ABC senior anchor George Stephanopoulos has a habit of hectoring Republicans into answering whether they will vote for Donald Trump if he’s the 2024 GOP nominee, despite pending criminal charges against him. He tried that against former RNC chair Reince Priebus, and got promptly shut down.
Watch the entire exchange, as aired on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, December 3rd, 2023 (Click "Expand"):
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I was going to say- last night in Iowa, Julie Pace, he seems to be putting democracy on the ballot in an effor-- it’s- it's a kind of projection accusing Joe Biden of doing what he's been accused of.
JULIE PACE: And whether that was strategic or not, and the camp- the Trump campaign is feeling like they have a weakness there, I think will be interesting to see how long they run that message out, but it did feel like it was that- almost that first moment where we saw that direct kind of tit for tat between where Joe Biden wants to take this campaign and where Trump is responding, and I think to Donna's point, Democrats know very clearly they need to make this a choice election. This has to be a choice between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Whatever you think about Joe Biden, they know that's the way that they can- they can win this.
REINCE PRIEBUS: Except here's the big problem. If they want to make this election about Trump, there's going to be Biden and Trump, and then there's going to be a couple other non-Trump candidates that are going to be on the ballot. So you make this about Trump, I think it plays in perfectly into how this election is moving forward because they're not going to -- if people don't want to go to Biden, they’re going to say, “Oh. Here's Cornell West. Oh. Here's the-- uh-- the-- Jill Stein. Here's the No Labels candidate.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're totally comfortable going to the election with a candidate who's been accused of 91 felonies?
PRIEBUS: Um, we- I'm comfortable if that's what the Republican Party wants to move forward with, sure. 110%. I would take Donald Trump over Joe Biden every single day of the week, no problem because where this country has gone and how far we've gone downhill in the last three years is a place that most Republicans aren't willing to go, and if they're that worried about it, then go get a different candidate if you think that Joe Biden is so vulnerable.
DONNA BRAZILE: You know, I recognize that Joe Biden might not be- might not be your cup of tea or even your bowl of soup, but you know what he is? He's somebody who's steady, somebody who understands the issues, and somebody who's fighting for America each and every day.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today, thank you all very much. We’ll be right back.
What triggered the whole exchange was the AP’s Julie Pace, making the case that the Democrats MUST make the election a stark choice between Biden and Trump- a runback of the “democracy is on the ballot” playbook. This is so, of course, because of the collapse of the “Bidenomics” narrative. Therefore, the Acela Media are evoking the specter of authoritarianism, and Trump’s criminal charges- which many of his supporters believe is proof evident of an authoritarian Biden administration.
This, the “choice election” narrative, is the context in which Stephanopoulos flippantly looks over at Priebus and asks whether he’s totally comfortable with Trump as nominee. Priebus does two things here. First, he lays out that there are other left-of-center options other than Biden. Second, he lays out that people are ultimately going to cast the election as a referendum on Biden and, yes, Bidenomics.
It is at this point that Donna Brazile jumps in with a “leave Biden alone” defense of the president before Stephanopoulos cuts the segment for time.
At this point the Acela Media are little more than propagandists, not just for Biden specifically, but for the left generally.