CBS Claims Focus on Social Issues 'Troubling' for GOP; Ryan Blames Media

February 28th, 2012 5:52 PM

On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose lobbed a series of questions from the left at Republican Congressman Paul Ryan. Rose wondered if the recent trend towards social issues in the Republican presidential race was "troubling." The Wisconsin Republican replied, "It's not troubling for me, and...I think that's more about the media, and maybe the Democrats, who are trying to move it in that direction."

The anchor also touted the auto bailout as an Obama administration success: "The bailout- should that be an issue, and should the voters look at Governor Romney and Governor Santorum [sic] and say, we had an economic bail-out of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up, and they're both doing well." Rose later asked Ryan if he thought that the apparently better economic numbers was "good news for President Obama" [audio available here; video below the jump].

It didn't take long for the CBS on-air personality to ask the congressman his "troubling" question. After initially targeting the media, Ryan added that "when it all comes down to it...we're going to be really talking about the economic issues....There are issues that arise that must be discussed, like the President's new mandate that affects Catholic churches and Catholic hospitals and things like that. But, by and large, this is going to be about economic issues, I think."

Rose followed up by asking his slanted question about the auto bailout. The Wisconsin Republican answered, "Well, if you give any company tens of billions of dollars and wipe their debt off the books, I would expect them to do well. I don't think there's a difference in their positions....between Rick and Mitt on that issue. So I don't see that as a particular issue that goes beyond Michigan." Just as he did with Haley Barbour the previous morning, the anchor interrupted and replied, "They're both against the bailout."

Later in the segment, the CBS journalist made it clear that he was in the liberal tank with his final economic question to Rep. Ryan: "Do you also believe that the economy [is] beginning to improve and that that's good news for President Obama?"

Just five days earlier, Rose tossed softballs at Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs. Since he became a morning newscast host in January, he has consistently been tougher on Republicans than Democrats.

The full transcript of Charlie Rose and co-anchor Erica Hill's interview of Rep. Paul Ryan, which aired five minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Tuesday's CBS This Morning, is available at