MSNBC, CNN Ignore Fiorina's Forceful Slam of Planned Parenthood

MSNBC's Morning Joe and CNN's New Day both interviewed Carly Fiorina on Thursday after she did well at the Republican presidential debate. However, the two programs failed to bring up her dare to President Obama and Hillary Clinton to watch the hidden camera videos exposing Planned Parenthood's sale of unborn babies' organs and tissue. CNN's Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo largely skirted the issues during their segment with Fiorina, with Cuomo asking about her lack of smiling during the debate. MSNBC's panel did ask about ISIS and the apparent wage gap, but avoided abortion. [video below]

Cuomo led CNN's interview of the former Hewlett-Packard CEO by noting that "she's got a big smile on her face this morning," but then pointing out that "smiles not something we saw too much from you last night. What was your mindset going in; and what do you think worked for you?" Fiorina answered, in part, that "we were talking about serious subjects last night in many cases. And so, a smile is not always appropriate."

Camerota followed up by noting her guest's retort to Trump's now-infamous "face" remark about his opponent. She asked, "What did you think of that moment? What did you think of when he said that you have a beautiful face; and now, you're a beautiful person?" Cuomo also wondered, "What gave you the wherewithal and desire to do what nobody else has done in this race on your side of the field yet – which was, I'm not just going to wait to respond to Donald Trump. I'm going to go at him...Why?"

The CNN morning newscast then set aside a significant portion of the segment to Fiorina's revelation that her step-daughter died after a long struggle with drug addiction. Camerota touted how "that surprised people – to hear that you had that in your background. Can you tell us more about that?" Cuomo prompted the candidate to "speak to that," and wondered, "What did you learn through your own life about the realities of this problem? What's misunderstood? What's needed?"

Camerota continued the fluff later in the segment: "Were you surprised at how much applause you got last night?" Cuomo followed up by underlining that voters are "looking for a leader," and asking, "What do you think people will learn as they to get to know Carly more? Who is Carly? Why is she somebody that they should feel comfortable with; they should feel safe with; they should feel cares?"

Fiorina also launched a critique of the media coverage of the Trump when Camerota brought up her opponent [video below]:

ALISYN CAMEROTA: I heard you described this morning as Donald Trump's 'Kryptonite.' So you can take that as you will. But what did you think of his performance last night? Was Donald Trump as feisty as you were expecting?

CARLY FIORINA, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know what? I think the audience has to decide what they think of Donald Trump's performance. Listen, honestly, I will tell you the truth: I think we have spent – the media, frankly, has spent way too much time talking about the entertainment aspects of this; the performance aspects of this – Donald Trump, personally. I think people – when I'm out on the trail, I'm never asked a single question about Donald Trump. The only people that ask me about Donald Trump are the media. What voters want to know is, what's going to impact their life? They're concerned about their lives. And so, I hope, going forward – you know, people can decide what they thought of Donald Trump's performance – that's not for me to say. But I really hope, going forward, that we can have a more substantive conversation about the things impacting Americans' lives. And Donald Trump's performance doesn't impact their life honestly.

An hour later, Morning Joe brought on the former CEO, and like New Day, they led the interview with two "how do you feel" type questions. Mike Barnicle also spotlighted Fiorina's statement about her step-daughter and asked, "What did it teach you about yourself?" Anchor Mika Brzezinski's question about "stagnant wages and the wage gap – especially as it pertains to women" was actually the sixth question of the segment. Host Joe Scarborough followed up with his question about how she would handle ISIS.

It should be pointed out that Fiorina also appeared on Fox News Channel's Fox & Friends. The segment was actually much shorter than CNN and MSNBC's interviews of the Republican presidential candidate, but like their competitors, the program didn't bring up the Planned Parenthood issue. Hasselbeck's question could actually be seen as a rejoinder to Cuomo's "smile" question:

STEVE DOOCY: How do you feel this morning? You know, there are so many people out there who said – you know, I hadn't really seen her, and I was impressed with what she had to say.

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: You had the most positive results across social media – people definitely responding to that. Carly, how do you walk the line between being that strong woman; and also, being compassionate enough? She needs to smile more; she needs to be stronger. How do you – how do you walk that tight rope right now as a woman?

BRIAN KILMEADE: You went from the second stage to the third most – getting the third most time in the – on the main stage. Here's a question from one of our viewers. They say this for you, Carly: 'What is your economic plan to get control of what will be in excess of a $20 trillion deficit when President Obama leaves office? How do you do that?'

