With Hurd Leaving, CNN Pretends to Be VERY Concerned About the GOP’s Future

While he’s received some praise during his congressional career, the liberal media’s use of sudden respect boiled with Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) announcing that he won’t seek reelection. And, as with many cases of when GOPers either retire or pass away, the liberal media used the occasion to lament how their hated opposition just isn’t as respectable as it used to be. 

Throughout the day on Friday, CNN put that truism on display when, in reality, they don't give a damn about the future of the party or the conservative movement.

Friday morning’s CNN Newsroom featured host Poppy Harlow huffing that Hurd’s move was “this incredibly telling because he said just a few weeks ago he said to our Christiane Amanpour, I am the new face of the Republican Party, but not right now.”

Harlow posed the same concerns to TheBeat DC’s Tiffany Cross, who was the rare voice to come out and bash Hurd by questioning if he was a real African-American because he was a Republican who, among other views, was pro-life (click “expand”):

Well, look, this is a hugely important district to both parties. It's a swing district. Of course he represents the longest stretch of the border between U.S. and Mexico. He has been an opponent of the President's border wall, but I would argue that I don't know how tough a loss this is. You know, I know he's, you know, championing his own diversity, but I would quote Ayanna Pressley and say I don't know if black faces are as important as black voices and the truth of the matter is he voted with Donald Trump 96 percent on the time. He was one of the people who blocked the House efforts to get Trump's tax returns. He's extremely pro-life — or I shouldn’t say — he's anti-choice, I should say. So he, I mean, he does fall in line with the Republican Party. If you remember, in last cycle, he was running against Gina Ortiz Jones and the election was so close that it wasn't called on election night. So, it was a little delay in declaring victory and Jones actually came to the freshmen orientation. She was determined to be there. So I think he saw the writing on the wall. This has consistently been a swing district and I think it got harder for him to defend some of the President's rhetoric, even though he voted with the President most of the time. 

Of course, Harlow and co-host/former Obama official Jim Sciutto didn’t have a problem with Cross’s crass assertion about Hurd’s skin color.

Speaking of Sciutto, he wondered to The Washington Post’s Sung min Kim whether House Republicans could have a successful 2020 campaign to which Kim responded by correctly noting that there are over two dozen Trump districts held by Democrats.

But she also ruled that the GOP is not a big “tent party” anymore under Trump (click “expand”):

KIM: [I]t was a gut punch to Republicans who are trying to lay low and ride out the Trump phase of the Republican Party and hoping that the Republican Party can once again be an open tent party or just strive to be an open tent party. But I have to tell you it was really striking. I was watching the President's rally last night and at the same time, Congress Hurd's announcement of retirement comes in and to see the dichotomy of someone who once espoused the future of the party and to seeing the president who is really driving home the base strategy on immigration, on culture issues, on socialism and seeing which part of the Republican Party is winning at this moment is very clear and very obvious. 

SCIUTTO: That's an interesting contrast. No question. 

Things were worse on At This Hour as host Kate Bolduan pretended to show concern for the GOP with guests and former Congressmen Charlie Dent (R-PA) and Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). 

Leaving aside Gutierrez’s nonsense, Dent wasn’t exactly the best person considering he quit Congress in May 2018 to cash in with gigs at CNN and now at the D.C. firm DLA Piper. So if Dent really cared, perhaps he would have stayed.

On Inside Politics, host John King fretted that there’s “a growing House GOP diversity crisis” with Hurd being prevented from making inroads with minorities because Trump’s caused him to only be received with scorn.

Reporters Carl Hulse with The New York Times and Tarini Parti of The Wall Street Journal also tried to act concerned (click “expand”):

PARTI: That’s right. Will Hurd was one of the four members of congress who condemned the President's tweets, but I think it's interesting what this means for the future of the Republican Party, what this means for their recruitment efforts this cycle and beyond. Are they going to be able to get more women, more people of color. He was the only black Republican in Congress. With his retirement, what happens to those recruitment efforts. And than also, what happens to other members in those swing districts? What happens to the other three Republicans — other two Republicans, one of them has also said she's retiring who also condemned the President's tweets? So I think we might see more Republicans announcing that they're also going to decide to retire. 

