NBC’s Chris Jansing Gushes Over ‘an Energized, Combative President’; Scolds Boehner for Inviting Netanyahu

NBC News senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing did her best to provide some White House spin during Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, hailing President Obama as “an energized, combative President” whose policies made for a “carefully choreographed, populist message with the details generally panned by Republicans.”

Also within her report, Jansing found time to chide House Speaker John Boehner for “an unprecedented breach in protocol” in inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress without White House consultation.

In the midst of the nearly endless Cuba coverage, anchor Brian Williams introduced Jansing’s report on President Obama’s activities on the day following his seventh State of the Union address:

Fresh off his State of the Union address, as we mentioned a few moments ago, President Obama is hitting the road to sell the ideas he outlined last night with what some called a swagger that prompted sharp retorts from Republicans angling for his job, some of them. 

Jansing began by stating that Obama was out in the “deeply conservative state” of Idaho to promote his initiatives from his State of Union speech and made mention of a banner at the event: “A banner reinforcing last night's message to the middle class.”

Next, she felt it privy to inform viewers that “Boise State University is the latest stop in what's been an expended road trip recently for an energized, combative President whose cheeky quip created last night's most viral moment” in reminding Republicans that he won both of his elections (after reminding the audience that he had “no more campaigns to run”). 

During the segment’s final moments, Jansing pivoted to go after Boehner for making the call to have Netanyahu come to Washington and address Congress:

[A]nd a new political battle exploded today. House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without telling the White House. That's an unprecedented breach in protocol and one that allows a foreign leader the chance to stand in the House chambers and reject the administration's position against new sanctions for Iran's nuclear program.

Meanwhile, ABC’s World News Tonight anchor David Muir also joined in cheerleading the President, telling viewers from Havana, Cuba that the Obama “laid out an ambitious agenda for the next two years” in his speech that included “[l]ifting the embargo on Cuba, middle class cuts,” and “making community college free for a time.” 

One interesting note that deserves to be mentioned from the last sentence is that Muir chose to describe Obama’s liberal proposal as not a series of tax increases for the rich but solely “middle class tax cuts.” Seconds later, however, ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl selected different words, referring to the plan as one that would “raise taxes and increase spending.”

The relevant portions of the segment’s transcript from NBC Nightly News on January 21 can be found below.

NBC Nightly News
January 21, 2015
7:08 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Hard Sell]

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Now back to politics and things geopolitical. Fresh off his State of the Union address, as we mentioned a few moments ago, President Obama is hitting the road to sell the ideas he outlined last night with what some called a swagger that prompted sharp retorts from Republicans angling for his job, some of them. Our report tonight from our senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing. 

CHRIS JANSING: It's not where you'd expect to find President Obama on the day after his State of the Union address. His first visit to Idaho as President, a deeply conservative state where he got just a third of the vote in 2012. A banner reinforcing last night's message to the middle class. 

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I'm happy to start a conversation. Tell me how we're going to do the things that need to be done. 

JANSING: Boise State University is the latest stop in what's been an expended road trip recently for an energized, combative President whose cheeky quip created last night's most viral moment. 

OBAMA: I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda – I know, because I won both of them.

JANSING: Headlines called it a “zinger,” a “taunt,” an “epic put-down.” Eight unscripted words amid a carefully choreographed, populist message with the details generally panned by Republicans. One rare exception, Paul Ryan. 

CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN (R-WISC.)(on MSNBC’s Morning Joe): I agree with every word he said in the speech with respect to trade and Asia. 
            
JANSING: But Ryan isn't running for president. Others who might be weren't so supportive. 

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS): It is time to move on beyond President Barack Obama. 

SENATOR RAND PAUL (R-KY.): Some of the stuff, frankly, was even difficult to listen to and keep a straight face. 

JANSING: Last night, Hillary Clinton tweeted about an “economy that works for all” and twice today, the Vice President hinted he might run against her. 

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: [on NBC’s Today] To be blunt with you I think I could do a good job. [on ABC’s Good Morning America] Yes. There's a chance, but I haven't made my mind up about that. 

JANSING: The list of candidates and political battles taking shape with 657 days still to go before the election and a new political battle exploded today. House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress without telling the White House. That's an unprecedented breach in protocol and one that allows a foreign leader the chance to stand in the House chambers and reject the administration's position against new sanctions for Iran's nuclear program.

The relevant transcript from ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir on January 21 can be found below.

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir
January 21, 2015
6:37 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Ending the Embargo]

DAVID MUIR: I want to bring in ABC's chief White House correspondent Jon Karl tonight. Jon, the President laid out an ambitious agenda for the next two years. Lifting the embargo on Cuba, middle class cuts, making community college free for a time and, Jon, as we know, Republican now control Congress, so, what's the chance any of this becomes reality? 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Ambitious Agenda; Can Obama Keep Promises?]

JONATHAN KARL: The odds are long on all of this, David, but on lifting the embargo, the President may have some surprising allies. Farmers want the embargo lifted so they can sell their crops to Cuba and some powerful Republicans from farm states agree. Even the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently said he agrees with President Obama that the embargo has not worked. So, on Cuba, there may be about opening, but on the President's other proposals to raise taxes and increase spending? Those are going nowhere in this Congress. 

MUIR: Jon Karl in Washington tonight. Jon, thank you.

State of the Union Congress Economy Foreign Policy Cuba Iran Israel/Palestine Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC World News Tonight NBC NBC Nightly News President Barack Obama President Obama John Boehner Jonathan Karl Brian Williams Chris Jansing David Muir Barack Obama Benjamin Netanyahu John Boehner Speaker John Boehner
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