On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Nancy Cordes agreed with Donald Trump’s criticism of Hillary Clinton over her refusal to hold press conferences: “...those of us who cover the Hillary Clinton campaign would love to have a press conference, even if she insulted us. You know, she hasn't done one for months and months, which is something that Donald Trump himself noted.”
Co-host Charlie Rose wondered: “Why not?” Cordes declared: “She's just, you know, not that comfortable in that setting....She's not interested in getting the tough questions out there on the trail, lots of people shouting at her. That's not her milieu, while Donald Trump is comfortable with that.”
Cordes even cited a recent case of Clinton dodging the press: “Last week, for example, when this big, new report came out from the State Department's inspector general, there were a lot of us on the campaign trail who were dying to ask questions about it, and she avoided us. She did a couple of call-ins to cable shows, but that was it.”
In a report for NBC’s Today, correspondent Kristen Welker also highlighted Trump’s knock on the Democratic frontrunner: “Clinton was also on defense Tuesday, amid criticism she hasn't held a formal press conference in months....Trump tweeting late Tuesday, ‘I am getting great credit for my press conference today. Crooked Hillary should be admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days.’”
Welker noted how Clinton’s campaign was “coming under fresh scrutiny for its strategy and messaging” with “some Democrats expressing concern that while Trump's campaign has a clear theme...Clinton's message seems to keep shifting.”
After playing a series of soundbites of Clinton employing numerous different slogans, Welker pressed campaign manager Robby Mook: “Some of her Democratic critics are concerned that her messaging has been somewhat muddled, has that hurt her with voters?” Mook argued: “Well, I don't think the messaging has been muddled at all, particularly the last few weeks.”
While both CBS and ABC actually examined Clinton dodging the media and struggling to find a campaign message, ABC’s Good Morning America completely ignored her lack of press conferences. Instead, the morning show devoted its entire report on the Democratic race to parroting Clinton’s coordinated attacks on Trump.
Correspondent Cecilia Vega announced:
This morning, Hillary Clinton ripping a page straight out of Donald Trump's play book, going after her opponent on Twitter....Clinton taking Trump to task for his comments on veterans and then taking to the airwaves for round two of her assault....Clinton's allies not letting up either. Going after Trump online. Virginia's two Senators, both Democrats, [Tim Kaine and Mark Warner] sending these virtually identical tweets saying, “Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with a comprehensive plan to support our veterans.”
The only mention of problems for Clinton came briefly at the end of the segment: “But with a tight primary race in California, Clinton is now headed to the Golden state today for a last-minute swing ahead of voting there....And a sign that her campaign is feeling nervous about California, Clinton canceled campaign stops in New Jersey and is now heading to California instead.”
Though even that was tempered with good news for the Democrat: “Clinton received a key endorsement from California Governor Jerry Brown....even if she loses there she almost certainly has enough delegates to clinch the nomination.”
Here is an excerpt of Cordes on the June 1 This Morning:
8:04 AM ET
NANCY CORDES: First of all, those of us who cover the Hillary Clinton campaign would love to have a press conference, even if she insulted us. You know, she hasn't done one for months and months, which is something that Donald Trump himself noted.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton’s Course; What’s Democrat’s Strategy In Responding To Trump?]
CHARLIE ROSE: And why not?
NANCY CORDES: She's just, you know, not that comfortable in that setting. Last week, for example, when this big, new report came out from the State Department's inspector general, there were a lot of us on the campaign trail who were dying to ask questions about it, and she avoided us. She did a couple of call-ins to cable shows, but that was it. She's not interested in getting the tough questions out there on the trail, lots of people shouting at her. That's not her milieu, while Donald Trump is comfortable with that. Her response is to say that he's got a problem with the constitution. That he has a problem with reporters asking the tough questions and that she's been vetted in a way that he hasn't. And he's not comfortable when he's there in the thick of it.
GAYLE KING: Does she seem to be changing her strategy with dealing with Donald Trump?
NANCY CORDES They're forming a strategy. He's a complicated candidate to run against, and her campaign acknowledges that. One thing they're trying to do is to break through all of the noise on any given day by picking an issue and just hammering him over the head with it. Yesterday was veterans. You had Hillary Clinton herself talking about his relationship with veterans. You had her supporters all identifier the country in battleground states doing interviews about it, doing press calls about it. And so they're going to try to do this more often. They're hoping that that's the kind of attack that will stick.