(....)

HULSE: I mean, the minority is a terribly place to be in the House and you just have no power. Tom Cole has talked about this with me in the past and say, you know, you don't control anything. I think the devastating retirement for them too was Susan Brooks from Indiana, she was the head of the recruiting effort for women, so the woman recruiter left. They have had a primary where there's women's groups that came and tried to push a woman through a primary down in North Carolina. The Freedom Caucus leaders opposed her and backed the man who won. I think they’ve got real trouble here. To hear a congressman from Texas say there might not be a Republican Party in Texas, hard to imagine, but I think this is going make it much easier for the Democrats to hold the House. These open seats are the best place to go. So you can almost look down the road right now and say Dems hold. 

Chief political correspondent Dana Bash was the only voice to offer a reality check, which was that there have been “a lot of Republican female candidates and they didn't win.” CNN sure loves having Republicans Mia Love on their payroll to put Trump on full blast, but not so much when she was fighting for her political life.

Before cutting away to a press conference from socialist New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), CNN Right Now fill-in host Pamela Brown boasted of “this Republican exodus” and wondered “[w]hat impact does this have on the diversity of the Republican Party.”

But leave it to the afternoon CNN Newsroom and host Brooke Baldwin, who’s supposedly a journalist but more so a partisan willing to peddle the Zucker party line, partnering with Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston and liberal Republican Leah Wright Rigueur to throw an early funeral for the GOP nationally.

Livingston ruled that Hurd was perhaps worn down from reporters bugging GOP members on a daily basis about Trump tweets and predicted that there are lots of Republicans “running scared” about the party’s future. On that latter point, Baldwin gloated whether this could mean they might not be able to retake “the House anytime soon.”

Asked whether Hurd leaving will “increase the isolation or loneliness of black Republicans,” Wright played the role of token and loyal cable news Republican, which is side with the left being in the driver’s seat and give the current party its final rites (click “expand”):

I mean, the loneliness of the black Republican indeed. I know this announcement may be shocking but we shouldn't be surprised. Will Hurd has had an incredibly hard and difficult job, which is that essentially he has to represent the Republican banner but he also has to sell Republican policies and Donald Trump to a district and area that is increasingly not only skeptical but actually hostile to these kind of ideas and hostile to the idea of president Trump and then he has to navigate his race, his community, and all of these things in a kind of shrinking pool within the Republican Party that’s not easy and historically what we've seen in these kind of situations is, at a certain point, Republicans like Will Hurd hit their breaking point and end up leaving the party. It also never happens in isolation. You know, we see a larger exodus at the state, the local level, the national level. We see it in things like the RNC with people resigning. So, this is an indication that something is seriously wrong, has been for some time, and just the real difficulty that Republicans are going to have trying to appeal to a nation that increasingly does not look like the Republican Party. 

Pushing a CNN narrative in the house of Sam Feist and Jeffrey Zucker, Baldwin and Wright concluded by fretting about the GOP supposedly facing down death (click “expand”):

BALDWIN: Remember that autopsy, Leah, right? Back after the 2012 election, that Republican autopsy? It said that they concluded the party shouldn’t and I’m quoting them, write off any demographic and that they needed to speak to minority groups on both sides of the aisle. So, now you have one lone black Republican on the Senate side, Tim Scott, South Carolina. How do they even begin to attract more people, Leah? 

RIGUEUR: You know, the problem with this is everything they have to do to attract these constituencies that they talk about, minority constituencies, under represented populations, women, are all things that they are going to have difficulty doing because it is completely at odds with Donald Trump and so that's where you see the real that's where you see the real so a figure like Tim Scott is really going to be, you know, under the spotlight. People are going to be looking at his words, they're going to look at his policies, they’re going to be looking at his vote in Congress. And they’re either going to be looking at him to push back at trump or to really rationalize what Trump does. So do you explain your continued support, not only of Donald Trump, but how do you continue to explain your continued support of the Republican Party that has essentially become Donald Trump's party in 2019? That is a difficult, difficult path and it does not bode well for the 2020 election, either the presidential election but also midterm so state and local levels. There is a real possibility that Texas will look politically different in a couple of years. 

