Former Democratic operative and Hillary Clinton friend George Stephanopoulos may have gone easy on the candidate when he interviewed her on Monday, but the journalist grilled Ted Cruz when he appeared on Good Morning America, Thursday. After lecturing Cruz that New York is “very different here from Wisconsin,” he played a clip of an anti-Cruz protester screaming, “If you are anti-immigrant, you are not welcome here!”
Stephanopoulos demanded, “You know that both and Donald Trump are in a deep hole right now with Latinos. How do you turn it around?” The co-host followed-up by chiding, “But there are also thousands of undocumented immigrants right here in this neighborhood and you're going to deport them.”
Stephanopoulos repeatedly delved into Cruz’s “New York values” remark. First, he played a clip of Trump attacking the Texas Senator. Then, he pressed, “So, no regrets for hitting New York values? You don't think it's going to hurt you here?”
Eventually, Cruz fired back at Stephanopoulos, pointing out: “The media does everything they can to paint any Republican as mean and scary and nasty.”
Stephanopoulos’s tone differs markedly from his interview with Clinton. There, the journalist skipped any mention of the Democrat’s growing e-mail scandal. He avoided the hot topic of abortion. In contrast, Stephanopoulos did pound Republican John Kasich on abortion, Sunday. He also brought it up with Bernie Sanders.
The journalist also avoided informing his viewers about a conflict of interest relating to the Clintons. In 2015, Stephanopoulos was engulfed in scandal when it was revealed that he secretly donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
When it comes to objectivity, Stephanopoulos isn’t even trying.
A transcript is below:
AMY ROBACH: Also this morning, welcome to New York. Donald Trump getting massive crowds in his home state and firing back at Ted Cruz.
DONALD TRUMP: And I've got this guy standing over there looking at me talking about New York values, I think you can forget about him.
ROBACH: Cruz getting a rough welcome in the Bronx and going one-on-one with George right here on GMA.
7:06:44 to 7:11:29
4 minutes and 45 seconds
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You saw that restaurant in the Bronx, that Chino Latino restaurant where Ted Cruz got kind of a raucous welcome. I sat down with him there and pressed him on whether that Wisconsin win he had was a turning point in the race. Donald Trump still far ahead in delegates. He’s got a big lead here in New York.
TED CRUZ: We've won now four states in a row, the last two weeks. The victory in Wisconsin was across the board. It was a 13 point victory and, you know, three weeks ago we were behind by ten points.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But even if you do well going forward, you're still likely to be behind him in delegates when you get to Cleveland and most of the voters last night said they want whoever is ahead to get the nomination.
CRUZ: There is only one way to get the nomination and that is you earn a majority of the votes. Donald Trump has not been able to earn a majority of votes just about anywhere and that's his problem. He wants to change the rules so he doesn't have to get a majority. If we get to a convention and no one has gotten 1,237 delegates, I'll come in with a ton of delegates. He'll come in with a ton of delegates. It’s then going to be up to the delegates to decide who will get the majority.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Very different here from Wisconsin. You know, you saw that protester when he came in saying, “We don’t want someone anti-immigrant here.”
PROTESTER: If you are anti-immigrant, you are not welcome here!
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you know that both and Donald Trump are in a deep hole right now with Latinos. How do you turn it around?
CRUZ: Well, I tell you, this meeting there was one loudmouthed protester. I mean, in the New York you can find one loudmouthed protester. You know, this was a meeting we had here. Number one, we’re in a small business. We’re in a restaurant and my focus is very much on small businesses because economic opportunity, jobs come from small businesses. And I got to tell you, the energy and enthusiasm as I was meeting with pastors who were hugging me, who were saying “I'm praying for you. We're with you.” We are building a broad and diverse coalition. That's what it's going to take to win the nomination but even more importantly that's—
STEPHANOPOULOS: But there are also thousands of undocumented immigrants right here in this neighborhood and you’re going to deport them.
CRUZ: Well, we are a nation of laws and being a nation of laws means you enforce the laws. And, you know, every other nation on Earth enforces their law. If you or I immigrated illegally to China or France or Germany or Mexico, and they caught us, they would deport us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump, you hit him back in Iowa for his New York values. He told the Wall Street Journal can't imagine any New Yorker voting for you. He said, “Ted Cruz doesn't care about New Yorkers. He doesn't like New Yorkers. He's mocking New Yorkers.”
CRUZ [Debate clip]: You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are. [Talking to George.] Let me be very clear. The people that I was talking about are the liberal New York Democrats who have hammered this state. It is people like Mayor Bill de Blasio and governor Cuomo.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Donald Trump you're saying.
CRUZ: Who has funded them all.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, no regrets for hitting New York values? You don't think it's going to hurt you here?
CRUZ: Just a minute ago, we were meeting with Hispanic and African American pastors. Senator Ruben Diaz, he’s an African American Democratic state senator. He said, “I know exactly what you're talking about with New York values and we can’t stand it.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: Greeted by the hometown paper here. The New York Times, story about a real estate lawsuit that Donald had to settle, his organization had to settle. You talked about his business record in the past. Are you going to put his business record on the ballot here in New York?
CRUZ: Listen, Republicans, we want to win. We want to beat Hillary. The last thing we want is to nominate someone like Donald Trump who over and over again has allegations of fraud against him, has litigation. Last thing we want to do is nominate someone on the witness stand in October and November as much as Hillary Clinton.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But this was settled.
CRUZ: But yet the Trump University litigation that he defrauded thousands of people with a fake university, took their money, scammed them. That is scheduled to go to trial this summer.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Final question, a lot more Americans are going to get to see you right now. What is the biggest misconception about you, you want to clear up?
CRUZ: Listen, the media does everything they can to paint any Republican as mean and scary and nasty. I'm the son of an immigrant who washed dishes and came to America with nothing. I'm the son of an Irish-Italian mom the first in her family to go to college. The people I'm fighting for are the people working in this restaurant. I'm fighting for the people who have been left behind and we are seeing this coalition come together. We are seeing unity in the Republican Party. But not just among Republicans, every day I encounter Democrats who come up to me and say “I voted for Barack Obama, but I'm with you. What we're doing now isn't working.