CNN Advises Biden on How to Dodge, Dismiss, Deflect Hunter Scandal

October 22nd, 2020 7:25 PM

The role of a news network is to report accurately and honestly, not to give their preferred candidate advice on how to handle a debate question. This is exactly what CNN's leftist hosts did during both New Day and Newsroom on Thursday.

The network gave Democratic nominee Joe Biden six different ways of dodging the question. CNN’s senior political analyst John Avlon, for example, proposed not striking back because “the problem with wrestling with a pig is that you get dirty and the pig likes it.”

It seems almost certain that Hunter Biden will be brought up in tonight’s debate, if not by NBC News moderator Kristen Welker then by President Trump. Rather than cover a potential scandal and conflict of interest of a presidential candidate, CNN and other leftist networks have either ignored the story, or unsuccessfully attempted to discredited it. Instead, anchors helped the Biden campaign strategize over how the former Vice President should dismiss the topic.

During the 6:00 a.m. ET hour of New Day, CNN political commentator Errol Louis recommended Biden argue that: “it's not because of corruption, it's because the guy has had personal problems that a lot of Americans can relate to.” This is the defense Biden used during the first debate.

During the 8:00 a.m. ET hour, David Axelrod, a former Obama official, encouraged the former Vice President to just dismiss the charges because they are “based on dubious information.” This ignores recent information that reveals the FBI did have the laptop.



Finally, CNN partisan hack John Avlon and USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page were brought onto CNN Newsroom in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour to fully counsel the Biden camp. Avlon attacked the President and recommended Biden do the same: “…President Trump has a secret Beijing bank account and has it during the last election.” Later, Page, who was the moderator of the vice presidential debate, suggested: “What he has declined to do is turn it around and talk about the President's children and their business interest.”

Not once did the various hosts, Alisyn Camerota, John Berman, Poppy Harlow, or Jim Sciutto, reign in their guests, but instead encouraged them. Sciutto even told Page: “The President is going to push [Hunter Biden] probably more than once. I know there's been some debate in the Biden camp as to how to respond to that. I imagine they have to. What should that answer be?”

This is blatant covering for their preferred candidate and trying to find ways to mitigate damage. That is not journalism but liberal activism.

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A transcript of the October 22nd Coverage is included below:

New Day
6:16 AM ET

BARACK OBAMA: Look, I get that this President wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored. But you know what, the job doesn't work that way. Tweeting at the television doesn't fix things. Making stuff up doesn't make people's lives better. You've got to have a plan. You've got to put in the work. 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: That was former President Obama blasting President Trump's handling of the pandemic ahead of the final debate tonight. A source tells CNN that President Trump's advisers are encouraging him to appear less angry, warning that this could be his last chance to win over women and seniors. Joining us now, Anna Palmer. She's the senior Washington Correspondent for Politico and author of the Politico playbook. Also with us, CNN political commentator, Errol Louis, he's the political anchor for Spectrum News. Great to see you guys. I just want to dive into what I think we should expect, Errol, based upon all the things that President Trump has been saying lately. In terms of substance, it sounds like President Trump may go full Hunter Bidenpalooza. And if that happens and if that comes up, do we know what Joe Biden's response going to be? Is Joe Biden sort of just not engaging on this, or would he ever turn the tables and say, hmm, tell me how many of your adult children President Trump have served in the military. Or how many have licensing deals overseas? Like, he doesn't ever do that in the last one. He didn't do that sort of tit for tat. What do we think is going to happen tonight? 

ERROL LOUIS [CNN Political Commentator]: If it does come up, and it probably will, what we saw last time was Joe Biden talking about his other son, Beau Biden, and getting teary-eyed and sentimental, and talking about the fact that he was a decorated military officer and the fact that he was an Attorney General and the fact that he was very proud of his son. He also said something about Hunter Biden, I think, last time, that we can expect to hear again, which is that his son has dealt with addiction. And that strikes a note with many, many, many, many families who have dealt with it in their own lives. And say -- and to say that he's proud of his son for fighting his way back from addiction. And if there are missteps and embarrassments and other problems, it's not because of corruption, it's because the guy has had personal problems that a lot of Americans can relate to. That's the Joe Biden method of trying to diffuse that bomb that President Trump has tried to set off over and over and over again and will likely try to set off again tonight. 


New Day
7:02 AM ET

JOHN BERMAN: Let's begin with the stakes in tonight's debate. … We have the best in American print journalism here with us this morning. Alex Burns, to quote the famous Lyndon Johnson, these are the stakes. What are the stakes in the debate tonight? 

