‘New Day’ Covers Tlaib Outburst; Berman Notes Outrage Would Be Fierce If GOPer Told Off Obama

The morning after Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI) made some vulgar comments about the need to impeach President Trump, ABC’s Good Morning America refused to cover it, but CNN’s New Day offered a welcome contrast as not only as Tlaib’s tirade covered, but it was covered heavily across the show’s three hour duration.

Most notably, co-host John Berman repeatedly wondered about what the outrage would be like if a hypothetical freshmen Republican member of Congress had said the same thing during the Barack Obama presidency. Touché, John. Touché.

 

 

After two short mentions/teases, Berman and co-host Alisyn Camerota went to Tlaib’s comments at 6:19 a.m. Eastern and, after playing the tape, Camerota remarked to CNN political reporter MJ Lee that “she knows that people are holding cameras up like this....so....this wasn’t like a hot mic moment, this was a message, and think that you can hear a lot of the freshman class is filled with vim and vigor....and so, will we see some flamethrowing?”

Lee replied that “this is not the kind of language we are used to hearing from sworn in members on Capitol Hill,” but then offered spin (click “expand”):

However, we do know that the issue of impeachment is one that people around the country think about and obviously — especially for the critics and people who are not supporters of the president, they do get worked up about this issue, and Democratic members who are running for office or are already in politics, they know that this is an important way to sort of rally the base and is a way to get supporters excited, and I think it's not a mistake that a new member of Congress on the very first day on the job would talk about this issue. I don't know that using that kind of language is necessarily advisable, but, yes, expect members of Congress to be talking about impeachment sort of nonstop for the next year. 

Berman then first brought up the important “what if game”: 

What if this had happened under Obama and a freshmen Republican member of Congress on the first day on the job had called Obama a motherer f-er, you know, it would be a big deal. I mean, it is — it is something worth pointing out.

Political analyst David Gregory deemed Tlaib’s vulgarity “wrong” and “[i]t creates all kinds of problems for Democrats, for people who go after the crudeness and crassness of President Trump and, unfortunately, those adjectives are warranted given the way he’s expressed himself” even though “[i]t certainly doesn't excuse it on the other side.”

The discussion went on for few more minutes, but then the issue came back around in the 7:00 a.m. hour. Berman made sure to ask new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairwoman and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL) about Tlaib (click “expand”):

BERMAN: You also come from a district from that President Trump won in the last election. It is a Trump district, so this will be of interest to you. New member of Congress, Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, just elected, she wrote an op-ed yesterday where she called for the impeachment of President Trump. That is an old position for her, but there was new language she used talking to supporters. Listen

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].”

BERMAN: Alright, there are two issues there: The language and the call for impeachment. Let’s separate them. First of all, was the language appropriate for a member of congress? 

BUSTOS: Well, passions are running high. Let's just — let’s leave it at that, okay. But as it pertains to impeachment, as I said a little bit ago, John, I was a — I was a print journalist — I was a newspaper reporter and editor for 17 years, and as you know, what guides reporters, what you always have to go by is follow the truth and we are in the middle or maybe toward the tail end of an investigation with Robert Mueller. What I would like to see happen is let's let that play out and let's see what he reports back and then we will take it from there. We have very able and competent and reasonable men running our Oversight committees, Oversight, Intelligence, the Judiciary, they will follow the truth and where the truth leads we’ll have to respond when we get to the end of that. 

Tlaib came up in the next hour when Berman wondered to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) if he “approve[s] of that language.” Nadler responded that he doesn’t “like that language” and “[m]ore to the point, I disagree” because “[i]t is too early to talk about that intelligently” without the Mueller report and their own House probes.

In the next block, Tlaib was discussed during a panel consisting of Scott Jennings plus CNN hosts S.E. Cupp and David Axlerod. As expected in this age of Trump, Cupp agreed with Nadler and Tlaib used “awful language” even though “Trump has coarsened the language around politics to a really disturbing effect.”

Berman next went to Axelrod, who was also unnerved by Tlaib (click “expand”):

BERMAN: I never thought I would see the day. David Axelrod, I will note that people on Twitter, liberals particularly don’t even like that we’re suggesting there is something wrong with Representative Tlaib saying they should impeach the mother-f’er. People are saying it was just locker room talk of all things, David. 