The transcripts of the questions to Carly Fiorina from Thursday's New Day on CNN, and Morning Joe on MSNBC – including some of the answers from Fiorina on CNN:

09/17/2015
07:00 am EDT
CNN – New Day

CHRIS CUOMO: Carly Fiorina is the name coming out of this debate most this morning – social media, the different assessments of the debate – really saying she had a breakout night. You know her – the Hewlett Packard CEO – landing clean blows on Trump – but also, in her own cause – some of the most memorable moments. She's got a big smile on her face this morning. It's good to see you, Mrs. Fiorina. Smiles not something we saw too much from you last night. What was your mindset going in; and what do you think worked for you?

ALISYN CAMEROTA: A lot of people were waiting for a moment that you and Donald Trump came to blows, (Fiorina laughs) or had some sort of exchange – and there were many of them. So let's watch a little portion of you and Donald Trump last night.

CARLY FIORINA, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (from CNN Republican presidential debate): You know, it's interesting to me: Mr. Trump said that he heard Mr. [Jeb] Bush very clearly in what Mr. Bush said. I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said. (audience cheers and applauds)

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think she's got a beautiful face, and I think she's a beautiful woman.

CAMEROTA: What did you think of that moment? What did you think of when he said that you have a beautiful face; and now, you're a beautiful person?

(...)

CUOMO: What gave you the wherewithal and desire to do what nobody else has done in this race on your side of the field yet – which was, I'm not just going to wait to respond to Donald Trump. I'm going to go at him; I'm going to go toe-to-toe; and I'm going to fight him, and we'll see how – you know, you did that more than anybody else last night. Why?

CAMEROTA: You did something different last night. You shared a very personal moment about a tragedy in your family. I believe we have this moment, and it's something that you don't talk about often. So let's listen to this.

FIORINA: I very much hope that I am the only person on this stage who can say this – but I know there are millions of Americans out there who will say the same thing: my husband Frank and I buried a child to drug addiction. So, we must invest more in the treatment of drugs.

CAMEROTA: That surprised people – to hear that you had that in your background. Can you tell us more about that?

CUOMO: Speak to that, Mrs. Fiorina, because – look, there's – there's an emotional price when you open up your life like this, but you know that is part of politics; and it's certainly part of something that you thought was important enough to say on the debate stage. What was it like for you and your husband – because people say addiction, very often – well, it's weakness of character; it's poor choices; it's criminal behavior – what did you learn through your own life about the realities of this problem? What's misunderstood? What's needed?

CAMEROTA: I want to ask you about your experience during the debate. It seemed to me – this is unofficial; (Fiorina laughs) I was trying to take notes – that you got the most applause. The things that you said, the crowd responded to the most. Were you surprised at how much applause you got last night?

CUOMO: I'll take the other side of it. I feel that there's a different experience with you – when you're in the (unintelligible); when you're in close settings like this; and then, when you get on the big stage. I'm not saying you are intimidated by it. We thought you were going to do well last night. You just did better than we even expected. But they're looking for a leader. But it's going to be a person they pick – not their policies. Yes, the fair criticism on Trump is he has to put meat on the bones. You exposed that last night several times. But what do you think people will learn as they to get to know Carly more? Who is Carly? Why is she somebody that they should feel comfortable with; they should feel safe with; they should feel cares?

(...)

CAMEROTA: I heard you described this morning as Donald Trump's 'Kryptonite.' So you can take that as you will. But what did you think of his performance last night? Was Donald Trump as feisty as you were expecting?

FIORINA: You know what? I think the audience has to decide what they think of Donald Trump's performance. Listen, honestly, I will tell you the truth: I think we have spent – the media, frankly, has spent way too much time talking about the entertainment aspects of this; the performance aspects of this – Donald Trump, personally. I think people – when I'm out on the trail, I'm never asked a single question about Donald Trump. The only people that ask me about Donald Trump are the media. What voters want to know is, what's going to impact their life? They're concerned about their lives. And so, I hope, going forward – you know, people can decide what they thought of Donald Trump's performance – that's not for me to say. But I really hope, going forward, that we can have a more substantive conversation about the things impacting Americans' lives. And Donald Trump's performance doesn't impact their life honestly.

CUOMO: Did it go better than you expected last night?