ALEX BURNS: Look, John, I think you put it well. This is the last best chance for either of them to change the course of the race. And frankly, only one of them wants to change the course of the race and that's President Trump. The burden on him is heavy going into the debate tonight, as he continues to trail Joe Biden in national polls, in nearly every swing state poll we have seen. A "New York Times" poll this week found that on the issue of coronavirus pandemic, voters prefer Biden as a leader over the sitting president by 12 percentage points. I think that's the biggest thing for the incumbent tonight. Can he put a dent in those numbers? Can he say something to the country about the pandemic and the public health crisis and economic recession it has caused that causes some people who are currently writing off the president and actively leaning towards Joe Biden, because, remember, we are past the point where there are enough purely undecided voters to swing this thing to the President. Can he say something on covid that actually pulls people away from the Biden camp? 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: So Margaret, what's your reporting on the strategies that each candidate will use tonight? 

MARGARET TALEV [CNN Political Analyst]: Well, Alisyn, we know that president trump's team has advised him to be a little bit less aggressive than the first debate. It would be hard to not be less aggressive towards Joe Biden. And to kind of take the temperature down a notch. There's no indication that the President actually thinks that that is the right strategy toward this. He did a lot of prep last time, then Chris Christie got sick, plus he over torqued in the prep. So the prep is largely out the window. But the President has made clear that he thinks that he has to do more than just make himself more likable to people who might still be undecided. And that he thinks that what he really needs to do is knock Joe Biden off of his pedestal. He's not just signaled, but basically said he's going to use this debate to try to go after Biden on his son, Hunter, and to try to tie Hunter’s problems and questionable business practices and relationships and such to the vice president directly. That's a dangerous territory for the president to be. There's some consternation inside the campaign in the White House, because until you see what that looks like, you really don't know how it's going to land. And there are new dynamics, of course, in the debate tonight, with the microphone's ability to be muted. Can the president use that to his advantage or again, will that backfire on him? But he wants to knock Biden off his game, not just try to give himself a second chance in debate world. 

New Day
8:29 AM ET

ALISYN CAMEROTA: But, ax, what advice would you give Joe Biden for when president trump invariably brings up Hunter Biden. I know that Joe Biden feels very personal about that but what I think President trump tries to do is make it seem that he's bringing up corruption and somehow Joe Biden himself is smeared to that. How is he supposed to respond to that? 

DAVID AXELROD: It's a really good question, Alisyn, because this is a very tender spot for Biden not because there are real vulnerabilities there, but because he feels so strongly about his kids. We saw it in the last debate, he handled it very well there, partly because the president chose to make it about drug use and Biden, I think, really turned that on him. But he can't be so reactive that it throws him off his game. He needs to dismiss the charges, which are, you know, based on dubious information that even Fox News turned down and if the President keeps returning to it I think the President is going to miss his opportunity to push issues that may actually benefit him. But if Biden overreacts, if he becomes unsettled by it, then it could be a better night for the President. 

9:06 AM ET

POPPY HARLOW: John, we know from Melissa Farrah at the White House that the president is going to find a way even if he is not asked about it to bring up China and bring up one of Joe Biden's sons, that is Hunter Biden. And the reason I ask this is listen to how President Obama in that speech in Philadelphia yesterday addressed the issue of China and I want to get your reaction on the other side. 

BARACK OBAMA: Listen, can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection? Do you think -- do you think -- do you think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that? They would have called me Beijing Barry. 

HARLOW: So he did it with a smile and humor and I wonder if you think that's the way that Joe Biden should respond tonight. 

JOHN AVLON [CNN Senior Political Analyst]: Look, you should always be a happy warrior and Biden is going to be a lot more effective at joking -- using humor as opposed to being a scold. But these are serious fundamental issues, obviously Trump is going to trigger him by going after his only surviving son but he should push back by pointing out just that story because it hasn't gotten nearly enough pickup, entirely ignored in conservative media that President Trump has a secret Beijing bank account and has it during the last election. He's paid more taxes to China than to the United States. These aren’t hard difficult things to point out.

JIM SCIUTTO: Susan, the former vice president -- listen, the President is going to push the issue of Hunter Biden attempted business deals in China, emails, et cetera. The President is going to push it probably more than once. I know there's been some debate in the Biden camp as to how to respond to that. I imagine they have to. What should that answer be? 

SUSAN PAGE [Washing Bureau Chief, USA Today]:  We know that they've been talking about really not just in connection with this last debate, about how to respond to the accusations about Hunter Biden and this is, I think, the issue that Joe Biden has struggled the most to address because it does get under his skin the issue of his family. It's not one that he can handle with humor. What he has declined to do is turn it around and talk about the President's children and their business interest. He has been unwilling to do that. It's a test for Biden. Can -- can President trump get him off his stride by raising the issue of his son and that is something we certainly should be looking for tonight. 

AVLON: Look, we got a preview of that in the last debate and what Joe Biden did was talk about his love for his son and his struggles with addiction, which was kind of a judo move that was at the empathetic and relatable. Lyndon Johnson, I think, is credited with an old line that said the problem with wrestling with a pig is that you get dirty and the pig likes it that's always the danger of getting in the dirt with some of these debates