On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," reporter Jake Tapper used the story that Rudy Giuliani’s daughter had joined a pro-Barack Obama Facebook group as a segue to recount the travails of other presidential children. Somehow, his list of wayward youths included only the offspring of famous Republican politicians, while ignoring Democratic embarrassments, such as the recent drug arrest of Al Gore III.
Additionally, GMA anchor Diane Sawyer closed the segment by discussing parent/child relationships with guest host George Stephanopoulos. Sawyer mentioned how she fought with her father, a Republican judge, over politics:
Diane Sawyer: "...I remember what a hard time I gave my father about politics."
George Stephanopoulos: "About his votes?"
(For additional information on Sawyer’s father, Erbon Powers Sawyer, click here and scroll about half way down.) The GMA anchor, who didn't mention her dad's party affiliation, went on to explain the political differences she had with a GOP parent by saying, "Well, it was the ‘60s, you know?"
Some have tried to argue that Ms. Sawyer represents political balance because, as a young woman in her twenties, she worked for Richard Nixon’s White House. However, as author Ann Coulter noted in her book "Slander," the ABC journalist is on record as having said, "If someone like [1972 Democratic Presidential candidate] George McGovern had offered me a job, I’d almost certainly have taken it." (P. 72)
Earlier in the segment, which aired at 7:17am, reporter Jake Tapper used 17-year-old Caroline Giuliani’s embarrassing gaffe, a Facebook recommendation of Barack Obama, to discuss the headlines created by other famous political families:
Jake Tapper: "This comes a few months after Giuliani’s son Andrew told the media that his relations with his father were strained. Giuliani is hardly the first national politician to have unwanted headlines about his children, growing pains after all can be painful not just for the kids, whether Jenna Bush's many underage drinking incidents or when Gerald Ford's son Jack admitted having tried marijuana, or when Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, wrote a tell-all book and posed nude in Playboy."
The common denominator, of course, is that all of these are Republican examples. Apparently other instances, such as the public drunkenness of Chelsea Clinton and the drug arrest of Al Gore III, didn’t warrant a mention in Mr. Tapper’s piece. (Isn't it also odd to use the Jack Ford example, which is from the '70s, but not Gore's son, which is only a month old?)
A transcript of the segment follows:
George Stephanopoulos: "A little political buzz this morning. Never mind ordinary voters, can Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani get his own kids to vote for him? His daughter is about to start college and she caused a stir by appearing to back a Democratic rival. With more on family politics and the perils of Facebook, here is ABC's senior political correspondent Jake Tapper."
ABC Graphic: "Political Family Flap: Is Rudy’s Daughter Obama’s Girl?"
Jake Tapper: "Most angry teenage girls just ignore their fathers. But on her Facebook page, 17-year-old Caroline Giuliani, estranged from her father, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ever since he divorced her mother, claimed membership in a Barack Obama fan club. A spokesman for Caroline says joining Obama’s group was, quote, ‘an expression of interest in certain principles. It was not intended as an indication of support in a presidential campaign and she has removed it.’"
Rudy Giuliani (R-2008 Presidential candidate): "My daughter, I love very much. I have great respect for her and I'm really proud of her, and I don't comment on children because I want to give them the maximum degree of privacy."
Tapper: "This comes a few months after Giuliani’s son Andrew told the media that his relations with his father were strained. Giuliani is hardly the first national politician to have unwanted headlines about his children, growing pains after all can be painful not just for the kids, whether Jenna Bush's many underage drinking incidents, or when Gerald Ford's son Jack admitted having tried marijuana, or when Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, wrote a tell-all book and posed nude in Playboy. The question, does this say anything about a candidate's leadership?"
Doug Wead (Author, All the Presidents’ Children): "Sometimes bad fathers make great presidents and there are some good fathers who’ve made bad presidents."
Tapper: "As for the Giulianis, son Andrew tells ABC News that reports of tension between him and his father are overblown. And regarding his sister he says, quote, ‘One of the great things about our parents is they’ve always encouraged us to see the world for ourselves.’ For Good Morning America, Jake Tapper, ABC News, Washington."
Stephanopoulos: "Boy, there is no easy way for families to go through presidential campaigns. But, you know, voters, I think, do give the candidates a whole lot of leeway. They know what tough times in family are like and they're not going to judge, usually judge, the candidates too harshly on this."
Sawyer: "Not only dealing with their own parents, but I remember what a hard time I gave my father about politics."
Stephanopoulos: "About his votes?"
Sawyer: "Yeah. Did you?"
Stephanopoulos: "[Pause] Um, actually, we agreed."
Sawyer: "You did? You miracle."
Stephanopoulos: "No, it's true. We basically agreed on our politics."
Sawyer: "Well, I did. Well, it was the ‘60s, you know?"
Stephanopoulos: "And I would vote for my dad if he were running for president."
Sawyer: "You just want to get that on the record."
Stephanopoulos: "I do want to get that on the record."
Sawyer: "Dad! Okay, well, I think you’re right. We do give them a break and his just saying, ‘I love her. I’m proud of her,’ is the right way to go."
Stephanopoulos: "That’s all you need to say."