Excited Nets Push GOP Primary Challengers Against Trump

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On Monday, all three network morning shows were giddy over two weak challengers against President Trump in the 2020 Republican primary and even hoping for more quixotic candidates to enter the race. NBC and ABC touted ex-Congressman Joe Walsh issuing a “stinging rebuke” to Trump while CBS again urged contributor and former Senator Jeff Flake to jump in the contest.

“And back here at home, the President is facing a new challenger in the already crowded 2020 race. The latest to enter the field, a member of his own party,” fill-in co-host Kristen Welker proclaimed on NBC’s Today show. In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell dramatically declared: “And although polls show President Trump is dominating the Republican Party, today he is facing a challenge from the Republican right.”

 

 

She described Walsh as a “one-term Illinois congressman and conservative radio host, who’s now apologizing for agreeing with some of Donald Trump’s past controversial views, like birtherism against Barack Obama.” That was extent to which Mitchell examined Walsh’s myriad of scandals.

The reporter then gushed that Walsh was “now announcing his candidacy with a stinging rebuke against his party’s standard bearer.” She promoted him being the second Republican primary candidate: “President Trump facing a new challenger in his bid for reelection, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, joining former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, in saying Mr. Trump does not represent their party.”

A clip ran of Walsh ranting against Trump during a softball appearance on ABC’s This Week: “He’s nuts, he’s erratic, he’s cruel, he stokes bigotry, he’s incompetent.” Another soundbite followed of Weld on NBC’s Meet the Press, where moderator Chuck Todd wondered: “If you don’t get the nomination, does he deserve reelection?” Weld replied: “Absolutely not.”

On ABC’s Good Morning America, fill-in co-host Cecilia Vega further pushed the George Stephanopoulos interview with Walsh over the weekend:

The President is also this morning facing a new challenger for the White House in the race for 2020. This one from within his own party. Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh telling George on This Week that he will take on President Trump for the GOP nomination. Walsh called the President “a child,” that’s a quote, saying he is unfit for office.

On CBS This Morning, while no mention was made of Walsh and Weld, co-host Gayle King did press former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, now a CBS News contributor, on whether he would run against Trump in the GOP primary: “You know, a recent report says that they are looking for candidates to oppose President Trump in the GOP primary. Do you know whose name came up? Jeff Flake. Jeff Flake’s name came up. What’s Jeff Flake thinking?”

Flake dodged the question by observing: “Some Republicans are saying if the economy isn’t good, is there anything to recommend this president to the voters? And I think increasingly that question – that answer is no.”

King interrupted: “That wasn’t the question, Senator Flake. The question was, your name came up on the list, have you been approached or are you thinking or do you not want to say?” Flake replied: “I’ve been approached. It’s stepped up lately, but I made the decision to not get in the race and I haven’t changed my mind.” Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz chimed in: “Alright, call us if you do.”

When Flake first joined the network as a contributor in January, then-co-host John Dickerson similarly urged: “Before we start, I want to find out if you want anybody to call you president. You thought about running in 2020? Are you going to run?” In March, King asked Flake about the possibility of anyone “secretly considering” a primary challenge against the President.

Many in the liberal media have been openly rooting for Trump to get challenged for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020 and reporters will now apparently take whoever they can get.

Here is a transcript of Mitchell’s August 26 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:05 AM ET

KRISTEN WELKER: And back here at home, the President is facing a new challenger in the already crowded 2020 race. The latest to enter the field, a member of his own party. This as the Democratic candidates barnstorm the country coast to coast. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell joins us now live with the latest. Good morning, Andrea.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Kristen. And although polls show President Trump is dominating the Republican Party, today he is facing a challenge from the Republican right. A one-term Illinois congressman and conservative radio host, who’s now apologizing for agreeing with some of Donald Trump’s past controversial views, like birtherism against Barack Obama, now announcing his candidacy with a stinging rebuke against his party’s standard bearer.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Trump Facing GOP Primary Challenge; Former Rep. Joe Walsh Says President “Unfit” to Lead]

President Trump facing a new challenger in his bid for reelection, former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, joining former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, in saying Mr. Trump does not represent their party.

FMR. REP. JOE WALSH [R-IL]: He’s nuts, he’s erratic, he’s cruel, he stokes bigotry, he’s incompetent.

CHUCK TODD [MEET THE PRESS]: If you don’t get the nomination, does he deserve reelection?

FMR. GOV. BILL WELD [R-MA]: Absolutely not.

MITCHELL: But as the Republican field expands, the number of Democrats vying to make Mr. Trump a one-term president is shrinking.

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NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning NBC Today Video Gayle King Andrea Mitchell Cecilia Vega Donald Trump Joe Walsh William Weld

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