If the 2000 election was, as Tim Russert said, all about "Florida, Florida, Florida," it looks like the Democrats, and certainly Joe Biden, are trying to make the 2020 election about Charlottesville, Charlottesville, Charlottesville.
No fewer than eight times on his State of the Union CNN show today, Jake Tapper asked Kellyanne Conway whether President Trump's response to Charlottesville was, as he has said, perfect. Conway forcefully made the case that the President's "very fine people on both sides" comment was clearly in reference to people peacefully opposing the removal of Confederate statues, not to the neo-Nazis. And she pointed out that Trump had unequivocally condemned racism, bigotry, evil, violence, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK. She called Trump's response "darn near perfection."
When Tapper still wouldn't drop his hair-splitting over "perfect," Conway eventually had enough, and took a shot at the liberal media:
"It looks like you, and others, looking at 2020, are worried that this guy can't be beaten fairly and squarely."
Shot back Tapper:
"That's beneath you, Kellyanne. That comment is beneath you."
Tapper is fairer to Trump and Republicans at large than many of his MSM brethren. But does anyone doubt that the liberal media at large serve as an adjunct to the Democrats, and have and will continue to use Charlottesville, or whatever other blunt object might come along, to bludgeon Trump's re-election prospects?
Here's the transcript.
State of the Union
9:10 am EDT
JAKE TAPPER: President Trump said he thought his response to Charlottesville was perfect. Gary Cohn, Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, Cory Gardner, all loyal to President Trump --
KELLYANNE CONWAY: You want to talk about that because you want to pretend, respectfully --
TAPPER: You keep bringing up Charlottesville.
CONWAY: No I didn't. You want to pretend, I was very happy on Friday —
TAPPER: You brought up Charlottesville: I did not.
CONWAY: No, I was happy on Thursday or Friday when you finally came out and said he wasn't talking about [neo-Nazis, when Trump made his "very fine people" comment] --
TAPPER: It's not "finally." I’ve been saying it the whole time.
CONWAY: We're talking about white supremacy, we're talking about neo-Nazis --
TAPPER: Was President Trump’s response on Charlottesville perfect?
CONWAY: But I want us to talk about hate everywhere.
TAPPER: Was his response perfect? Yes or no.
CONWAY: I think it was twisted for many years.
TAPPER: Was his response, he said his response on Charlottesville was perfect.
CONWAY: Because intent matters, and he was talking about --
TAPPER: Was his response perfect? Gary Cohn doesn’t think his response was perfect. Do you think his --
CONWAY: Gary Cohn stayed in the White House for many months after that.
TAPPER: But he almost resigned. Do you think, it's a simple, it’s a very simple question. Yes or no: was President Trump's response perfect?
CONWAY: No, it’s not a simple question, it's a very complicated topic. When President Trump condemned racism, bigotry, evil, violence and then took it many steps further and called out neo-Nazis, white supremacists, KKK --
TAPPER: Was his response perfect?
CONWAY: -- that is darn near perfection. When you're calling out --
TAPPER: So yes?
CONWAY: When you’re calling out KKK, neo-Nazis and you're saying there were people there who hadn’t signed up for that. There were people there that --
TAPPER: You know that President Trump left an ambiguity —
CONWAY: All neo-Nazis, all anti-Christianity, all anti-Semitism, all anti-Muslim activity should be condemned, dead stop full. That’s the perfect response.
TAPPER: Anti-Muslim activities?
CONWAY: So what are we arguing about?
TAPPER: The President called for a full ban on Muslims entering the United States.
CONWAY: It looks like you and others, looking at 2020, are worried that this guy can’t be beaten fairly and squarely. Why does Joe Biden come out and not say one thing about his Senate race?
TAPPER: That's beneath you, Kellyanne.
CONWAY: No, it's not beneath me.
TAPPER: That comment is beneath you.