With 11 days until the United States goes over the fiscal cliff, ABC's Good Morning America focused squarely on Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Republicans for the failure to reach a negotiation with President Obama.
On Thursday, newly-appointed Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl began his first story hyping Boehner's "crushing" loss when his "Plan B" was aborted for lack of GOP votes: [See video below jump. MP3 audio here.]
"This was a crushing defeat, George, for Speaker of the House John Boehner. It demonstrated definitively that he doesn't even have the Republican votes to pass a Republican plan, let alone a compromise with the President."
Instead of mentioning the President’s unwillingness to work with House Republicans, Karl kept the spotlight on Speaker Boehner, describing him as "greatly weakened."
"He is greatly weakened. And that is not necessarily a good thing for The White House because they will need him to be able to pass whatever deal is finally reached, if one is reached," reported Karl.
"This is just a mess," concluded George Stephanopoulos.
See relevant transcript below.
Good Morning America
December 21, 2012
7:06 a.m. EST
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to get the latest, now, on the fiscal cliff. Just 11 days until everyone's taxes go up. All federal programs are cut. And it's looking more likely than ever that Washington could trip over that cliff, after House Speaker John Boehner's plan to prevent a tax increase on all but the wealthiest Americans collapsed last night. ABC’s newly promoted Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl is covering all of this. And Jon, this is real chaos now. No one has a clear plan.
JON KARL: That's right. This was a crushing defeat, George, for Speaker of the House John Boehner. It demonstrated definitively that he doesn't even have the Republican votes to pass a Republican plan, let alone a compromise with the President. And he left last night, telling Republicans that it is now up to House Democrats and the President to come up with a way forward. But I talked to people at The White House and Senate Democrats, who said it's actually up to Boehner to finally compromise. All chaos, no clear path forward. And I will tell you that the Speaker talked to Republicans last night, closing with a prayer, George. Saying, God grants me the serenity to accept things I cannot change. He is greatly weakened. And that is not necessarily a good thing for The White House because they will need him to be able to pass whatever deal is finally reached, if one is reached.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right, they need a partner. But now all eyes turn to the Senate. Because they're the best chance, now, of passing something to block the tax increases on everyone. But they're not even back until two days after Christmas, December 27th.
KARL: They're not back until two days after Christmas. And they are saying that it is up to the Speaker to act. So, George, I have no idea where this is going to go. And neither do folks here.
STEPHANOPOULOS: This is just a mess. Okay, Jon Karl thanks very much. We're going to cover the latest, all the week’s politics Sunday on This Week.