Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Sunday parroted Barack Obama's talking points, insisting that a shutdown of the government would wound a "weak" Republican Party for a "generation." On Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos touted the President for "cutting his vacation short" due to unrest in Egypt.
After allowing that Obama has "little leverage" over House Republicans, he narrated that the White House believes "the Republican Party is in an even weaker position, that if they shut down the government, say, over their calls to defund Obamacare, they will relegate themselves to minority status for a generation." Playing the role of administration cheerleader, the journalist pointed out that Obama has a big autumn coming up, "which is why he cut his vacation short. He only went eight days this year instead of the normal two weeks." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Guest host Dan Abrams broached the subject of Egypt with Stephanopoulos. He pointed out that "a lot of people are saying, 'Why isn't the U.S. doing more'" and added, "Is the concern betting on the wrong horse?"
Predictably, the former top aide to Bill Clinton defended Obama: "I think the real concern is there may not be a good horse in this fight."
Weekend GMA co-host Bianna Golodryga awkwardly wondered, "But aside from him being on vacation, he's coming back to a lofty, lofty administration. And he's got immigration reform, gun control, a deficit deal. What, if any, can he accomplish?"
Obama is returning to a "lofty, loft administration?" He is the administration. Did the host mean that the President is returning to an administration "exalted in rank, dignity or character?" Or does Golodryga just not know what the word means?
Either way, no one on the GMA panel complained about Obama's vacation. In June, ABC hyped the President's "beautiful" trip and ignored any hint of its extravagance. The Washington Post put the price tag on that vacation at between $60 and $100 million.
Instead, Golodryga on Sunday made sure to point out: " We have images of the [Obama] playing golf yesterday with [comedian] Larry David."
Last week, NBC did an entire segment on America's policy towards Egypt without mentioning Obama by name.
A transcript of the August 18 segment is below:
BIANNA GOLODRYGA: Well, the unrest in Egypt is proving to be a tough test for the Obama administration
DAB ABRAMS: Host of ABC's This Week George Stephanopoulos joins the discussion. Good morning, George.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Hey, Dan.
ABRAMS: You know, a lot of people are saying why isn't the U.S. doing more? Is the concern betting on the wrong horse?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think the real concern is there may not be a good horse in this fight. You know, for months when the Muslim Brotherhood was in charge after they had been elected, the United States pressed them to be more inclusive, to open up the governing process. They ignored the United States. The military comes in. The United States presses them not to have violent crackdowns. They're ignored as well. This is, you know– So far, President Obama has avoided suspending military aid to Egypt because he wants to maintain our influence. But if this continues, if the military continues to ignore U.S. pleas to calm down the violence, they may have no choice but to suspend aid.
GOLODRYGA: And, of course, we know the embassy in Cairo is closed today because of the escalating violence. I want to turn back to domestic policy. The President wrapping up his vacation in Martha's Vineyard. We have images of the him playing golf yesterday with Larry David. But aside from him being on vacation, he's coming back to a lofty, lofty administration. And he's got immigration reform, gun control, a deficit deal. What, if any, can he accomplish?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he's got a big fall coming up, which is why he cut his vacation short. He only went eight days this year instead of the normal two weeks. And the big problem for the President right now is they're facing three showdowns with the Congress over shutting down the government, over the debt limit, over the sequester which has already led to severe cuts in government funding. And the President has precious little leverage there. But he believes, and the White House believes, that the Republican Party is in an even weaker position, that if they shut down the government, say, over their calls to defund Obamacare, they will relegate themselves to minority status for a generation.
GOLODRYGA: Boy, they have a lot on their plate domestically and internationally. All right, George. Thank you.