for senate....the issue may hurt Cruz’s credibility since he's railed against big banks and Wall Street bailouts.”
CBS This Morning noted the Cruz story, but only a quick 20-second mention for correspondent Major Garrett:
A new topic might come up at tonight's debate. Revelations that Ted Cruz and his wife Heidi secured a loan from Goldman Sachs to help finance Cruz's insurgent 2012 Senate campaign. Heidi works at Goldman Sachs. That loan was secured against family assets, but not fully disclosed to the Federal Election Committee. Something, Norah, Cruz told reporters yesterday was an inadvertent error.
While NBC and ABC hyperventilated over the “hypocrisy” of Cruz taking out a bank loan, neither morning show bothered to point out Hillary Clinton taking millions of dollars from Wall Street banks ($760,740 from Goldman Sachs alone) while promising to crack down on those same financial institutions.
In October, a CNN Money article entitled “Wall Street has made Hillary Clinton a millionaire,” explained: “Clinton made $3.15 million in 2013 alone from speaking to firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and UBS, according to the list her campaign released of her speaking fees.”
Reporter Heather Long added: “While Clinton has given paid speeches to many groups, Wall Street banks and investment houses made up a third of her speech income. She even made more money speaking to UBS and Goldman Sachs than her husband Bill did. Goldman Sachs in New York paid Bill $200,000 for a speech in June 2013 and Hillary $225,000 for a speech in October of that year.”
The article cited fellow Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley blasting Clinton: “Her closeness with big banks on Wall Street is sincere, it's heart-felt, long-established and well known.”
On Thursday, Clinton’s closest challenger – socialist Senator Bernie Sanders – released an ad indirectly attacking the former New York Senator for her close ties to Wall Street. Without mentioning her name, Sanders declared: “There are two Democratic visions for regulating Wall Street. One says it’s okay to take millions from big banks and then tell them what to do.”
When will NBC and ABC examine Clinton’s lack of “credibility”?
Here is a portion of Lauer’s January 14 discussion with Halperin:
7:07 AM ET
MATT LAUER: Mark Halperin is the managing editor of Bloomberg Politics. He’s in Florida, where he interviewed Donald Trump last night. Mark, good morning to you.
MARK HALPERIN: Good morning, Matt.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Cruz’s Wall Street Worries; Did Candidate Fail to Report Goldman Sachs Loan?]
LAUER: I know a lot of people are wondering whether this Ted Cruz story is a big deal or not. I'm ask you about that in a second. But first, let's play a little bit of your conversation with Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I heard it's a big thing. I know nothing about it, but I hear it’s a very big thing. I hope he solves it. I think he's a nice guy and hope he gets it solved. He’s been really up until the last few days. And you know, the reason is that I'm doing very well, and I can understand it. But he's been very, very nice to me, very respectful of my ideas, my whole being. He's been really terrific. And I just hope that's not a big problem for him.
LAUER: Mark, Ted Cruz has already admitted he didn't properly file some paperwork with the Federal Election Commission. That is one issue. Isn't the bigger issue, though, a bit of hypocrisy? Here’s a guy running who was running as a darling of the Tea Party, railing against Wall Street and the big banks. And yet, what people didn't know, was that he had gone to one of the big banks, Goldman Sachs, where his wife worked, to get a personal loan.
HALPERIN: Matt, nothing matters more in presidential politics than defining yourself for the voters on your own terms. Ted Cruz is just being introduced to the American public. Donald Trump’s been in the public eye for decades. For a lot of voters making up their mind, just tuning into this race, if one of the first things they learn about Ted Cruz is that he has a financial relationship with Goldman Sachs, there's no worse brand name for the populist wing of the Republican Party than that. Ted Cruz is going to be tested now, including, I think, tonight at the debate.