After Democrats shut down the government on Friday over their demand to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, all three broadcast networks spent the weekend reaching back to 2013 to accuse Donald Trump of changing his mind on the legislative tactic. At the same time, NBC, ABC and CBS completely ignored the stunning hypocrisy of Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
On Saturday’s NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker proclaimed: “The President’s views on a shutdown have really shifted....during the 2013 shutdown, under former President Obama, Mr. Trump said Obama and the Democrats ‘want this shutdown,’ arguing, ‘the buck always stops with the president.’” She confidently concluded: “So all of that makes it difficult for the President to completely shift the blame now...”
Reporting on the shutdown for ABC’s Good Morning America on Sunday, correspondent David Wright similarly hyped the years-old quote: “During the 2013 government shutdown, citizen Trump accused President Obama of failing to lead.” A soundbite ran of Trump stating at that time: “You have to get everybody in a room, you have to be a leader. The President has to lead.”
A clip followed of Wright grilling White House policy adviser Marc Short: “Why isn’t he following his own advice?”
Finally, on Saturday’s CBS This Morning, correspondent Major Garrett also went back through the archives: “During the last government shutdown, Mr. Trump said the fault was President Obama’s.” The same 2013 soundbite of Trump was featured.
On Monday, GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos raised Trump’s commentary about the last shutdown while interviewing White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “If the President’s top priority is getting the government reopened, why not call everybody down to the White House today, Democrats, Republicans together in the Oval Office? Back when President Obama was in office, that’s exactly what Donald Trump was calling on him to do.”
Talking to White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Monday’s CBS This Morning, co-host Gayle King lectured: “Well, you have experience, Director Mulvaney, with a shutdown. You voted for it over the issue of ObamaCare back in 2013 and now the Democrats are holding it up for DACA. Why was it okay back in 2013 and not okay now?”
While the liberal media were busy claiming Republicans were shifting their views for political expediency, the hosts and correspondents managed to cover-up the fact that in 2013, now-Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer specifically promised that he would never shut down the government over the issue of immigration policy.
If the networks want to go back in time to find embarrassing past quotes to use against politicians, that’s fine, but they should be prepared to do that to both sides, not just the one they’re rooting against.