‘You Look Guilty’: CBS Frets Hunter Biden Interview Helped Trump

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During a panel discussion about the 2020 campaign on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning, hosts and political analysts agreed that Hunter Biden’s interview with ABC News wasn’t doing his father’s presidential candidacy any favors and might even give President Trump more ammunition against Joe Biden.  

“Former Vice President Biden is still facing criticism from President Trump over his son Hunter’s ties in the Ukraine. Does he have to respond to that tonight?,” co-host Anthony Mason wondered, in reference to the upcoming Democratic presidential debate. CBS News political contributor and former Marco Rubio campaign adviser Terry Sullivan advised that Biden “has to take the fight to Donald Trump” and warned: “You can either catch spears in politics or you can toss spears. Catching isn’t much fun.”

 

 

Moments later, co-host Tony Dokoupil worried: “Well, I wonder if Hunter Biden may have handed some spears to the opposition with an interview today.” A soundbite followed of Hunter Biden telling ABC’s Amy Robach: “I’m a human. And you know what, did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in -- in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But did I make a mistake based upon some unethical lapse? Absolutely not.”

After the clip, Dokoupil sarcastically joked to former Hillary Clinton campaign adviser and CBS News political contributor Robby Mook: “So Robby, does that put an end to it, case closed? He addressed this issue, it’s all over now, right? Done.” The panel laughed as co-host Gayle King jested: “Nothing to see here.”

Even Mook admitted: “I know. Sadly, look, these things are really hard. I don’t think this is going away. And there’s no perfect solution.”

However, the Democratic strategist then predictably tried to shift the focus to attacking Trump:

Look, if I were sitting next to Hunter Biden right now, I’d say, “Buck up, my friend.” I mean, what – what happened here is nothing compared to what the Trump family has done....Ivanka getting trademarks in China while she’s serving in the West Wing. You know, you’ve got Don Jr. over doing an event with the prime minister of India to sell condos. I mean, what he [Hunter Biden] did is nothing compared to that. He just sat on a board. He wasn’t doing events with foreign figures.

Sullivan called him out for engaging in “whataboutism” and hammered Hunter Biden’s poor performance:

Look, he did profit off of his father’s name. You know, at least he’s taking responsibility for it, but it does look kind of awful – if I was sitting next to Hunter Biden, what I’d say is, “Don’t ever go on TV again ever. You look awful. You look guilty.” You know?  

Mook bitterly complained about “the evil genius of Donald Trump” being “somehow on offense on an issue where he has serious vulnerability.”

While the initial portion of Robach’s Good Morning America interview with Biden’s son was challenging, she eventually began sympathizing with him over having to deal with the “noise” about the controversy.

Here is a transcript of the October 15 panel discussion on CBS This Morning:

8:19 AM ET

(...)

ANTHONY MASON: Former Vice President Biden is still facing criticism from President Trump over his son Hunter’s ties in the Ukraine. Does he have to respond to that tonight?

TERRY SULLIVAN [CBS NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR]: He has to take the fight to Donald Trump. I mean, this is actually a huge opportunity that they’ve missed. This is – you can either catch spears in politics or you can toss spears. Catching isn’t much fun. [Laughter]

GAYLE KING: Seems like it hurts.

SULLIVAN: Yeah, even if you’re really good at it, it’s not much fun. You should just start throwing them. And his – he needs to go on the attack and prosecute the case against Donald Trump on this same issue.

TONY DOKOUPIL: Well, I wonder if Hunter Biden may have handed some spears to the opposition with an interview today. I want to play a bit of that sound. This is Hunter Biden responding to his joining the Ukrainian energy company, the board, and then dropping out. Let’s listen to that.

HUNTER BIDEN: I’m a human. And you know what, did I make a mistake? Well, maybe in -- in the grand scheme of things, yeah. But did I make a mistake based upon some unethical lapse? Absolutely not.

DOKOUPIL [SARCASM]: So Robby, does that put an end to it, case closed? [Laughter] He addressed this issue, it’s all over now, right? Done.  

KING: Nothing to see here.

ROBBY MOOK [CBS NEWS POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR]: I know. Sadly, look, these things are really hard. I don’t think this is going away. And there’s no perfect solution. The campaign’s just got to manage through it. Look, if I were sitting next to Hunter Biden right now, I’d say, “Buck up, my friend.” I mean, what – what happened here is nothing compared to what the Trump family has done.

KING: What do you mean?

MOOK: Well, trademarks, Ivanka getting trademarks in China while she’s serving in the West Wing. You know, you’ve got Don Jr. over doing an event with the prime minister of India to sell condos. I mean, what he [Hunter Biden] did is nothing compared to that. He just sat on a board. He wasn’t doing events with foreign figures.

SULLIVAN: But it’s sad that’s where we’re at, that it’s about whataboutism.

KING: Whataboutism.

SULLIVAN: Look, he did profit off of his father’s name. You know, at least he’s taking responsibility for it, but it does look kind of awful – if I was sitting next to Hunter Biden, what I’d say is, “Don’t ever go on TV again ever. You look awful. You look guilty.” You know?  

MOOK: But to me, this – look, this is kind of the evil genius of Donald Trump. He has a big problem, and he casts it on to his opponents. You know, we’re hearing “Lock him up” again. It’s mind-boggling that Trump is somehow on offense on an issue where he has serious vulnerability.

(...)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America CBS CBS This Morning Video Gayle King Tony Dokoupil Anthony Mason Joe Biden Donald Trump

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