Classic CNN Loses Its Noodle After Obama Rally; Angrily Lashes Out at Trump

Friday afternoon’s CNN Newsroom showed its more than committed to being in the opposition party, hailing a rally featuring former President Barack Obama as “an extraordinary moment” and “so interesting” while lashing out at current President Donald Trump for suggesting that the media have contributed to rising tensions and violence in our country. 

Host Brooke Baldwin made clear what the next nine minutes would be like, seemingly exasperated as she declared: “What a — what an extraordinary moment and a day. Just listening to both of these presidents.”

 

 

Baldwin hyped the scene of Obama and Florida Democrats Andrew Gillum and Bill Nelson before shifting to Trump and lashing out at him for condemning the press: “[H]e said a lot of reporters are creating violence by writing fake news. That was the strongest I had really heard from him, creating violence by writing fake news and I just have to say, Mr. President, you are absolutely wrong, full stop.”

Chief political analyst Gloria Borger agreed, sarcastically quipping that she’s “lost track of time” since “a pipe bomber targeted people, including the media, including CNN, because the President has been screaming about fake news and it seems that that is now sort of out of his mind, as is the call for civility, et cetera, et cetera and we're back to the blame game here.”

Borger admitted that she “hesitate[s]” whether to spend time kvetching about the President’s comments about the media, but refused to admit that this is largely what CNN does with its time because, at the Jeffrey Zucker-led circus, there’s nothing more important to CNN than CNN.

While immediately going to fact-check Trump and not Obama, Baldwin insisted that “we have to function in fact and in truth and I do think we have to call people out” and especially Trump because “he’s lying straight up” to people. It turned out that Obama’s fear-mongering was a-okay at CNN.

Senior political reporter Maeve Reston went next and could have easily been mistaken for a former Obama official with this campaign spin (click “expand”):

Yeah, that was just claiming that he didn’t say something he actually said. There's no other way to interpret saying “consider it a rifle” what it means. So, I just think that that contrast we just saw was so interesting because President Obama was really speaking to not just those people in Florida, but voters all over the country who are fed up with Trump's rhetoric, especially the way that he’s ratcheted the rhetoric on the caravan over the last week and President Obama really calling him out for the lying and also for, you know, politics of division and hatred and there will be a lot of people that will listen to that speech. So if President Trump was really indeed trying to walk back his statement about the throwing rocks, it's in part because he is putting his party in jeopardy with his rhetoric right now. He is making it very difficult for other Republicans around the country to hold on to their seats in Congress and that's going to be to his detriment, Brooke. 

White House correspondent and former Smokeroom writer Kaitlan Collins replied to the President’s latest media condemnation by declaring, in part, that “[o]f course, Brooke, it’s not true that it is the media is responsible for the violence, but it is a twist of what the President's own spokesman said on his behalf just not that long ago” that Trump didn’t think anyone was to blame (but presumably the assailants themselves).

For Borger and Collins, the President didn’t actually blame the press for having received mail bombs and polls haven’t shown voters believing that either, but fact-checking at CNN only applies to the President and his supporters.

Borger went last before Baldwin ushered into a commercial break and gushed that “it was very interesting to me to watch Obama because we haven't watched him like this for a long time and he said the character of our country is on the ballot...and I think that might be something that both of these men can agree on, except they see the character of the country in a very — in a very different way and even Obama slipped back into the Hope and Change thing a little bit.”

She touted Obama’s focus on health care, but saw no problem with Obama trying to scare voters about Republicans polluting the environment and taking away their health care. But for Trump, she wasn’t pleased with the President talking both about the economy before falling “back into the old grievance pattern.”

To see the relevant transcript from November 2's CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
November 2, 2018
3:28 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: What a — what an extraordinary moment and a day. Just listening to both of these presidents. First, obviously, former President Obama. You see him shaking hands with Senator Bill Nelson, hoping to hold onto his Senate seat. Andrew Gillum there he’s lifting with, you know, the Tallahassee Mayor, who’s hoping to become the next governor and would be the first black governor in the state of Florida. You heard that message and just before then we listened to President Trump there standing on the South Lawn with — on his way to rallies himself, West Virginia and Indiana later tonight, obviously stumping for the Republicans in those states and could you not have two different presidents with two different messages and two very different audiences, but they may agree that you have an incredibly, incredibly important election coming up. Before I talk to the three of you ladies, I just want to — President Trump, one of the things he said earlier today as he was speaking to media, Gloria, I’m going to start with you, he said a lot of reporters are creating violence by writing fake news. That was the strongest I had really heard from him, creating violence by writing fake news and I just have to say, Mr. President, you are absolutely wrong, full stop. 

GLORIA BORGER: Well, you know, Brooke and don't forget, this is how many days a week? I don’t know. I’ve lost track of time, after a pipe bomber targeted people, including the media, including CNN, because the President has been screaming about fake news and it seems that that is now sort of out of his mind, as is the call for civility, et cetera, et cetera and we're back to the blame game here and, you know, I hesitate sometimes to pick up on everything he throws at us because we ought to maybe move beyond to the actual things he said about other things, which is that he told — he never — he never said that the military should shoot at the border. 

