The White House is opening a press bureau in New York City at 30 Rock – or so it seemed with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski parroting the administration's talking points, one after the other, on today's "Morning Joe."
Brzezinski has mentioned in the past that the White House e-mails her during segments, and she seemed thoroughly briefed by the middle of Tuesday's show.
When Politico's executive editor Jim VandeHei explained that frustrated big business donors have been giving to the Republicans under a cloak of anonymity thanks to the Citizens United ruling, Mika retorted with the White House's argument.
"Jim, what the White House will say, though, is that the reason why the big business is hostile at this point is because they've taken them on, and they've put some rules in place that they're maybe not that comfortable with," Mika answered. "[They will say] this White House has done something actually to try and fix the system."
When Joe Scarborough argued that the Democrats have been playing by the same campaign finance rules as Republicans, Brzezinski simply responded with more White House talking points.
The White House is simply trying to add transparency to the debate, Mika insisted. "What you'll hear from the White House is that this fits well within the narrative of hope and change and trying to fix Washington." If transparency was introduced, she added, everyone would see that the money "came from big business, from Wall Street, and from all the same entities that perhaps got us into the mess in the first place.
And what about the Obama campaign in 2008 setting up a system allowing more anonymous donors to give to the campaign? "What the White House would respond to that is that in September they tried to pass the Full Disclosure Act, and they tried to get something through that would promote transparency across the board," Mika responded.
What of Obama's record amount of donations in 2008? "They say they'll tell you where all that money came from," she insisted.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 19 at 6:27 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
JIM VANDEHEI, Executive Editor, Politico: Republicans were able to tap into real discontent in the business community. A lot of those big business donors have gotten out of the big money game over the past six or seven years because they were frustrated and felt that their investments were not paying dividends. Now they feel that Obama's so hostile to them, they were willing to pony up big time just as the courts were making it easier for them to do it anonymously. So I guarantee in the next campaign Democrats will copy what Republicans are doing, because there's nothing new in politics. You just take it to the next level.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Jim, what the White House will say, though, is that the reason why the big business is hostile at this point is because they've taken them on, and they've put some rules in place that they're maybe not that comfortable with, and that this White House has done something actually to try and fix the system, as opposed to others which –
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well make that argument instead of acting like – acting like it – it's – this has never happened before.
The White House insults our intelligence when they come out with phony stories about foreign money. They come out with phoney stories about these third party groups that have never existed before. They come out with phoney stories acting like Citizens United is a radical revolutionary deal, when, if you read Politico today in my wonderful column, you will find out that actually professors from Columbia, Yale, you name it, are all saying the same thing – this is much ado about nothing.
TINA BROWN, Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast: Well, don't you think the Democrats anyway have really – certainly the White House has really been handling its donors pretty badly all the way through the last two years; I mean, one the one hand, they bash business all the time and then go to Wall Street for money, and on the other hand, they really don't look after their donors. I mean, the Clinton machine was brilliant at just kind of keeping their arms around their donors, and if you speak to anyone within the big business community, they used to shell out – they basically feel completely stiffed. I mean –
BRZEZINSKI: What you'll hear from the White House is that this fits well within the narrative of hope and change and trying to fix Washington, and that this is exactly about who they are, and that trying to make some transparency when it comes to campaign contributions would make the process fair, and that we don't know where all this money that the Republicans are pulling together comes from, and if you did, you'd see it came from big business, from Wall Street, and from all the same entities that perhaps got us into the mess in the first place.
SCARBOROUGH: What about the Washington Post story, Mika, that we talked about yesterday, where the Post reported at the end of the campaign that Obama's team set up deliberately – deliberately – and it's the Washington Post saying this – deliberately set up a system that would allow more anonymous donors to give money to Obama.
BRZEZINSKI: And what the White House would respond to that is that in September they tried to pass the Full Disclosure Act, and they tried to get something through that would promote transparency across the board, and all Republicans, all Republicans –
BRZEZINSKI: I believe it was a few months ago.
SCARBOROUGH: Because it's funny that when he was running for President, the guy that received more money than everybody else in the history of the planet, and the guy that –
BRZEZINSKI: They say they'll tell you where all that money came from.
SCARBOROUGH: – deliberately put in place – deliberately, according the Washington Post, put in place a system that would allow more anonymous donors to give money to them. Suddenly there's a – listen, I'm not offended by this. I am offended, though, that when the White House acts like foreigners are trying, Willie – foreigners are trying to steal this election –