George Stephanopoulos Wonders if Clinton’s ‘Critics Overreact’ on E-Mail Scandal

On Sunday, George Stephanopoulos appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to discuss the 2016 presidential election and what impact Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails might have on the race.

Speaking to weekend anchor Dan Harris, Stephanopoulos did his best to cast doubt on the importance of the Clinton emails and argued that “it’s not going bring down her campaign and I think it does raise questions about a pattern of kind of hunkering down in the Clinton world. We'll also see if her critics overreact on this one." 

Prior to Stephanopoulos’ comments, ABC’s David Wright provided a pre-packaged report on Hillary’s email problems and did his best to connect Republican Jeb Bush to the scandal:

Transparency is at the heart of the email controversy. President Obama told CBS News it was news to him that the Blackberry she carried everywhere as Secretary of State did not have a government email address… Here in Iowa Jeb Bush has his own baggage to deal with.  

The ABC reporter didn’t explain how the family Jeb Bush was born into was comparable to the Clintons repeated transparency issues but that didn’t stop Wright from dragging the Republican into the mix when discussing Clinton’s latest problem.

As the 2016 discussion continued, This Week moderator George Stephanopoulos briefly played up how Jeb Bush is “going to have a tough balancing act all through this primary campaign” before turning to Hillary. The ABC anchor did acknowledge the potential problems Hillary’s use of a private email account could have on her presidential ambitions but Stephanopoulos made sure to express doubt over its long-term impact:

I don't think necessarily it’s going to necessarily, it’s not going bring down her campaign and I think it does raise questions about a pattern of kind of hunkering down in the Clinton world. We'll also see if her critics overreact on this one but there’s no question that those emails are going to be to turned over, most of them are going to come out. 

The question will be what is inside them? Is there anything damaging there? If not I think this tends to blow over, but I think this was a wake-up call to the Clinton campaign about the kind of questions they're going to be getting all through this process. 

See relevant transcript below.

ABC’s Good Morning America

March 8, 2015

PAULA FARIS: And turning now to 2016 and the race for the White House where Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton speaking in Florida continued to side step an email that raises questions about transparency and double-standards. Republicans too, they were out in Iowa on the campaign trail pressing their case and ABC's David Wright is on the beat in Cedar Rapids. 

DAVID WRIGHT: In Miami, Bill Clinton preached the gospel of transparency defending big money donations from foreign governments. 

BILL CLINTON: So my theory about all this is disclose everything. 

WRIGHT: But Hillary Clinton made no mention of the controversy over her use of a private email account for official business.  

HILLARY CLINTON: Chelsea and I did a little talk on Snapchat. 

WRIGHT: But while Mrs. Clinton shied away from the controversy, late night TV jumped on the opportunity.  

KATE MCKINNON AS HILLARY CLINTON: You want to check my Netflix, go ahead. Nothing to hide. Every day I watch "House of Cards from start to finish.  

WRIGHT: Transparency is at the heart of the email controversy. President Obama told CBS News it was news to him that the Blackberry she carried everywhere as Secretary of State did not have a government email address. 

BARACK OBAMA: The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, and that's why my emails, the Blackberry that I carry around, all those records are available and archived. 

WRIGHT: Hey, are you excited to be in Iowa? 

JEB BUSH: I am. I am. 

WRIGHT: Here in Iowa Jeb Bush has his own baggage to deal with. 

--

DAN HARRIS: Let's talk about the Democrats now and putative front-runner Hillary Clinton --  

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: She is the frontrunner. 

HARRIS: Well right, but she hasn't declared that she's in the race. Anyway, let's not get into semantics. Anyway, she has sidestepped as we saw in Florida the email issue. But this story seems to have legs. How big a problem is it for her? 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think we’re going to find out. I don't think necessarily it’s going to necessarily, it’s not going bring down her campaign and I think it does raise questions about a pattern of kind of hunkering down in the Clinton world. We'll also see if her critics overreact on this one but there’s no question that those emails are going to be to turned over, most of them are going to come out. The question will be what is inside them? Is there anything damaging there? If not I think this tends to blow over, but I think this was a wake-up call to the Clinton campaign about the kind of questions they're going to be getting all through this process. 

HARRIS: George Stephanopoulos. It's always a tough morning when George corrects you on political issues. Thank you, George. Appreciate. Great to see you. It’s okay. I'll recover. And a reminder, George has a big show this morning. He’ll have much more on the email story with a man who has a unique perspective here, the former Secretary of State Colin Powell and you can tweet George your suggestions for questions @gstephanopoulos. Thanks again, George.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential ABC Good Morning America George Stephanopoulos David Wright Dan Harris Hillary Clinton Jeb Bush

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