Was Soledad O'Brien borrowing from liberal Talking Points Memo again? She was caught red-handed doing so Monday night, and her challenge to Romney's budget on Wednesday's Starting Point seemed awfully similar to TPM's take on the matter.
O'Brien not only echoed TPM's liberal criticisms of Romney's budget, but featured a Fox News clip that TPM quoted from the heart of its piece titled "Paul Ryan Can't Escape Own Budget Package In Debut Solo Interview."
Consider O'Brien's take on Romney's budget: "And Mitt Romney's budget, honestly, is incredibly unclear. It's very, very vague. (...) He [Ryan] doesn't want to get wonky because he hasn't run the numbers because the plan is very vague. The plan is very, very vague."
And TPM wrote "...Romney's plan -- which has drawn fire for being vague at best," and added that it faces "criticisms that the Romney budget plan is not yet fully formed."
O'Brien featured a clip from a Ryan interview with Fox News' Brit Hume that TPM quoted at the heart of its piece. Read the transcript below and compare it to TPM's article.
O'Brien said that Ryan "had a hard time even telling him [Brit Hume] what the numbers would look like." What was TPM's take? "Ryan couldn’t predict when Romney’s plan would balance the budget."
Even if O'Brien was not reading from TPM on-air, she was definitely using similar liberal talking points. Regardless, she looks ridiculous pounding "vague" Republican budget proposals when the Senate Democrats haven't even passed a budget in three years.
Below is a transcript of the segment which aired on Starting Point on August 15 at 8:08 a.m. EDT:
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: But you know House Republicans voted for the Ryan budget. So virtually every Republican did vote for it. And Mitt Romney's budget, honestly, is incredibly unclear. It's very, very vague. You could see – let's play a chunk of Paul Ryan talking to Brit Hume trying to defend the budget, and he had a hard time even telling him what the numbers would look like, and this man is the face of number crunching in the House.
TIM PAWLENTY (R), former Minnesota governor: I'll listen to this, but I want a chance to come back to this Ryan vote as well, because it's different than ObamaCare.
O'BRIEN: It is different. Let's play a little bit of Ryan talking to Brit Hume, trying to figure out the numbers of what a Romney budget would look like.
BRIT HUME, Fox News: The budget plan that you're now supporting would get to balance when?
Rep. PAUL RYAN (R-Wisc.), Vice Presidential Candidate: Well, they're different -- the budget plan that Mitt Romney is supporting gets us down to 20 percent of GDP government spending by 2016. That means get the size of government back to where it historically has been. What President Obama has done is he has brought the size of government to as high as it hasn't been since World War II. We want to reduce the size of government so we can have more economic freedom.
HUME: I get that. But what about balance?
RYAN: Well, I don't know exactly when it balances because we haven't – I don't want to get wonky on you, but we haven't run the numbers on that specific plan.
(End Video Clip)
O'BRIEN: He doesn't want to get wonky because he hasn't run the numbers because the plan is very vague. The plan is very, very vague.