On Saturday, NewsBusters asked if it would be fascinating if Barack Obama's interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe ended up being an easier one than he recently got with the ladies of ABC's The View.
We got our answer Monday, and in the end, co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski asked absolutely nothing of the President that could be perceived as a hardball (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary).
After Brzezinski set the taped interview up, her first question to the President was, "Why has it been so easy for critics to say the administration does not have its story straight on Benghazi?"
Pretty soft way to bring up this issue, especially as there are some that believe the administration has not only deceived the American people concerning the attack, but that the President might have chosen not to try to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens for fear it might have failed and he'd be held responsible.
Instead, Brzezinski began with "Why has it been so easy for your critics?"
And that's almost all you need to know about the tenor of this interview.
It wasn't designed to break any new ground or inform the public. Instead, it was another in a series of puff pieces from a media completely in the tank for the current White House resident's reelection.
After the President gave his stock answer, Scarborough aided and abetted him by asking, “Was it the intel community giving you bad information early on because the stories keep changing?"
Hmmm. So it was the intel community's fault that the administration dishonestly told the American people for almost two weeks that the attack was over an anti-Muslim trailer?
In fact, Brzezinski and Scarborough never even brought up the trailer.
As such, the President continued with his stock answer this time also throwing Congress under the bus saying it’s been receiving information continually from the beginning.
Despite Scarborough having once been a member of Congress, he let this absurdity pass.
And that was all the Morning Joe duo asked the President about Benghazi.
Brzezinski in real time then said they had asked the President if it was bittersweet that this would be his final campaign, a question so soft the ladies of The View might have been embarrassed to ask it so close to Election Day.
After the President’s answer, Brzezinski said, “Let’s talk about the next four years and try and get as specific as possible. What is, how would you define your mandate for the next four years, and what is, I’d like to know the sacrifice that will not be asked of just the one percent but of the 99 percent as well?”
Mandate? How does one know what his mandate will be until we know the outcome of the election?
It’s possible that Obama could win the electoral college but lose the popular vote. He might also lose the Senate. As such, he’d have no mandate whatsoever.
Brzezinski apparently wasn’t considering this possibility and instead gave the object of her affection a mandate he hasn’t won yet.
Recognizing the gift he'd been given, Obama once again knocked this softball out of the park.
“Can you get Medicare done,” Scarborough asked. “Because Republicans demagogue it. Democrats demagogue it. Everybody’s demagogued it through the years. Can you go to the Republicans and say, ‘Guys, wait a minute, we’ve got to do this together?’”
So one of MSNBC’s two supposedly conservative hosts – S.E. Cupp of The Cycle being the real one! – actually said to a Democratic president that Republicans demagogue Medicare, and are largely to blame for inaction on this matter.
I'd be interested in knowing how Scarborough sees Republicans demagoguing Medicare. Has Congressman Paul Ryan demagogued Medicare?
The reality is Obama could have gotten this same question from Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, or David Letterman. Now you know why he agreed to this interview.
With the softball in front of him, Obama gave a marvelous stump speech that included derisive references to his opponents as well as the Republican Party all the time with Scarborough smiling at him.
Scarborough even agreed with the President’s position that infrastructure spending is a Republican issue by bringing up Dwight Eisenhower.
So Obama wasn’t only getting softballs on MSNBC - he was also getting approval for his views from one of the network's supposedly conservative hosts.
But Scarborough wasn’t close to finished setting the President up.
“So let’s say you win,” he said. “Boehner still is Speaker and the House [sic] goes either Democratic or Republican by one. You’re still in the same situation the next four years you were in the last four years. So what’s going to make the difference? We talked about this to you one on one before. What makes the difference over the next four years? What is there for Americans to hope and believe that Republicans and Democrats can work together?”
Actually, a real conservative would have said: “You have shown an inability to work across the aisle in your first four years. Many people on my side believe this began when you first met with Congressional leaders days after your inauguration. When Republicans wanted to offer input to your stimulus plan, you said, ‘I won.’ As such, why should Americans believe that you’re going to be any better at working with Republicans in the next four years given your expressed determination not to in your first?”
Unfortunately, one of two supposedly conservative hosts at MSNBC didn’t ask the President anything like that. Instead he laid most of the blame for government inaction on Republicans just like most of the people at that farce of a so-called “news network” 24/7.
With the ball on the tee, Obama hit this one out of the park as well spouting the same talking points we’ve heard for years while blaming most of the problem on Congress.
And that was Morning Joe’s interview with the President eight days before the election.
Did we learn anything new? No.
Was the President pressed on anything, Benghazi or the state of the economy in particular? No.
In fact, there weren’t any questions about the economy at all. Not one.
Although he was standing throughout the interview, Obama must have felt he was sitting with either Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Jay Leno, or David Letterman.
Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you Morning Joe is a counter to the rest of the far-left programming at MSNBC.