CNN Republican Lauds Buttigieg's 'Brilliant' Slam on 'Hypocrites' Limbaugh, Trump

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CNN has repeatedly boosted Pete Buttigieg after Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that voters might not be comfortable with him kissing his partner Chasten Buttigieg on stage. On Sunday's State of the Union, fill-in anchor Dana Bash tossed this softball: "Now, there has been bipartisan criticism of him for those remarks. I wanted to give you a chance to respond, if you would like to." 

Then in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night, CNN anchor Erin Burnett sympathetically set up Buttigieg again to attack Limbaugn and President Trump on this controversy, letting Buttigieg suggest they don't live by the Scriptures. 

On Wednesday afternoon, CNN host Brooke Baldwin brought it up again, so CNN "Republican" contributor Tara Setmayer could bash Trump and Limbaugh and laud Buttigieg's town hall answer as "brilliant."

Baldwin began: "Pete Buttigieg town hall last night. He's up there, and he responds now to Rush Limbaugh's homophobic assault about his marriage. Here he was."

They played their favorite clip of Buttigieg: "The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values. I mean, sorry, but one thing about my marriage is it's never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star after cheating on my spouse with him or her."

After Baldwin joined her two guests in smiling approvingly at the gay presidential candidate's hit on Limbaugh and Trump, the CNN host then read a transcript of Limbaugh from his radio show recounting that President Trump phoned him as he was about to have a medical procedure and advised him not to apologize for the comments he recently made about how Trump would look more masculine than the gay Buttigieg in a general election. 

Baldwin first went to Setmayer for her response, and the Republican guest took the lead in attacking Limbaugh. "First of all, it's melodramatic because that's what Rush does. So the whole thing about 'Oh, the President called me back and I was having a medical procedure,' I mean, the whole thing is so reality-show dramatic that it's hard to take any of this seriously."

Limbaugh has life-threatening cancer, and this is "melodrama"? In 2018, this CNN spinner said White House aide Kelly Sadler should be "fired" for making a flippant remark about John McCain dying of cancer. 

Then she returned to trashing both men: 

TARA SETMAYER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And the two of them are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to that. Pete Buttigieg had a brilliant answer to it, and I think it just furthers this sensationalism that's coming from the right-wing media and right-wing talk radio to gin people up to go, you know, try to make these kinds of issues, especially about Pete Buttigieg being married to a man. They've telegraphed that that will be something they will go after because they know the social conservatives that listen to them intently will find this as something that is fodder for them. And I think it's not right. I mean, it's disrespectful to gay families in this country, but it's not surprising to debase themselves this way on talk right-wing radio for many years now with this.

Host Baldwin then injected her own disapproval of the President calling Limbaugh: "We got to go, but I think also my point bringing that up -- and you made part of the point -- it just doesn't -- the President's governing the country, and instead this is what he's choosing to spend some of his time on."

Baldwin also brought in openly gay Hilary Rosen to add her critical thoughts. Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, February 19, CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

BROOKE BALDWIN: Pete Buttigieg town hall last night. He's up there, and he responds now to Rush Limbaugh's homophobic assault about his marriage. Here he was.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values. I mean, sorry, but one thing about my marriage is it's never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star after cheating on my spouse with him or her.

BALDWIN: This comes after Rush Limbaugh said on Monday that he is not apologizing because the President called him and told him not to -- quote, this is Rush talking, Limbaugh talking.

"He calls when I am moments away from commencing a medical procedure, and I had to tell the doctors you've got to give me a half hour. The President's calling. OK, we'll wait a half hour. Then I told the White House, look, I've got a medical procedure in ten minutes, can you have the President call me back in 35, and they did. So he called back, and he said, Rush, I just got to tell you something, never apologize. Don't ever. And I said for what?"

There's obviously the piece of what Pete Buttigieg said last night, but also knowing that the President took the time to pick up the phone and call Rush Limbaugh to say, "Don't apologize," and then he had a medical procedure, he was like, "Okay, I'll call you back, but don't apologize." You know, Tara, how do you see that?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. First of all, it's melodramatic because that's what Rush does. So the whole thing about "Oh, the President called me back and I was having a medical procedure," I mean, the whole thing is so reality show dramatic that it's hard to take any of this seriously. And the fact that the President did that, if he actually did do that, I wonder, but if he did, it just goes to show you the things that this President is obsessing over, like this is what they're worrying about.

And the two of them are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to that. Pete Buttigieg had a brilliant answer to it, and I think it just furthers this sensationalism that's coming from the right-wing media and right-wing talk radio to gin people up to go, you know, try to make these kinds of issues, especially about Pete Buttigieg being married to a man. They've telegraphed that that will be something they will go after because they know the social conservatives that listen to them intently will find this as something that is fodder for them. And I think it's not right. I mean, it's disrespectful to gay families in this country, but it's not surprising to debase themselves this way on talk right-wing radio for many years now with this.

BALDWIN: We got to go, but I think also my point bringing that up -- and you made part of the point -- it just doesn't -- the President's governing the country, and instead this is what he's choosing to spend some of his time on.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And he's getting away with hypocrisy on the gay rights issue forever, I mean.

SETMAYER: Yup.

BALDWIN: Yup. Hilary Rosen, Tara Setmayer thank you both very much.

NB Daily 2020 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Homosexuality Same-sex marriage CNN CNN Newsroom Video Hilary Rosen Brooke Baldwin Rush Limbaugh Donald Trump Pete Buttigieg


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