BALDWIN: Let me just — I agree and that was my other — I do think we have to function in fact and in truth and I do think we have to call people out for when they are not speaking that way and so to your point, he said — the quote was “I didn't say shoot” meaning shoot, you know, members of this caravan. Well, yes, yes, he did. We have the tape. Let me roll that. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We will consider that the maximum that we can consider because they're throwing rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago. Really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back. We're going to consider it and I told them consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say consider it a rifle. 

BALDWIN: Kaitlan, I want you to pick up Gloria's point. It's like, no, you said it last night. We even have the video of you saying it last night, so how can he do that? 

KAITLAN COLLINS: Well, Brooke, he seems to be trying to walk back those comments and reverse what he seemed to say when, as you just showed, he kind of trailed off and said when they throw stones and rocks, they — he expects it to be treated as a firearm. Now, Brooke, in the hours since the President made that remark yesterday, several former retired generals have criticized the President for saying as much and we also saw the Nigerian army use it as a justification for them firing on protesters in recent days, killing dozens of them. So, those are the two things that have occurred in the last 24 hours. A lot of criticism of that remark, now President Trump is saying that is not what he meant. He did not mean they should shoot when these migrants throw rocks and stones, whenever that does as happen as he said has been reported. He said instead he believes they should be arrested and prosecuted immediately. So, Brooke, he did seem to be trying to walk that back after getting some criticism, even from members of the military for that remark over the last 24 hours. 

BALDWIN: You know, Maeve, to you, I'm not sure if walking it back is the right way to characterize what Trump is doing. He’s lying. Straight up. 

MAEVE RESTON: Yeah, that was just claiming that he didn’t say something he actually said. There's no other way to interpret saying “consider it a rifle” what it means. So, I just think that that contrast we just saw was so interesting because President Obama was really speaking to not just those people in Florida, but voters all over the country who are fed up with Trump's rhetoric, especially the way that he’s ratcheted the rhetoric on the caravan over the last week and President Obama really calling him out for the lying and also for, you know, politics of division and hatred and there will be a lot of people that will listen to that speech. So if President Trump was really indeed trying to walk back his statement about the throwing rocks, it's in part because he is putting his party in jeopardy with his rhetoric right now. He is making it very difficult for other Republicans around the country to hold on to their seats in Congress and that's going to be to his detriment, Brooke. 

BALDWIN: Kaitlan, what did you have make of when President Trump said it was — it was the, you know, media creating the violence? 

COLLINS: Well, Brooke, that's interesting because Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, not that long ago was saying the President wasn't blaming anyone for what happened when those pipe bombs were put in the mail and sent to his political targets. He said that he was not placing blame at anyone, but Brooke, we saw the President lay the blame for violence in the country at the media's feet right there. That reporter asked him if he felt he was inciting violence, creating some kind of political violence with the rhetoric that he uses — that very often heated and he had said — pointed his finger at the reporter, the reporter said on Twitter, and said: “It's you that is the one creating the violence.” Of course, Brooke, it’s not true that it is the media is responsible for the violence, but it is a twist of what the President's own spokesman said on his behalf just not that long ago. 

BALDWIN: By the way, the music behind Katilan, obviously, she’s — she’s in Huntington, West Virginia ahead of the President’s stumping for candidates there. Just to explain the noise. Gloria, I want to come back to you, though, on Maeve's point on the contrast of all of this. I mean, to just watch TV over the past 25 minutes, you saw former President Obama and President Trump and the one thing they agree on is that this is the most important election of their lifetimes. 

BORGER: Right and, you know, it was very interesting to me to watch Obama because we haven't watched him like this for a long time and he said the character of our country is on the ballot for this election and I think that might be something that both of these men can agree on, except they see the character of the country in a very — in a very different way and even Obama slipped back into the Hope and Change thing a little bit if you noticed. But you heard Obama sticking to the Democratic talking points, which are preexisting conditions, such an important issue for Democrats, pointing out that when Republicans had an opportunity, they tried to take them away. They were one vote short of repealing the Affordable Care Act. They're not defending the Affordable Care Act in court, taking that home to Democratic voters, making that the issue, reminding them of pictures of the children separating from their parents at the border, for example, And then you saw Donald Trump talking about, yes, his accomplishments of the economy, which he ought to be able to do. But then he slips back into the old grievance pattern and so, instead of talking about what he achieved, which is good economy, tax reform he can brag about, he talks about all the other things he throwing against the wall, sanctions against Iran. He’s — and we know the entire list we've heard for the last week and a half, birthright citizenship, a new tax cut for the middle class, et cetera, et cetera and then he slips. You know, he kind of invents these things. He starts a little higher because I'm sure they told him to, and then, you know, he talks about what he's going to do with Iran, what may be happening with China, which may be a good thing and then he slips into that grievance and what Obama is saying is, you know, don't be bamboozled by the grievance candidates here. You know, he said to the folks who are out there why are you so mad when you won the last election, the ones who were heckling him, right? So it was a real interesting, interesting study because I think Trump understands that he can win with fear and that’s —

BALDWIN: And that’s what he's hoping he'll be able to use to accomplish to bring home the “W” on Tuesday.

NBDaily 2018 Governors 2018 Congressional Double Standards CNN CNN Newsroom Brooke Baldwin Gloria Borger Kaitlan Collins Maeve Reston Donald Trump Barack Obama
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