BALDWIN: This is significant.

RIGUEUR: The autopsy report warned about this. Yeah.

BALDWIN: That is so significant.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN shows on August 2, click “expand.”

CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto
August 2, 2019
9:31 a.m. Eastern

POPPY HARLOW: On the Republican side of the House, Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican of the House, will not run for re-election and I find this incredibly telling because he said just a few weeks ago he said to our Christiane Amanpour, I am the new face of the Republican Party, but not right now.

LAUREN FOX: It's such a significant loss for the Republican party that's lacking diversity in its ranks in the House Republican conference, and you know, one of the things that has come up that I think is really interesting is just how outspoken he's been at times against the president. Here's what he told The Washington Post about these “send her back” chants. He said: “When you imply someone doesn't look like you or telling them to go back to Africa or whatever, you are implying they’re not an American and you’re implying that they have less worth than you.” So, that gives a sense how outspoken he's been at times against the President and about — against his party for not speaking up against the president. So obviously a significant loss here in not just diversity but also just in diversity of opinion.

(....)

10:24 a.m. Eastern

HARLOW: Guys, I would like to turn the page and talk about Will Hurd, the only African-American Republican in the House, will not seek reelection, Tiffany. To put it in context, let's listen to what he told our Christiane Amanpour just two weeks ago. 

CONGRESSMAN WILL HURD (R-TX) [on CNN International/PBS’s Amanpour & Company, 07/15/19]: I'm the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. I go into communities that most Republicans don't show up in order to take a conservative message. [SCREEN WIPE] If the Republican Party in Texas doesn't start looking like Texas, there won't be a Republican party in Texas. [SCREEN WIPE] I'm the face of the future Republican Party. 

HARLOW: Is he? And what does his decision not to run again tell us? 

TIFFANY CROSS: Well, look, this is a hugely important district to both parties. It's a swing district. Of course he represents the longest stretch of the border between U.S. and Mexico. He has been an opponent of the President's border wall, but I would argue that I don't know how tough a loss this is. You know, I know he's, you know, championing his own diversity, but I would quote Ayanna Pressley and say I don't know if black faces are as important as black voices and the truth of the matter is he voted with Donald Trump 96 percent on the time. He was one of the people who blocked the House efforts to get Trump's tax returns. He's extremely pro-life — or I shouldn’t say — he's anti-choice, I should say. So he, I mean, he does fall in line with the Republican Party. If you remember, in last cycle, he was running against Gina Ortiz Jones and the election was so close that it wasn't called on election night. So, it was a little delay in declaring victory and Jones actually came to the freshmen orientation. She was determined to be there. So I think he saw the writing on the wall. This has consistently been a swing district and I think it got harder for him to defend some of the President's rhetoric, even though he voted with the President most of the time. 

JIM SCIUTTO: Seung min, he’s not the only Republican retiring early. You even have people with senior positions in the party, the woman in charge of recruiting for the next election. Are Republicans worried that 2020 is not going to be a good year for them in the house? 

SEUNG MIN KIM: Exactly. I mean, largely Republicans were going on offense because there are 31 districts, 31 House Democrats who have won seats or hold districts that were won by Trump in 2016. So Republicans have been a little bit on the offensive there in targeting those districts, but you also have to protect the districts, these swing districts that you currently hold and Will Hurd's border district, it’s what we call an R+1 district, it is the swingies of swing district and it was a gut punch to Republicans who are trying to lay low and ride out the Trump phase of the Republican Party and hoping that the Republican Party can once again be an open tent party or just strive to be an open tent party. But I have to tell you it was really striking. I was watching the President's rally last night and at the same time, Congress Hurd's announcement of retirement comes in and to see the dichotomy of someone who once espoused the future of the party and to seeing the president who is really driving home the base strategy on immigration, on culture issues, on socialism and seeing which part of the Republican Party is winning at this moment is very clear and very obvious. 

