Dowd Dismisses DNC Clinton Deal, Todd Sees 'Grenade' for Dems

As the morning broadcast network newscasts on Friday and Saturday gave attention to former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile's charge that the DNC was rigged to favor Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, there was a striking contrast in the way ABC's Matthew Dowd dismissed the story on Saturday whereas NBC's Chuck Todd on Friday described the revelation as a "grenade" for Democrats. The NBC host even took at jab at Barack Obama, blaming the former President for leaving the DNC's finances in such a mess.

 

 

After the evening newscasts on Thursday ignored the Brazile bombshell, the morning shows on Friday began giving it some air in reaction to President Donald Trump railing against Clinton over the issue. On Saturday's Good Morning America, when host Dan Harris asked Dowd whether the Justice Department should investigate the DNC matter, Dowd focused only on the issue of legality and downplayed the arrangement as normal while portraying other Clinton controversies as overblown. 

Dowd -- who comes from a history of Republican politics -- sounded like an MSNBC-style Republican as he could find nothing untoward about the DNC arrangement:

This is total misdirection. I mean, he may as well be David Copperfield in Las Vegas with the level of misdirection he's doing in this. You look at all of the things that he's talked about. There's nothing to the uranium story -- that's all been debunked. This idea that Hillary and her campaign colluded with Russia -- that's been debunked. 

And now this thing with Donna Brazile and the DNC and everything -- all of us know that both parties rig the process in order to engage a certain kind of voters. But this is standard procedure, and what the DNC did and the agreements they had with Hillary Clinton -- it's a total misdirection in order to take the spotlight off Donald Trump and the investigations he has in order to try to direct it somewhere else.

But on Friday's Today show, Todd predicted trouble for Democrats in his analysis. After host Savannah Guthrie brought up Brazile's charges and asked about the significance, Todd began by arguing that it should have already been "obvious" that the scales were being tipped in Clinton's favor:

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Well, on one hand, it was Captain Obvious, okay? She was the party insider -- he wasn't even a member of the Democratic party. Of course the DNC had a finger on the scale. And of course Bernie Sanders knew they always had a finger on the scale for Hillary Clinton. You just had to look at that debate schedule.

He then went more negative on Democrats as he added:

That said, what Donna Brazile said, to say that it was to a point that it was essentially rigged in her favor, that can't be unwrung. So while the Clinton campaign is arguing that, "Well, if you look at the details, Bernie Sanders signed the same agreement. He could have exerted similar influence -- he just didn't have big-dollar fundraisers to do that." And that all sounds fine and good, but this is a large problem, Savannah. This is a party that's barely been able to keep itself together -- the Sanders wing and sort of the Clinton-Obama wing.

As Guthrie was wrapping up and noted that "the Hillary campaign was basically bankrolling the Democratic party," Todd jumped back in to take a swipe at Obama: "Well, they were because the DNC was bankrupt because of Barack Obama."

Below are transcripts of relevant portions of the Friday, November 3, Today show on NBC, and the Saturday, November 4, Good Morning America on ABC:

#NBC's Today:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Donna Brazile is a longtime Democratic party official. She was even the acting chair for a time during the 2016 campaign. She wrote an extraordinary piece in which she basically says that Hillary Clinton -- her campaign exercised "undue and inappropriate influence over the Democratic party" in the primary such that they were pro-Hillary when they should have been a more even playing field. Do I have that right? And if that's so, what's the significance?

CHUCK TODD: Well, on one hand, it was Captain Obvious, okay? She was the party insider -- he wasn't even a member of the Democratic party. Of course the DNC had a finger on the scale. And of course Bernie Sanders knew they always had a finger on the scale for Hillary Clinton. You just had to look at that debate schedule.

That said, what Donna Brazile said, to say that it was to a point that it was essentially rigged in her favor, that can't be unwrung. So while the Clinton campaign is arguing that, "Well, if you look at the details, Bernie Sanders signed the same agreement. He could have exerted similar influence -- he just didn't have big-dollar fundraisers to do that." And that all sounds fine and good, but this is a large problem, Savannah. This is a party that's barely been able to keep itself together -- the Sanders wing and sort of the Clinton-Obama wing. 

This is a grenade, and I think the current DNC chair -- he's in big trouble here. He's got to figure out how to put this together, but he was -- he had the support of Obama and Clinton. The Sanders forces supported somebody else. I have a feeling that's how it's going to play out.

GUTHRIE: Yeah, got to leave it there, but, I mean, the allegation that the Hillary campaign was basically bankrolling the Democratic party. Chuck, thank you.

TODD: Well, they were because the DNC was bankrupt because of Barack Obama.

#ABC's Good Morning America:

DAN HARRIS: Is Trump right that the DOJ should be looking at Hillary and the Democrats? Was there some sort of law-breaking here? Or do you think this is an effort to distract from the Russia story?

MATTHEW DOWD: This is total misdirection. I mean, he may as well be David Copperfield in Las Vegas with the level of misdirection he's doing in this. You look at all of the things that he's talked about. There's nothing to the uranium story -- that's all been debunked. This idea that Hillary and her campaign colluded with Russia -- that's been debunked. 

And now this thing with Donna Brazile and the DNC and everything -- all of us know that both parties rig the process in order to engage a certain kind of voters. But this is standard procedure, and what the DNC did and the agreements they had with Hillary Clinton -- it's a total misdirection in order to take the spotlight off Donald Trump and the investigations he has in order to try to direct it somewhere else.


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CyberAlerts 2016 Presidential Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video DNC Chuck Todd Matthew Dowd Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Donna Brazile