CAMEROTA: Why are you reading Twitter.

BERMAN: It is interesting. But, David, you know if someone said this about your former boss, President Obama, for a Republican member of Congress had said this about President Obama, it would have been a big deal.

AXELROD: It would have been a big deal and I don't think it was the right thing to do, but there were members on the Republican side who did things like that and were called out for it. Look, I think impeachment — this has been a long running debate within the Democratic Party. I think impeachment can't be a kind of casual political tool. It has to be done with — I think Nadler was right. It has to be done on the basis of very, very clear evidence and only under certain circumstances. Otherwise it becomes just one more tool in the political tool box and every president is going to face that. So, I actually think the approach Nadler laid out is the right approach. Wait to see what Mueller has to say, wait and see what it says in his report, and if it rises to the level that you can make a clear case to 100 percent of the country that the President has violated his oath, then you move forward. 

Camerota went to Jennings and after she asked about whether Tlaib’s comments showed how “decorum” could be “dead,” one of the rare CNN conservatives unloaded (click “expand”):

Well, what I thought was noteworthy about what she claimed to have said is she claimed to have said it to her child. I mean, this wasn't saying it to a room full of partisans, you know, off the cuff. This was recounting her own words to her child which, I don’t know if that has anything to do with our political discourse, but it makes me wonder how she speaks to her child. I mean, with S.E. Cupp and Jerry Nadler on the same page, all I can say is Donald Trump is the hell of a drug. I mean, just, it’s really amazing to me that we’re cherrypicking Nadler’s comments about impeachment when, earlier in the interview, right out of the gate he said we're not going to wait for the Mueller report. That was a direct quote and then he went on to list all the things he was going to do before the Mueller report even comes out. Nancy Pelosi is not going to be able to hold these folks back. You’ve got these new freshmen want to impeach the president, not because they do but because their supporters. Almost 80 percent of Democrats in CNN’s exit poll in the midterms said they wanted Democrats to start impeachment proceedings. This issue is on the front burner whether Pelosi likes it or not.

So, what did we learn here, folks? Well, it’s the timeless lesson of how even broken clocks can occasionally be right.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s New Day on January 4, click “expand.”

CNN’s New Day
January 4, 2019
6:01 a.m. Eastern

ALISYN CAMEROTA: And a freshmen Democratic Congresswoman raising eyebrows this morning for a profane comment caught on camera about President Trump.

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB (MI): When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].”

CAMEROTA: Fair to say we have a lot to cover this morning. 

JOHN BERMAN: Uncover the bleep. 

CAMEROTA: Oh no, we're keeping that covered.

(....)

6:15 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]

BERMAN: A freshman member of congress on day one for her language calling for the President to be impeached. You are going to have to hear this. That's next.

(....)

6:19 a.m. Eastern

CAMEROTA: Newly sworn in Democratic congressman, Rashida Tlaib, under fire this morning for comments she made calling for president trump to be impeached. Listen. 

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].”

CAMEROTA: Alright, we’re back with our panel David Gregory, MJ Lee, and Alex Burns. MJ, she knows that people are holding cameras up like this, they’re taping it, so she’s not — she — this wasn’t like a hot mic moment, this was a message, and think that you can hear a lot of the freshman class is filled with vim and vigor, as my euphemism for something else, and so, will we see some flamethrowing? I mean, is this the style they are coming to Washington that they think will be effective? 

MJ LEE: Probably and particularly on the impeachment issue, yes, this is not the kind of language we are used to hearing from sworn in members on Capitol Hill. However, we do know that the issue of impeachment is one that people around the country think about and obviously — especially for the critics and people who are not supporters of the president, they do get worked up about this issue, and Democratic members who are running for office or are already in politics, they know that this is an important way to sort of rally the base and is a way to get supporters excited, and I think it's not a mistake that a new member of Congress on the very first day on the job would talk about this issue. I don't know that using that kind of language is necessarily advisable, but, yes, expect members of Congress to be talking about impeachment sort of nonstop for the next year. 

BERMAN: Alisyn knows I have no problem with swear words, I like to use them at the appropriate times.