FIORINA: Well, I certainly was hoping that I would get an opportunity to say what I wanted to say-

CUOMO: You took the opportunity-

CAMEROTA: Yeah, you took the opportunity-

FIORINA: Yes, I did-

CUOMO: You weren't always given them-

FIORINA: Yes-

CUOMO: You took them. That's part of what you were going to do.

FIORINA: That is true as well. And I had – as I went through the evening, I had things that I wanted to say. And I would write them down, and I got through all of the things that I wanted to say. I would have notes to myself. You know, I'd like to make this point, and I got to my point. So, I'm satisfied.

CAMEROTA: I bet. That's a big accomplishment. Thanks so much for getting up early with us.


09/17/2015
08:02 am EDT
MSNBC – Morning Joe

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I tell you what: it is – I don't – I don't think we've had a debate – certainly, not a debate with 47 people on the same stage for 18 hours – or however long that black hole of Calcutta experience was – where there was such a unified response. I think most everybody has – has said that it was your – your night. You – you won. What happened last night? What's your take on it?

SCARBOROUGH: Hey Carly, I want to put up – while you were talking – I want to put up and read these reviews. Guys, if you could put up these reviews back up again; also, people listening on radio can read this. Business Insider: 'Fiorina dropped the mic after a stunning debate performance.' The Weekly Standard called last night 'Carly's night.' Bloomberg said, 'No one performed better than Carly Fiorina.' And New York Post says, 'Carly Fiorina makes her case to be GOP frontrunner.' That certainly beats being – being called a lousy debater. I mean, you've got to even be surprised by the overwhelming response this morning.

MIKE BARNICLE: Miss (sic) Fiorina, I hesitate to raise this – to ask this – but you raised this issue last night during the debate. You lost a child – tragic circumstances. Other than the obvious that anyone would feel after losing a child, what enduring – going through that experience – what did it teach you about yourself?

WILLIE GEIST: I thought that was one of the most powerful moments of the night when Miss (sic) Fiorina talked about her daughter – among several that she had. I'll embarrass you with one more. This is just a lead to John Podhoretz's column this morning question – he's obviously one of – a prominent conservative: 'The question after the second Republican debate is this: will it take a week for Carly Fiorina to sit atop the polls, or will it take two weeks – because after Wednesday night's debate, it's going to happen.' And that seems to be the consensus if you were on Twitter last night, or looking at social media reaction from conservatives and Republicans. So, where do you go from here, Carly? You obviously had the – the first debate was a big bump for you in Cleveland. Now, you've got up another notch last night. Do you see yourself now – do you agree that you could be soon atop the polls?

STEVE SCHMIDT: Fantastic job last night – I'm wondering if there was a moment in the debate where you knew you had this? It was hot up there – the debate lasted for hours – but was there a moment that you understood that I'm in complete, total control/command of this debate?

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So Carly, let me just ask: as the sole woman on the stage, it must have been an unbelievable experience on many levels. But let's talk about policy, as it pertains to women – and overall wages. Unemployment numbers don't tell the whole story. There are people who can't live on the wages that they are working for. Wages haven't changed in years. They're stagnant. What would you do about stagnant wages and the wage gap – especially as it pertains to women?

SCARBOROUGH: Carly, let me ask you another policy question. Before you came on, we were talking about the failure, our – the United States's complete failure against ISIS – especially in Syria. Syria has exploded under the world stage. It's now – it's not at the doorstep of Europe. It is now visited upon Europe. The United States and the rest of the West has done very little over the past several years. It is a problem from hell, and it's a problem we've done nothing about significantly. What do we do moving forward? What would you do as commander-in-chief to bring order back to Syria and the region?

GEIST: Different topic for you, Miss (sic) Fiornia: we just got the news this week that H.P. was cutting 30,000 jobs, as the company splits under the leadership of Meg Whitman. That's in addition to 55,000 jobs cut there earlier this year. I understand you haven't been with H.P. for more than a decade at this point, but what was your reaction to that news as someone who led that company?

BRZEZINSKI: We had the chance to meet your husband, and I heard a little bit about how you prepare for debates, and you all have a quiet moment before you get on stage. So what did he say after?

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Culture/Society Bias by Omission Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Sexuality Abortion Fox News Channel Fox & Friends CNN New Day MSNBC Morning Joe Video Planned Parenthood Chris Cuomo Alisyn Camerota Mika Brzezinski Joe Scarborough Willie Geist Carly Fiorina
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