SCIUTTO: That's an interesting contrast. No question.

(....)

CNN’s Inside Politics
August 2, 2019
12:11 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

KING: Up next for us, a House Republican retiring at age 41. What does will Hurd's decision not to run say about the party's diversity problem?

(....)

12:16 p.m. Eastern

KING: Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House, says he won't run again next November. Hurd never won his district by more than 3,000 votes and a 2020 win would have been tough, but add him to the list, the eighth House Republican now to announce retirement plans. And in Hurd's case, it adds to a growing House GOP diversity crisis. Also on that list are two of the only 13 House Republican women. As Politico observed this morning, “there are more men named Jim in the House than Republican women running for re-election.” Ouch. Just two weeks ago on CNN, Hurd had a very blunt warning for his party. 

HURD [on CNN International/PBS’s Amanpour & Company, 07/15/19]: I'm the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. I go into communities that most Republicans don't show up in order to take a conservative message and when you have this being the debate, that activity becomes even harder. And the only way — you know, I'm from Texas and I always say if the Republican Party in Texas doesn't start looking like Texas, there won't be a Republican party in Texas and I think that goes for the rest of the country. 

KING: Tarini Parti from The Wall Street Journal joins our conversation In the middle when will Hurd said this stuff going on right now, he means the president's tweets attack Democratic Congressmen and women of color and that he's a Republican trying to go into communities to make the case vote Republican in a community of color and essentially getting laughed at. 

TARINI PARTI: That’s right. Will Hurd was one of the four members of congress who condemned the President's tweets, but I think it's interesting what this means for the future of the Republican Party, what this means for their recruitment efforts this cycle and beyond. Are they going to be able to get more women, more people of color. He was the only black Republican in Congress. With his retirement, what happens to those recruitment efforts. And than also, what happens to other members in those swing districts? What happens to the other three Republicans — other two Republicans, one of them has also said she's retiring who also condemned the President's tweets? So I think we might see more Republicans announcing that they're also going to decide to retire. 

KING: I talked to someone this morning who’s very plugged into this environment who predicted by the end of the year it could be 20, maybe even higher than that. Now, what does this tell you? It tells you, number one, they don’t think they’re going to win the majority back next year. They tasted the majority, the majority is great and the minority, to quote a lot of them, sucks and they don't like it, number one. But it's more than that. A lot of them are small government conservatives who believe in things that they're not going to get any action on. One with Speaker Pelosi but two with President Trump. He doesn't believe what they believe. He doesn’t push an agenda that's anything like what they believe. So, let’s look and go through the eight retirements so far. And if you look at the margins here, you know, Rob Woodall in Georgia, that was a close election. So you can say, “oh, it’s a close election. He doesn’t want to run again.” Will Hurd, very close election. But some of these are very big, pro-Republican seats. Probably safe. A Republican will probably win them again if you look at those margins or at least can win them again. But they're leaving why? Because it's no fun, because they’re tired of defending the President, a lot of them complaining about their own leader, Kevin McCarthy, who said he doesn’t have an agenda, doesn't stand up to the president. What is it?

CARL HULSE: I mean, the minority is a terribly place to be in the House and you just have no power. Tom Cole has talked about this with me in the past and say, you know, you don't control anything. I think the devastating retirement for them too was Susan Brooks from Indiana, she was the head of the recruiting effort for women, so the woman recruiter left. They have had a primary where there's women's groups that came and tried to push a woman through a primary down in North Carolina. The Freedom Caucus leaders opposed her and backed the man who won. I think they’ve got real trouble here. To hear a congressman from Texas say there might not be a Republican Party in Texas, hard to imagine, but I think this is going make it much easier for the Democrats to hold the House. These open seats are the best place to go. So you can almost look down the road right now and say Dems hold. 

KING: And to your point, I just want to show this other graphic of women in the House of Representatives, alright. You see right here. There are 89 Democratic women. There are 13 Republicans. 

