NBC & ABC Lament GOP ‘White Men’ Opposing Dems ‘Historic’ Stunt

Amid all the celebratory media coverage hailing the partisan stunt by House Democrats on Tuesday to pass a resolution condemning President Trump as racist, on NBC’s Today show Wednesday morning, correspondent Peter Alexander particularly touted the “heavily diverse” liberal lawmakers supporting the legislation while “white men” in the GOP did not.

“This was an extraordinary moment. Every Democrat and just a handful of Republicans voting to condemn the President, casting his words as racist,” Alexander marveled as he began the report. He then proclaimed: “A vote pitting the heavily diverse Democratic caucus against Republican lawmakers, most of them white men.”

 

 

The reporter missed the irony of supposedly denouncing racism while also judging members of Congress based on their skin color.

Later in the segment, Alexander highlighted the press using the ethnicity of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, as a cudgel against him:

ALEXANDER: Meantime, top Republican Mitch McConnell fended off his own questions about the President’s comments and his spouse, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

MANU RAJU [CNN]: If someone were to say to her she should go back to her own country because of her criticism of a federal policies, wouldn’t you consider that a racist attack?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [R-KY]: Well, the Secretary of Transportation came here at age eight, legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American dream.

On ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos excitedly hyped the “historic” nature of the House resolution: “We’re going to go to Washington now and that historic and bitter showdown on Capitol Hill. House Democrats voted last night to condemn President Trump’s racist tweets, the first congressional condemnation of a president in more than a century.”

 

 

Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce joined in: “Well, this was an extremely rare rebuke and quite a scene here on the House floor.” She then lamented that more Republicans didn’t back the Democrats’ partisan effort: “A raucous fight exposed those deep partisan divides here on the Hill as Democrats voted to send a clear message to the President about those racist tweets and Republicans overwhelmingly voted to defend him.”

Bruce further complained: “Republicans even objecting to the Speaker using the word ‘racist’ to describe the President’s tweets, saying it breaks the rules.” She promoted the left-wing congresswomen that the President attacked with his controversial tweets: “The women at the center of the controversy say Republicans are putting the President first.”

Following the report from Bruce, Stephanopoulos turned to senior White House correspondent Jon Karl and worried: “So the battle lines for 2020 getting pretty clearly drawn here right now, Jon. The President clearly wants that squad of four Democratic congresswomen to be the face of the Democratic Party.” Karl agreed: “These four Democrats represent the progressive left of the party. He wants to basically turn them into his opposition for 2020.”

Karl then predicted electoral doom for Trump:

 

 

But there’s a real risk here for the President, because his highest approval ratings are on the handling of the economy, he could be running a presidential reelection campaign based on that age-old question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? But instead, he’s telegraphing an election based on fear, division, racial resentment, that will alienate a lot of people that frankly are better off or feel better off than they were four years ago. It’s also, by the way, a strategy that basically failed in the 2018 midterms.

To their credit, Stephanopoulos and Karl did go on to talk about “risks for the Democrats here” by having such far-left members of Congress represent the party. Karl noted: “Absolutely...in some cases very unpopular in those swing districts that won the Democrats their majority in 2018. So, yes, very clearly a risk for the Democrats as well.”

As the Democrats eagerly try to politicize this latest dust-up with the President for their own partisan advantage, the media are happy to help.

Here are excerpts of the July 17 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:06 AM ET

(...)

PETER ALEXANDER: This was an extraordinary moment. Every Democrat and just a handful of Republicans voting to condemn the President, casting his words as racist. A vote pitting the heavily diverse Democratic caucus against Republican lawmakers, most of them white men. The President, who first called this vote a “Democratic con game” overnight, praised his party for standing behind him. House Democrats denouncing President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [MEMBER OF CONGRESS]: Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.

ALEXANDER: Passing a resolution, joined by four Republicans and an independent, condemning the President’s tweets attacking those Democratic congresswomen of color with a racist trope, arguing they should go back to the crime-infested places from which they came. Democrat John Lewis evoking his experience in the struggle for civil rights.

REP. JOHN LEWIS [D-GA]: I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest level of government, there’s no room for racism.

(...)

7:09 AM ET

ALEXANDER: Meantime, top Republican Mitch McConnell fended off his own questions about the President’s comments and his spouse, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

MANU RAJU [CNN]: If someone were to say to her she should go back to her own country because of her criticism of a federal policies, wouldn’t you consider that a racist attack?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [R-KY]: Well, the Secretary of Transportation came here at age eight, legally, not speaking a word of English, and has realized the American dream.

(...)

Here are excerpts of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:03 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to go to Washington now and that historic and bitter showdown on Capitol Hill. House Democrats voted last night to condemn President Trump’s racist tweets, the first congressional condemnation of a president in more than a century. Only four Republicans voted for the resolution as the GOP closed ranks behind the president. Our senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce was on Capitol Hill for the dramatic confrontation. Good morning, Mary.

MARY BRUCE: Good morning, George. Well, this was an extremely rare rebuke and quite a scene here on the House floor. A raucous fight exposed those deep partisan divides here on the Hill as Democrats voted to send a clear message to the President about those racist tweets and Republicans overwhelmingly voted to defend him.

(...)

BRUCE: Republicans even objecting to the Speaker using the word “racist” to describe the President’s tweets, saying it breaks the rules. Ultimately, only four Republicans agreed, voting to condemn the President. The women at the center of the controversy say Republicans are putting the President first.

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ [D-NY]: They could not bring themselves to have the basic human decency to vote against the statement that the President made, on the floor.

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB [D-MI]: They’re choosing him over country.

BRUCE: Trump had urged his party not to, quote, “show weakness.”

(...)

BRUCE: While most Republicans have been hesitant to respond, party leaders are now falling in line. Mitch McConnell breaking his silence Tuesday, refusing to say if the comments were racist and insisting there’s plenty of blame to go around.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [R-KY]: From the President to the Speaker to freshmen members of the House, all of us have a responsibility to elevate the public discourse.

(...)

7:06 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s bring in Jon Karl, our chief White House correspondent, for more on this. So the battle lines for 2020 getting pretty clearly drawn here right now, Jon. The President clearly wants that squad of four Democratic congresswomen to be the face of the Democratic Party.

JON KARL: George, he has been explicit about them. These four Democrats represent the progressive left of the party. He wants to basically turn them into his opposition for 2020. Just look at his tweet yesterday, where he said, “Nancy Pelosi tried to push them away but now they are forever wedded to the Democratic Party. See you in 2020!” So, in a way, this is working, the party is rallying around those four and the attacks – in the wake of the attacks from the President.

But there’s a real risk here for the President, because his highest approval ratings are on the handling of the economy, he could be running a presidential reelection campaign based on that age-old question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? But instead, he’s telegraphing an election based on fear, division, racial resentment, that will alienate a lot of people that frankly are better off or feel better off than they were four years ago. It’s also, by the way, a strategy that basically failed in the 2018 midterms.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yeah, you saw minorities and women come out in record numbers in 2018, young people as well. But there are risks for the Democrats here, as well. A lot of the successful Democrats in 2018, moderates who emphasized bread and butter issues like health care.

KARL: Absolutely. These four, particularly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are the most famous Democrats, freshmen Democrats, in some cases more well known than the party’s presidential candidates, but they are not particularly popular. In some cases very unpopular in those swing districts that won the Democrats their majority in 2018. So, yes, very clearly a risk for the Democrats as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Jon Karl, thanks very much.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Congress Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Racism ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Peter Alexander George Stephanopoulos Jonathan Karl Donald Trump

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