CNN's Camerota Hits Georgia GOP Candidate from the Left, Spin as Trump Referendum

April 19th, 2017 6:14 PM

During the April 18 edition of CNN's New Day, co-host Alisyn Camerota pressed GOP candidate Karen Handel on whether the runoff regarding the special election in Georgia’s Sixth District in 60 days is “a referendum on Donald Trump.”

Handel responded by blasting her opponent, Jon Ossoff, who was the only Democratic candidate and received 48.1 percent of the vote in the election, since he “doesn’t even live in the district” and “couldn’t even vote for himself yesterday.”

Camerota began the segment by noting that Handel had just sent an email to the GOP occupant of the White House stating: “Thank you for the call this morning.” “What did the president tell you?” the CNN co-host asked.

Handel replied:

He just called to say congratulations and encourage me and let me know that as we go into June 20 that, you know, it’s all hands on deck for Republicans, and we take it very seriously.

I’m proud to be the Republican going into the runoff, and I think it’s important in this district, ... where people know me, and they trust me, and that’s a big contrast to the Democrat who doesn’t even live in the district. Gosh, he couldn’t even vote for himself yesterday.

Camerota then noted that Handel received 19.8 percent of the vote in the special election, while Ossoff attracted 48.1 percent of the ballots.

The CNN anchor continued: “When you look at the numbers, you know, what’s getting a lot of national attention this morning is that” Ossoff “almost won it outright. Had he gotten less than two more points, he would have been over the 50 percent mark, so is this a referendum on President Trump? Is this a message that Democrats are sending somehow?

“Well,” the GOP candidate responded, “let’s just keep in mind that on the Democrat side, they were largely consolidated around their coronated candidate here,” and they spent more than $8 million in out-of-state funds and “$5.5 million on TV alone, compared to roughly $75,000 that I spent on television.”

“Money buys a lot when it’s a very compressed race,” she continued. “That won’t be the same in the runoff. Republicans are united. We know that this is an important race, and it’s going to stay in the hands of a Republican, and I’m excited about the next 60 days.”

“You know, I think it is important to understand that if there was one Republican, it was 52 to 48 or 49, it still would have been a Republican victory,” Handel continued.

“What I hear out across this district is this: The people of this district want a congressman that they know, that they trust, someone who has a real track record,” she added. “They’re not interested in someone who doesn’t even live in the district, someone who has a really thin resume and very lacking in experience.”

“Sure,” Camerota stated, “but clearly voters responded to him somehow. There’s something appealing about John Ossoff since again, so many people turned out to vote for him. What do you think it is?

“This is the world of politics, and this is where we are,” Handel replied. “At the end of the day, the people of this district, they want a solid, independent-minded conservative, someone like me that they know they can trust, and … I’m very confident as we come in the next 60 days.”

In another question regarding President Trump, Camerota asked if he “will come to Georgia and campaign with you?”

Handel replied:

I would hope so. I mean, look, for all Republicans, it’s all hands on deck for us. We know what’s at stake here, and I don’t think that this is about any one person. We all have to rise above it.

It is about a district that has a long legacy of Republican leadership from my good friend (and current Health and Human Services) Secretary Tom Price to Senator Johnny Isakson and former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“So we are all, including the very good 10 other Republican candidates, we are all going to be united because we know what our job is over the next 60 days,” she concluded.

The poster at commented on the discussion: “I love how confident Handel is during the interview and how she quickly points out to the CNN host that the Republicans combined got 52 percent of the vote, so if there had only been one Republican, Ossoff would have “lost his Oss.”

It’s also worth noting that in the banner across the bottom of the screen during the entire segment, the text read: “Republican Wake-up Call in Georgia Special Election.” Obviously, there was no attempt to be “fair and balanced” here.