DANA BASH: That’s right.

KING: And two of them are retiring. 

BASH: That’s right. 

KING: One of them could run for Senate. We don't know if Liz Cheney made her decision or not there. So 13. So you have a party and you're going through a election cycle where president trump struggles with women. President Trump struggles even more with African-American voters. Struggles greatly with Latino voters. Struggles with any voters. His 88 percent of his vote last time was white. The party is headed off a demographic cliff. 

BASH: It absolutely is and the thing about the 13 women right now is that it's not as if Republicans didn't run women. There were a lot of female Republican retirements in the last cycle, a lot of them, But there were also a lot of Republican female candidates and they didn't win. Sometimes they didn't win their primaries. I think in most cases they didn't win their primaries because running — for a Republican woman in a lot of these ruby red districts, the game is running — the game is winning the primary and they had a lot of trouble for whatever reason, whether it's because of their gender or not. The party itself, the party apparatus itself is not doing a good enough job recruiting these women and making sure that they win and that is not coming from me, that is coming from Republican women in Congress. 

KING: That's the women themselves saying it. That's why they were furious about that North Carolina race, saying can you at least back off one race, we need to make some gains here.

ELIANA JOHNSON: That’s right. A Republican woman running in a primary has a far lower chance of succeeding than a Democratic woman and that — I think there's frustration that across the Republican Party the leaders, and this means elected leaders but also outside groups, have not come together to say we're all onboard with trying to recruit more women and clear the lanes in some of these primaries to get them in Congress and then to support them once they're there. 

KING: Just a coincidence, the leaders of most of those groups and organizations are white men, right? Just gonna connect — can you connect those dots? Hmmm.

(....)

CNN Right Now
August 2, 2019
1:07 p.m. Eastern

PAMELA BROWN: I also want to look at the other side of the aisle, the Republican side and this Republican exodus that appears to be happening in the House. Texas Congressman Will Hurd has just become the eighth Republican lawmaker to announce retirement. He is the sixth to do so just in the last two weeks alone. What impact does this have on the diversity of the Republican Party?

(....)

CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin
August 2, 2019
3:19 p.m. Eastern

BROOKE BALDWIN: Last fall Republican Congressman Will Hurd barely won reelection in his Texas district, defeating his Democratic opponent by less than a thousand votes and while his margin of victory was pretty small, Hurd’s presence loomed large as the only black Republican in the House and the only Republican to represent a district on the border. And recently Congressman Hurd talked to Christiane Amanpour about his unique spot that he occupied within the party. 

HURD [on CNN International/PBS’s Amanpour & Company, 07/15/19]: I'm the only black Republican in the House of Representatives. I go into communities that most Republicans don't show up in order to take a conservative message. [SCREEN WIPE] If the Republican Party in Texas doesn't start looking like Texas, there won't be a Republican party in Texas. [SCREEN WIPE] I'm the face of the future Republican Party. 

BALDWIN: And now just two weeks later, Hurd is calling it quits, announcing on Twitter last night he will not seek reelection and that makes him the sixth Republican in the last two weeks and the eighth overall to announce their retirement. Leah Wright Rigueur is an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School and author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power. Abby Livingston is with me. She’s Washington bureau chief for Texas Tribune. So ladies, thank you so much for coming on. And Abby, we jumped right to your Twitter and you called Hurd's retirement a political earthquake, both in Texas and nationwide. Tell me why. 

ABBY LIVINGTSTON: I mean, my phone has not stopped vibrating and it was going overnight and it has been — Republican operatives, consultants, they were just texting me in just complete shock. This was not expected. We've been expecting a lot of retirements out of Texas but not this one. This guy could have been chairman of intelligence committee someday. He has enjoyed being in Congress in the sense that he’s worked hard and has wanted to be in Congress a long time and that he's throwing in a towel is a huge statement and also he's the best Republican politician in the state at the House level. And if he's doubting 2020, there’s a lot of other people are running scared. 

