Having turned itself into the unofficial extension of the Biden administration’s press office (see our full accounting from Tuesday), Wednesday’s CBS Mornings joined its sister newscast in the CBS Evening News by promoting the President’s latest attempt to salvage his side’s midterm prospects. On the former show, it insisted Republicans have “given [him] an opening” to position the left as the side that supports law and order and police officers.
Even the “Eye Opener” segment played stenographer with a news clip of an anchor passing along how “Biden visited the politically important swing state of Pennsylvania to talk about preventing crime and increasing gun safety.”
Co-host Nate Burleson cued up White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe by insisting “[m]any Republicans have criticized the FBI for investigating the former President, and some have even shown sympathy for the January 6th rioters who attacked police,” and thus “given President Biden an opening to the campaign trail” to ensure Democrats are “the party that is toughest on crime.”
Just as CBS did Team Biden’s bidding in spending days focused on abortion as seemingly the top issue for voters, they did the same Wednesday by turning to crime.
“On the airwaves in states like Pennsylvania and now on the stump how to fight crime and gun violence are taking center stage,” O’Keefe explained.
O’Keefe added that Biden used a visit to northeast Pennsylvania Tuesday to slam “those Republicans who’ve called for defunding the FBI....and...Republicans who defend rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.”
Of course, O’Keefe not only refused to provide examples other than “some GOP officials” who “want to defund the FBI." He conceded seconds later that “most rank-and-file Republicans don't back the idea,” as “half of registered voters overall say they'd be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports” defunding law enforcement as, following economic matters, voters have that near the top of their list of issues.
After an aside in which he said “Republicans like Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson doubt the President's calls for more police funding,” O’Keefe was back to passing along Biden’s schedule, including his Thursday night speech in Philadelphia “on what he likes to...call the ongoing battle over the soul of the nation.”
NBC’s Today followed suit from Tuesday in only footnoting Biden amid the media-wide obsession with Trump, courtesy of chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander: “Meanwhile, President Biden has slammed Republicans for criticizing the FBI in recent weeks.”
On the night before, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell passed along how Biden was “on the campaign trail going after what he called MAGA Republicans and focusing on crime in America.”
“President Biden sought to flip an age-old political script slamming Republicans as soft on crime... President Biden's more aggressive tone comes as his party's prospects improve,” said chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes.
NBC Nightly News was also in on the act with correspondent Gabe Gutierrez promoting Biden’s “plan to curb gun violence” and goal of “hoping to build on federal gun safety legislation...passed earlier this year.”
This new installment of White House propaganda was brought to you by advertisers such as Amazon (on NBC) and Ensure (on CBS). Follow the links to see their contact information at the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.
To see the relevant transcripts from August 31, click “expand.”
August 31, 2022
7:01 a.m. Eastern [TEASE]
NEWS ANCHOR: President Biden visited the politically important swing state of Pennsylvania to talk about preventing crime and increasing gun safety.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I'm determined to ban assault weapons in this country.
7:08 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Biden Sharpens Campaign Message; Pres. Defends FBI & Calls for Crime Crackdown During Speech in PA]
NATE BURLESON: Many Republicans have criticized the FBI for investigating the former President, and some have even shown sympathy for the January 6th rioters who attacked police. All that has given President Biden an opening to the campaign trail. Yesterday, he used a speech in Pennsylvania to try to position the Democrats as the party that is toughest on crime. Ed O’Keefe has more.
ED O’KEEFE: On the airwaves in states like Pennsylvania —
DR. OZ CAMPAIGN AD: John Fetterman wants to release convicted murderers from prison.
LT. GOV. JOHN FETTERMAN (D-PA): Public safety is why I ran for office.
O’KEEFE: — and now on the stump —
BIDEN: I'm opposed to defunding the police and I’m also opposed to defunding the FBI.
O’KEEFE: — how to fight crime and gun violence are taking center stage. During a stop in Pennsylvania Tuesday, President Biden attacked those Republicans who’ve called for defunding the FBI in response to its search of former President Donald Trump's home in Florida and denounced Republicans who defend rioters at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
BIDEN: You can't be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection. You can't be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on January 6th patriots.
O’KEEFE: The increased focus on law enforcement, crime, and guns on both sides of the aisle comes as the majority of likely voters see crime and guns as very important issues after the economy and inflation. And while some GOP officials said they want to defund the FBI, most rank-and-file Republicans don't back the idea. Nearly half of registered voters overall say they'd be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports that position.
SENATOR RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I'm sure he's going to spend more money that we don't have.
O’KEEFE: Republicans like Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson doubt the President's calls for more police funding.
JOHNSON: Democrats are very good at providing a — a title on a bill that promises many things but they just never deliver on it.
O’KEEFE: Now, President Biden returns to Pennsylvania tomorrow night, to Philadelphia, to give a speech on what he likes to gall — call the ongoing battle over the soul of the nation and voters in northeast Pennsylvania are getting a visit from former President Trump when he campaigns with Republican candidates on Saturday night. Pennsylvania's getting all the attention this week, Jericka. They'll get to the other states before Election Day.
JERICKA DUNCAN: Yeah. Very important state. Ed, thank you.
August 31, 2022
7:06 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking Overnight; DOJ: Documents “Likely Concealed and Removed”]
PETER ALEXANDER: Meanwhile, President Biden has slammed Republicans for criticizing the FBI in recent weeks.
PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: There's no place in this country, no place for endangering the lives of law enforcement. No place.