In brief aside before the first commercial break on Wednesday’s two-hour AC360, panelist and former Gingrich adviser Rich Galen called out the CNN show for its total devotion to the latest musings from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and caused host Anderson Cooper to admit that Trump “has set the agenda...from almost the moment he entered the race.”
After chief political analyst Gloria Borger suggested that part of Trump’s problem in making so many unfathomable comments has to do with his mentality as a businessman to win over customers (i.e. voters), Galen chimed in that he agreed but had a more important issue to raise.
“I'm not nearly as deep a thinker as you guys are, but I do know that we've now been talking about nobody but Donald Trump for the first 24 minutes. We haven't mentioned a single other candidate, a single other issue other than what Donald Trump did today, what he did two weeks ago,” Galen explained.
Cooper initially tried to duck the matter by claiming that Ted Cruz’s name was invoked when he asked CNN’s Cruz beat correspondent Sunlen Serfaty at the top of the 8:00 p.m. hour what the Texas Senator thought about Trump’s now-infamous comments about criminalizing women who’ve had abortions.
Galen fired back that he recognized that Cruz was mentioned, but it was still too much for “the first half hour.” It was at this point that Cooper confessed: “But it's a fair point. I mean, he has set the agenda, you know, from almost the moment he entered the race.”
The relevant portion of the transcript from CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on March 30 can be found below.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360
March 30, 2016
8:23 p.m. Eastern
GLORIA BORGER: I have this theory after covering Mitt Romney is that that's why sometimes business people don't make great political candidates because they come at everything from, what do I need to do to cut the deal? So, Mitt Romney needed to talk about self-deportation to get conservatives on board and Donald Trump looks at everything as a negotiation.
ANDERSON COOPER: But it's worked for him thus far.
RICH GALEN: Yes exactly. That’s exactly what I was going to say and I'm not nearly as deep a thinker as you guys are, but I do know that we've now been talking about nobody but Donald Trump for the first 24 minutes. We haven't mentioned a single other candidate, a single other issue other than what Donald Trump did today, what he did two weeks ago what he said —
COOPER: I did ask Sunlen what Ted Cruz said about Donald Trump.
ANA NAVARRO: And we are waiting for Hillary Clinton to call in at any moment.
GALEN: I know, but the first half hour
COOPER: But it's a fair point. I mean, he has set the agenda, you know, from almost the moment he entered the race
NAVARRO: And there’s a man named John Kasich who’s also running for Republican nomination.