CAMEROTA: Oh, you should hear it every morning her. Woo.

BERMAN: But — but David Gregory, you know, we could play the What If game. What if this had happened under Obama and a freshmen Republican member of Congress on the first day on the job had called Obama a motherer f-er, you know, it would be a big deal. I mean, it is — it is something worth pointing out.

DAVID GREGORY: Yeah, absolutely. It's wrong, it’s wrong. It creates all kinds of problems for Democrats, for people who go after the crudeness and crassness of President Trump and, unfortunately, those adjectives are warranted given the way he’s expressed himself. It certainly doesn't excuse it on the other side and this is — this is an indication of the problem that Nancy Pelosi and Repub — Democratic leaders have, both stylistically and also substantively because there this a lot of energy to come in, you’ve been elected, let’s overturn what’s going on, let's impeach the President. You don't know if there are any grounds for that, and until Robert Mueller finishes his work, nobody is going to know and Democratic leader are cautious, even in anticipation of that, they want to investigate all kinds of areas of Trump administration policy. They want to try and hold him accountable in how erratic he has been, and if the evidence warrants it, they will go deep on this and pursue impeachment. But they want to do it carefully, and the simple reason is politics. They know that overreach is perhaps the biggest danger that Democrats face now in charge in the House. 

CAMEROTA: Alex, this is such a good point that David makes, which is that Nancy Pelosi is going to have to wrangle this new class and this new style of some freshmen flame throwers, and they’re in there and, you know, is — that's not her style, so this already shows, I think, the fisher in the Democratic Party that she’ll have to deal with. 

ALEXANDER BURNS: I don't know that it's a fissure she can deal with or any party leader can deal with in this position because it’s, fundamentally, there are ideological differences or policy differences, and so much of it is cultural and generational, right? That when you see some of the new members using that kind of language, doing it in these really unfiltered settings. As you say, there were smartphones everywhere. It’s not like this was some sort of gaffe on the air, right? This is just how a different cohort of Democrats express themselves, right? And it is part of why the older guard members of the House caucus really felt like they need Pelosi in that top job, because if you had someone who was less formidable, then who knows what kind of pressures would just sort of run wild over the party's agenda. 

(....)

6:29 a.m. Eastern

GREGORY: Well, I think there’s an establishment lane in the Democratic Party that says here's a guy who can win in a general election, but what MJ is talking about is really important, which is all the activism on the left. It’s the same activism that is coming to the House. It’s the same activism that has new members saying, you know, we're going to impeach this guy using that language. So there's — there’s a lot of anger — there's activism, and people are in a hurry and quite eager to remove president Trump from office at the ballot box or in some other way. I think other Democrats are sitting back, thinking: “Okay, who can actually beat this guy?” And that's what gets you to looking at Biden as kind of, you know, an older, wiser member of the Democratic Party, kind of that lane, but all of the activism on the left is going to be important and I think one last thing is that Pelosi is going to get a lot of attention as opposed to the shadow leader of the Democratic Party in a large field, and that's going to be a dynamic to watch. 

(....)

7:01 a.m. Eastern

BERMAN: Also overnight, a freshmen member of Congress raising eyebrows for something she was caught on camera saying about President Trump. This is Representative Rashida Tlaib from Michigan. 

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].”

CAMEROTA: On that note, joining us now, CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for The New York Times, Maggie Haberman. Maggie, we’re not actually going to make you comment on that one. We have a whole segment devoted to that. 

MAGGIE HABERMAN: I appreciate that.

CAMEROTA: You’re welcome.

(....)

7:25 a.m. Eastern

BERMAN: You also come from a district from that President Trump won in the last election. It is a Trump district, so this will be of interest to you. New member of Congress, Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, just elected, she wrote an op-ed yesterday where she called for the impeachment of President Trump. That is an old position for her, but there was new language she used talking to supporters. Listen

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].”

BERMAN: Alright, there are two issues there: The language and the call for impeachment. Let’s separate them. First of all, was the language appropriate for a member of congress? 

