ABC, NBC Tout Obama as a ‘Genuine Political Threat’ to Trump

On Friday and Saturday, former President Obama was on the campaign trail in blue districts trying to help Democrats take back the House in November by targeting the sitting president. As would be expected, the liberal media trumpeted their president’s return and on Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC co-anchor Dan Harris described him as a genuine political threat to President Trump.

A lot of ABC’s Trump coverage on Sunday entailed them hyping how Trump was backing down from his battle with porn star Stormy Daniels over a non-disclosure agreement. Using that as a springboard, White House correspondent Tara Palmeri touted Obama’s return. “While the President may be backing down from one fight, he’ll be ramping up another, going head-to-head with former President Obama, who’s back on the campaign trail for a second day in a row with another anti-Trump message,” she announced.

After introducing chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, Harris questioned the Clinton lackey on the effectiveness of the former President’s efforts. “Do you think he’s it's a genuine political threat to Donald Trump or is this just the kind of foil that the President thrives on having?”

Stephanopoulos suggested that both descriptions were accurate and he marveled at the “pretty harsh terms” Obama was using to attack Trump. “[I]t's pretty unusual to see a former president come out in the midterms, call out the man in the office by name,” he said.

“And there's no question, I think, that President Obama, especially in those districts, those blue districts, several of them in California will do a lot to energize the Democratic base, get them out. They're already fired up as it is,” Stephanopoulos added.

 

 

Addressing concerns that Obama could energize the Republican base to come out for Trump, he didn’t see a downside. “I think on balance he's likely to do more good for Democrats than harm in those House races. The Senate, less clear,” Stephanopoulos surmised.

Meanwhile, on NBC’s Sunday Today, anchor Willie Geist hyped how much work Obama was putting in for the Democrats. “President Obama out there with a speech in Illinois, he's in California, he'll be in Ohio next week. He'll be doing fundraisers throughout the Fall in places like Pennsylvania. He's, of course, the biggest star in the party,” he gushed.

After being teed up by Geist, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd opined about how happy Trump must be to have a proper foil to hammer after struggling for so long:

Look, knowing President Trump, I think the answer is yes. I think he's been searching for a foil. Hillary Clinton was his foil in 2016. He’s been trying. He’s tried a combination. Usually, it's Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi, or some combination of that. And frankly, he hasn’t had a good foil. Mueller, in some ways, has probably been the best foil he's been able to come up with.

“President Obama inspires a passionate response even among skeptical Trump supporters on the right,” Todd oozed. He proceeded to write off any concern of the Obama rollout backfiring as simply something “some Democrats” were talking about.

“I do think the net benefit for Democrats having President Obama out there trying to get some of his coalition to come out to vote is probably what they're looking for and probably need more than worrying about alienating a few in the middle,” Todd proclaimed.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

ABC
Good Morning America
September 9, 2018
8:18:44 a.m. Eastern

(…)

TARA PALMERI: While the President may be backing down from one fight, he’ll be ramping up another, going head-to-head with former President Obama, who’s back on the campaign trail for a second day in a row with another anti-Trump message. Dan.

DAN HARRIS: Tara Palmeri reporting in from the White House. Thank you. A lot to discuss this morning, so let's bring in ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, who will be hosting This Week later this morning. Good morning there, how are you doing?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning.

HARRIS: Let's start with President Obama back on the stump as Tara reported. Do you think he’s it's a genuine political threat to Donald Trump or is this just the kind of foil that the President thrives on having?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think both and I think it's pretty unusual to see a former president come out in the midterms, call out the man in the office by name. Pretty harsh terms both on Friday in Illinois and Saturday in California. And there's no question, I think, that President Obama, especially in those districts, those blue districts, several of them in California will do a lot to energize the Democratic base, get them out. They're already fired up as it is.

The question is, will he also fire up the Republican base in a year where the enthusiasm has been down for Republicans, give them, as you say, a foil -- give President Trump a foil? I think on balance he's likely to do more good for Democrats than harm in those House races. The Senate, less clear.

(…)

NBC
Sunday Today
September 9, 2018
8:07:16 a.m. Eastern

(…)

WILLIE GEIST: Chuck Todd is NBC's political director and the moderator of Meet the Press. Chuck, good morning. Good to see you as always. President Obama out there with a speech in Illinois, he's in California, he'll be in Ohio next week. He'll be doing fundraisers throughout the Fall in places like Pennsylvania. He's, of course, the biggest star in the party. Can it help capitalize in all of this Democratic enthusiasm you and I have seen? But is President Trump – although he’s kept his power relatively dry, saying only he fell asleep watching President Obama’s first speech. Is he happy to have this foil back in the arena?

CHUCK TODD: Look, knowing President Trump, I think the answer is yes. I think he's been searching for a foil. Hillary Clinton was his foil in 2016. He’s been trying. He’s tried a combination. Usually, it's Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi, or some combination of that. And frankly, he hasn’t had a good foil. Mueller, in some ways, has probably been the best foil he's been able to come up with.

Perhaps, and I think you've seen—You know, look, President Obama inspires a passionate response even among skeptical Trump supporters on the right. And so I think that there is some concern among some Democrats that the more nationalized this gets, if it becomes Obama versus Trump, that people get into their corners and it may be harder to win over those moderate Republicans who are a bit turned off by Donald Trump. That said, I do think the net benefit for Democrats having President Obama out there trying to get some of his coalition to come out to vote is probably what they're looking for and probably need more than worrying about alienating a few in the middle.

(…)


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CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections 2018 Congressional Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Tara Palmeri Chuck Todd Willie Geist George Stephanopoulos Dan Harris Donald Trump Barack Obama