Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell Scold Rand Paul Following Today Show Interview

After Senator Rand Paul engaged in a heated interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday's Today, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd repeatedly scolded the Republican presidential candidate over his conduct with their colleague.

On her self-titled MSNBC program, Mitchell declared that Paul “started the day by taking on none other than Savannah Guthrie on the Today show. Not a good move. It was a memorable interview that quickly went downhill for the newly declared presidential candidate." 

After Mitchell played a clip of Savannah Guthrie’s interview with Paul in which the Republican told her to “stop editorializing” about his foreign policy views and just “ask me a question” Mitchell turned to Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd to further criticize the presidential candidate's appearance.

Todd argued that Paul’s actions were “a standard trick in the playbook of some politicians… you immediately attack the premise, attack the thing. It's sort of standard shtick.” Todd went one step further and suggested that Paul has a bigger problem given that this was the second female interviewer he has sparred with in recent months:

But I think he's developing a -- he's got to be careful here. This is turning into a habit, particularly over -- this is now two prominent women interviewers…Kelly Evans of CNBC, Savannah now. He seems to jump on it before -- this is a tricky place for him to be. He needs to probably watch videotape of himself. 

Although the two NBC hosts were quick to scold the optics of Senator Paul arguing with a female reporter, Chuck Todd decided to lecture the Kentucky Senator about his reluctance to answer questions about his past policy positions:

He's trying to brush off the past as if, oh, well, I was just talking. I was a private citizen saying crazy stuff. Pay no attention to what Rand Paul of 2007 said. That isn't that long ago. And he certainly was preparing to be a public figure. He was a surrogate for his father's campaign. You know, especially if he wants to bring up things that are 25 years old with the Clintons, he's got to be prepared to deal with things that are eight or nine years old with him. 

Given Todd and Mitchell's eagerness to chastise Rand Paul for objecting to Guthrie’s questions about his policy changes, one would expect that the media would have been just as tough on President Obama when he flip-flopped on  gay marriage in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election.

Rather than criticize Obama at the time, the media hailed his so-called evolution on gay marriage. Some in the liberal media, such as NBC's Ann Curry even wondered if Republicans like Mitt Romney who had not suddenly flip-flopped like Obama were on the “wrong side of history.”   

See relevant transcript below. 

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports

April 8, 2015

ANDREA MITCHELL: And on another political front, Rand Paul is in New Hampshire where he started the day by taking on none other than Savannah Guthrie on the Today show. Not a good move. It was a memorable interview that quickly went downhill for the newly declared presidential candidate. 

--

MITCHELL: Chuck Todd is NBC News Political Director and the moderator of Meet the Press and joins me now. What can you say? 

CHUCK TODD: Well look, this is a standard trick in the playbook of some politicians. If they don't like the premise of a question that they know puts – 

MITCHELL: It’s his record.

TODD: Exposes hypocrisy on this, and sort of does this. You know, you immediately attack the premise, attack the thing. It's sort of standard shtick. Particularly, I think some Republican candidates believe that there's no downside to it because the base is always ginned up when you beat up the press. You're never going to have the base Republican voter side with the press. But I think he's developing a -- he's got to be careful here. This is turning into a habit, particularly over -- this is now two prominent women interviewers – 

MITCHELL: Kelly Evans of CNBC. 

TODD: Kelly Evans of CNBC, Savannah now. He seems to jump on it before -- this is a tricky place for him to be. He needs to probably watch videotape of himself. 

MITCHELL: Because the rollout was widely praised. 

TODD: Well done. Absolutely. Well done. And everything he’s doing here, it's like this is -- this seems to be –what they call and unforced error.

MITCHELL: But the rollout was an orchestrated, carefully constructed, no-interview zone. It's very different when you go up against – 

TODD: Any interviewer here. You know, last night on Fox, it’s interesting here. He’s got, even with Hannity, he wasn't as argumentative as he was with Savannah, but he's trying to brush off the past as if, oh, well, I was just talking. I was a private citizen saying crazy stuff. Pay no attention to what Rand Paul of 2007 said. That isn't that long ago. 

And he certainly was preparing to be a public figure. He was a surrogate for his father's campaign. You know, especially if he wants to bring up things that are 25 years old with the Clintons, he's got to be prepared to deal with things that are eight or nine years old with him. 

MITCHELL: Especially since he doesn't have a long track record in public life. 

TODD: Right. 

MITCHELL: That if he wants to be a senator jumping into this, the way Barack Obama did-

TODD: That’s right.

MITCHELL: You have to be prepared to answer questions about where you were ten or so years ago.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential MSNBC Andrea Mitchell Reports Andrea Mitchell Savannah Guthrie Chuck Todd Rand Paul

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