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN CHERI BUSTOS (IL): Well, passions are running high. Let's just — let’s leave it at that, okay. But as it pertains to impeachment, as I said a little bit ago, John, I was a — I was a print journalist — I was a newspaper reporter and editor for 17 years, and as you know, what guides reporters, what you always have to go by is follow the truth and we are in the middle or maybe toward the tail end of an investigation with Robert Mueller. What I would like to see happen is let's let that play out and let's see what he reports back and then we will take it from there. We have very able and competent and reasonable men running our Oversight committees, Oversight, Intelligence, the Judiciary, they will follow the truth and where the truth leads we’ll have to respond when we get to the end of that. 

(....)

8:04 a.m. Eastern

BERMAN: So, new — newly-elected Representative Rashida Tlaib, yesterday an op-ed called for the impeachment of president trump. That’s what she wrote. Then, last night, she said this. I want to play it for you. 

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].” 

BERMAN: “We're going to impeach the mother-blanker,” she said. Do you approve of that language, first of all? 

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN JERRY NADLER (NY): Well, no. I don't like that language. More to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We will — we have to follow the facts and get the facts. That's why it is important to protect the Mueller investigation, that’s why it’s important to do our own inquiry. We have to get the facts. We’ll see where the facts lead and maybe that will lead to impeachment. Maybe it won't. It’s much too early. We don’t have all the facts now and we must have the facts in order to say that the — that impeachment, which is a defense. It's not an assault on the President. The impeachment is an defense of the American public, of the separation of powers, of liberty, et cetera. Whether that is necessary can only be determined if you have all the facts, and we don't have them yet. 

BERMAN: You don’t have them yet. You’re waiting for the Mueller investigation. 

NADLER: And for our own investigations too.

BERMAN: I also heard you would like to see some sign of Republicans feeling there should be impeachment before you would go out on a limb; is that true? 

NADLER: Well, what I've said is that impeachment can't be partisan and that you shouldn't do an impeachment unless you believe that you have such evidence, such great evidence of terrible deeds that when that evidence is laid out to the American people, you will probably get an appreciable fraction of the voters who supported the President to agree that you have to do it so you don't have a situation where, for the next 30 years, half of the country saying to the other half, we won the election. You stole it. You have to believe you have such facts and such evidence of such facts that you can show that enough people will be persuaded so you don't divide the country. 

BERMAN: And today, I know it’s not over, but today, do you have those facts or that evidence? 

NADLER: No, we don't have that yet and that’s why I said we’re far from finishing the we have to see what the Mueller report says. That has to come to the Judiciary Committee so that we can relay to the American people and look into it and we have to do our own investigations. There is a lot of smoke. How much fire there is needs to be determined. 

(....)

8:13 a.m. Eastern

CAMEROTA: Okay. Newly sworn in Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is raising eyebrows with a profane remark about President Trump. 

TLAIB: When your son look at you, and says: “Mama, look, you won, bullies don't win.” And I said: “Baby, they don't because we are going to go in there and impeach the [BLEEP].” 

CAMEROTA: Well, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders responded to that moments ago. Here she is.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, you are not going to impeach this president when he's had two of the most successful years that any president has had in modern history. The only reason they want to come after this President is that they know they can't beat him. They can't beat him when it comes to policy debate and they won't beat him when it comes to 2020. They have no solutions for America. People are sick and tired of playing politics. They want them to come to Washington and actually work with the President to get something done. 

CAMEROTA: Alright, joining us now to discuss this and so much more: S.E. Cupp, David Axlerod, and Scott Jennings. The President tweeted something exactly the same, S.E. That’s why she’s something like that because he’s had two — he's been too successful. The past two years have been too successful. I know you are tired of winning.

S.E. CUPP: I am tired of all the winning. 

CAMEROTA: I know you’re tired of all the winning. So, number one, so that's their talking point today about why people are talking about impeachment already. 

CUPP: I actually really like Jerry Nadler’s talking point. You just had him on. I don't like that language and I don't think she's right that you can go after impeachment before the evidence is there. I think that that's the right response to this. This is awful language and I know everyone will say, but Trump. I agree. I'm with you. Trump has coarsened the language around politics to a really disturbing effect. The response should not be to match it. The response should be to rise above it and present clear policy arguments and even emotional arguments that don't have to go down to the basement of m-fer, but — but Jerry Nadler is right. It’s too early for impeachment and that’s, I think, the more important point about what she said.

