ABC, NBC Desperately Try to Discount Dem Becoming GOPer Because of Impeachment

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The Democratic Party and media crusade to impeach President Trump didn’t appear to be going well Sunday, as New Jersey Democratic Congressman Jeff Van Drew was set to vote against the Articles of Impeachment and become a Republican in the process. ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Sunday Today spent some of their mornings trying to convince the public it was no big deal. Yet, part of the intent of the hearings was to peel Republicans away from Trump, which would’ve been celebrated.

“This representative, Jeff Van Drew from New Jersey is a freshman Democrat. He's not only going to vote against impeachment, but he’s actually going to quit the Democratic Party and join the Republicans,” prefaced ABC co-anchor Dan Harris to chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. “Is this consequential in your mind?

After admitting it was “good news” for President Trump, Stephanopoulos attempted to discount Van Drew defection as just political maneuvering:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have to look at the specific facts of Jeff Van Drew's district. He does come -- he's a Democrat, but he does come from a Trump district inside New Jersey. And it became pretty clear once he announced he was against the impeachment inquiry back in the fall that he was going to face a Democratic challenger in the primary. And the polls showed that a majority of Democrats actually were against re-electing Jeff Van Drew.

So in some way, if he wanted to hold onto his seat, he had no choice. The question will be, will Trump's support make the difference in his re-election, because he's going to face a tough Republican primary as well,” he added.

 

 

Over on NBC’s Sunday Today, White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell dismissed Van Drew’s party defection as “not enough to alter the outcome,” then lamented, “but a single party switch feeds the Trump argument that impeachment is partisan.” In reality, it wasn’t just an “argument,” it was fact, and opposition to impeachment was bipartisan.

“The President courted Congressman Van Drew, had him to the White House. What’s the significance of some of these defections, because the House likely still will go do Democrats' way,” wondered host Willie Geist to White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

After noting that New York Congressman Anthony Brindisi (D) was also thinking about opposing impeachment, she appeared to whine about how, “even if they can peel off a few Democrats, Willie, the President is going crow about that on the campaign trail. He’s going to say that’s a victory for him.”

“And by the way, they are expecting Republicans to vote in lockstep with him. So, obviously, he’s going to tout that as well,” she added.

In response, Geist seemed to suggest Trump should feel “very confident” because the Senate was rigged in his favor:

GEIST: And he's got to be feeling very confident, the White House has to feel very confident when you hear Mitch McConnell sat, “there is no way the President will be removing from office.” When you hear Lindsey Graham saying, “I am not going to pretend I’m an impartial juror here. I’m never going to vote to convict the President.”

Again, if Democrats managed to peel Republicans away from Trump, the media would celebrate it as a victory for democracy or the rule of law. And if Van Drew’s defection wasn’t a big deal, then why were they trying to convince people it wasn’t?

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

ABC’s Good Morning America
December 15, 2019
8:06:21 a.m. Eastern

(…)

DAVID WRIGHT: Democrats are in the driver's seat for this part of the process, but Republicans do hope to chip away at Democratic unity, targeting members from districts where Trump support is strong. There are 31 of them, two of them have already said they will vote “no” on one or both Articles of Impeachment, and Congressman Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey is expected to quit the Democratic Party and cross the aisle to the Republicans dramatically sometime this week. Over in the Senate, Republicans have the majority.

(…)

8:08:17 a.m. Eastern

DAN HARRIS: We are hearing it from David this morning and others about the fact that we have got at least one Democrat who is looking to defect in the House. This representative, Jeff Van Drew from New Jersey is a freshman Democrat. He's not only going to vote against impeachment, but he’s actually going to quit the Democratic Party and join the Republicans. Is this consequential in your mind?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, it’s good news for President Trump going into the impeachment vote. He's going to be able to announce that it looks like a Democrat is becoming a Republican. You have to look at the specific facts of Jeff Van Drew's district. He does come -- he's a Democrat, but he does come from a Trump district inside New Jersey. And it became pretty clear once he announced he was against the impeachment inquiry back in the fall that he was going to face a Democratic challenger in the primary. And the polls showed that a majority of Democrats actually were against re-electing Jeff Van Drew.

So in some way, if he wanted to hold onto his seat, he had no choice. The question will be, will Trump's support make the difference in his re-election, because he's going to face a tough Republican primary as well.

HARRIS: Another sign of how partisan this whole process is. George, thank you very much.

 

NBC’s Sunday Today
December 15, 2019
8:03:26 a.m. Eastern

(…)

KELLY O’DONNELL: While Democrats, by sheer numbers, are expected to pass two articles of impeachment by midweek. The White House is courting a potential democratic defector.

REP. JEFF VAN DREW (D-NJ): I am a different kind of Democrat and I have always been.

O’DONNELL: First-term New Jersey Democrat, Jeff Van Drew is from a district where President Trump is popular. Sources tell NBC that he's expected to switch to the GOP after the impeachment vote.

VAN DREW: There is nothing that has turned off that truly is impeachable.

O’DONNELL: Not enough to alter the outcome, but a single party switch feeds the Trump argument that impeachment is partisan.

(…)

8:06:59 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Kristen, Kelly O mentioned Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, a Democrat who’s expected to even switch parties now and vote in support of the President against these Articles of Impeachment. The President courted Congressman Van Drew, had him to the White House. What’s the significance of some of these defections, because the House likely still will go do Democrats' way?

KRISTEN WELKER: From the perspective of the White House, that is their focus right now, Willie. Trying to peel off defectors. There are 31 Democrats in Trump's districts. President Trump was tweeting about them, essentially warning that their reelection prospects could be in jeopardy if they voted for impeachment.

And so, that is where the pressure is going to be, we heard from one congressman, Anthony Brindisi of New York, who said he's getting phone calls on both sides, people who want him to vote yes, people who and him to vote no, and he's taking all of that into consideration. Even if they can peel off a few Democrats, Willie, the President is going crow about that on the campaign trail. He’s going to say that’s a victory for him. And by the way, they are expecting Republicans to vote in lockstep with him. So, obviously, he’s going to tout that as well.

GEIST: And he's got to be feeling very confident, the White House has to feel very confident when you hear Mitch McConnell sat, “there is no way the President will be removing from office.” When you hear Lindsey Graham saying, “I am not going to pretend I’m an impartial juror here. I’m never going to vote to convict the President.”

WELKER: That's right.

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Congressional Events Trump Impeachment Double Standards Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Dan Harris George Stephanopoulos Kelly O'Donnell Willie Geist Kristen Welker Donald Trump

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