BALDWIN: Let me get to that point because, Abby, we know minority leaders in the minority party often leave office but do you think this wave of retirement suggests the Republicans don't really think they’re going to regain control of the House any time soon? 

LIVINGSTON: Absolutely and I think that this seat, this Texas 23rd district was supposed to be, if Republicans can't hold on to this seat, it's almost impossible to see how they get back power and so there's a chance they could still win this seat, but it is so much harder without congressman Hurd. 

BALDWIN: Leah, you heard Congressman Hurd on with Christiane, basically saying that, as a black man, you know, he would go into districts that most of his fellow Republicans wouldn't go. The question is does a trump era, to paraphrase the title of your own book, increase the isolation or loneliness of black Republicans and make it harder to sell the message? 

LEAH WRIGHT RIGEUR: I mean, the loneliness of the black Republican indeed. I know this announcement may be shocking but we shouldn't be surprised. 

BALDWIN: Why? 

RIGUEUR: Will Hurd has had an incredibly hard and difficult job, which is that essentially he has to represent the Republican banner but he also has to sell Republican policies and Donald Trump to a district and area that is increasingly not only skeptical but actually hostile to these kind of ideas and hostile to the idea of president trump and then he has to navigate his race, his community, and all of these things in a kind of shrinking pool within the Republican Party that’s not easy and historically what we've seen in these kind of situations is, at a certain point, Republicans like Will Hurd hit their breaking point and end up leaving the party. It also never happens in isolation. You know, we see a larger exodus at the state, the local level, the national level. We see it in things like the RNC with people resigning. So, this is an indication that something is seriously wrong, has been for some time, and just the real difficulty that Republicans are going to have trying to appeal to a nation that increasingly does not look like the Republican Party. 

BALDWIN: So noteworthy that you're not surprised A, and, B, huge question is why is he leaving. And Abby, according to sources to you, his decision wasn't impulsive. You know, wasn’t a reaction to any one incident, but that he has been very publicly critical of President Trump. He wrote a New York Times opinion piece saying that Trump was being influenced by Putin. He opposed the border wall. He was just one of four Republicans to condemn the president's tweets against the four congresswomen. Separately, a House Republican fundraiser tells CNN that those resigning are tired ot defending the President. So, might this be trump fatigue? 

LIVINGSTON: I think it's very much a consideration in this situation. Congressman Hurd has had to go the Hill, go to the votes day in, day out and be approached by reporters just like me asking for comment on his reactions to things Donald Trump has said or tweeted and he is a young guy. He's still I think in his early 40s and I don't think he's done with politics. I don’t think he’s done with being in the political arena. It might serve him better to not run for reelection and possibly lose in 2020 and to get now and maybe resurface if — whenever trump leaves office. 

BALDWIN: Remember that autopsy, Leah, right? Back after the 2012 election, that Republican autopsy? It said that they concluded the party shouldn’t and I’m quoting them, write off any demographic and that they needed to speak to minority groups on both sides of the aisle. So, now you have one lone black Republican on the Senate side, Tim Scott, South Carolina. How do they even begin to attract more people, Leah? 

RIGUEUR: You know, the problem with this is everything they have to do to attract these constituencies that they talk about, minority constituencies, under represented populations, women, are all things that they are going to have difficulty doing because it is completely at odds with Donald Trump and so that's where you see the real that's where you see the real so a figure like Tim Scott is really going to be, you know, under the spotlight. People are going to be looking at his words, they're going to look at his policies, they’re going to be looking at his vote in Congress. And they’re either going to be looking at him to push back at trump or to really rationalize what Trump does. So do you explain your continued support, not only of Donald Trump, but how do you continue to explain your continued support of the Republican Party that has essentially become Donald Trump's party in 2019? That is a difficult, difficult path and it does not bode well for the 2020 election, either the presidential election but also midterm so state and local levels. There is a real possibility that Texas will look politically different in a couple of years. 

BALDWIN: This is significant.

RIGUEUR: The autopsy report warned about this. Yeah.

BALDWIN: That is so significant.

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