BERMAN: Can you imagine ten years ago, S.E. Cupp, with the caption “Jerry Nadler is right.”

CUPP: It is the upside down, John? 

BERMAN: I was just going to say, 

CUPP: Bizarro world.

BERMAN: I never thought I would see the day. David Axelrod, I will note that people on Twitter, liberals particularly don’t even like that we’re suggesting there is something wrong with Representative Tlaib saying they should impeach the mother-f’er. People are saying it was just locker room talk of all things, David. 

CAMEROTA: Why are you reading Twitter.

BERMAN: It is interesting. But, David, you know if someone said this about your former boss, President Obama, for a Republican member of Congress had said this about President Obama, it would have been a big deal.

DAVID AXELROD: It would have been a big deal and I don't think it was the right thing to do, but there were members on the Republican side who did things like that and were called out for it. Look, I think impeachment — this has been a long running debate within the Democratic Party. I think impeachment can't be a kind of casual political tool. It has to be done with — I think Nadler was right. It has to be done on the basis of very, very clear evidence and only under certain circumstances. Otherwise it becomes just one more tool in the political tool box and every president is going to face that. So, I actually think the approach Nadler laid out is the right approach. Wait to see what Mueller has to say, wait and see what it says in his report, and if it rises to the level that you can make a clear case to 100 percent of the country that the President has violated his oath, then you move forward. 

CAMEROTA: Scott, I am just curious about the wording that she used. I know that all of our innocent ears are very offended this morning, but I am curious about what S.E., which is the coarsening of dialogue. Is decorum dead? Or am I overstating it? 

SCOTT JENNINGS: Well, what I thought was noteworthy about what she claimed to have said is she claimed to have said it to her child. I mean, this wasn't saying it to a room full of partisans, you know, off the cuff. This was recounting her own words to her child which, I don’t know if that has anything to do with our political discourse, but it makes me wonder how she speaks to her child. I mean, with S.E. Cupp and Jerry Nadler on the same page, all I can say is Donald Trump is the hell of a drug. I mean, just, it’s really amazing to me that we’re cherrypicking —

CAMEROTA: He’s a uniter.

JENNINGS: — Nadler’s comments about impeachment when, earlier in the interview, right out of the gate he said we're not going to wait for the Mueller report. That was a direct quote and then he went on to list all the things he was going to do before the Mueller report even comes out. Nancy Pelosi is not going to be able to hold these folks back. You’ve got these new freshmen —

CUPP: Yeah.

JENNINGS: — who want to impeach the president, not because they do but because their supporters. Almost 80 percent of Democrats in CNN’s exit poll in the midterms said they wanted Democrats to start impeachment proceedings. This issue is on the front burner whether Pelosi likes it or not. 

BERMAN: Jerry Nadler was saying the areas he was going to investigate. One of the, first and foremost, is the acting Attorney General, Matt Whitaker, I think, you know, Chairman Nadler, Chairman Schiff, these new incoming representatives have a clear path forward here to try to restrain some of the members here and we’ll see if they’re successful. I think Nancy Pelosi is going to — I think she’s got other things on her mind this morning. 

CAMEROTA: And I also think that his point is that you don't need the Mueller report to investigate what they see as malfeasance already.

BERMAN: Congressional oversight, which is something that, in theory, could have happened. 

JENNINGS: And Democrats say they don’t need the Mueller report to impeach the President. Sherman has already filed impeachment articles on the day Nancy Pelosi was sworn in. These Democrats don't believe they need the Mueller report. They think they can do it now. 

BERMAN: Some Democrats, some Democrats, not the leadership and we’ll remember the counter to that is there were plenty of Republicans who didn't think we needed Mueller, period, so that's where we are today. I think the Mueller report will come. We will see it and I think these congressional investigations will happen as well.

NB Daily Congress Trump Impeachment Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Trump-Russia probe CNN New Day Video Government & Press John Berman Alisyn Camerota David Axelrod David Gregory Donald Trump Jerrold Nadler Barack Obama
Curtis Houck's picture


Sponsored Links