Networks Warn of ‘Dark,’ 'Divisive’ Night at GOP Convention

During live coverage of the Republican National Convention, Monday, the three networks chided the “dark” and “divisive” tone of the GOP’s opening night. CBS’s Bob Schieffer offered a closing commentary in which he suggested Trump in 2016 could end up like the landslide losses of 1964 and 1972. Regarding a single Code Pink protester, ABC’s Terry Moran blamed, “It was the kind of unsettled emotions that Donald Trump has sparked in many people around the country.” 

Regarding “ a grieving mother of one of the dead from Benghazi,” Moran warned, “It's been a dark night, in many ways from the podium, and it's that kind of emotion that one feels here.” Over on NBC, veteran anchor Tom Brokaw chided, "Even with Mrs. Trump saying what she said, it's a pretty divisive message. There was no attempt to really pull the country together.” 

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He whined, “It’s kind of separating one against the other, which worked so successfully for him.”

On CBS, former Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer warned of coming doom: 

BOB SCHIEFFER: Modern history shows that candidates outside their party mainstreams don't do well. Barry Goldwater  wrestled the nomination from the Republican establishment in ‘64, but lost to Lyndon Johnson. Democrats kicked out party regulars in ‘72 and nominated George McGovern. He won only one state. Donald Trump may or may not win. But in a party facing an identity crises, the overriding question here is is he changing the party for better or worse or as many establishment Republicans worry, destroying it altogether?    

Partial transcripts are below: 

ABC Live coverage
7/18/16
10:10


TERRY MORAN: The feelings have been unsettled. We live in unsettled times, certainly. And you get a sense, this is not a contested convention, but it remains a divided one. And Donald Trump has been a candidate whose approach has divided many people, drawn protesters. Just behind me here, this is the Trump box. Mike Pence, the vice presidential nominee in that box as well. Just behind them, a single protester tried to raise a pink banner of some sort. She stood up. An amazing security breach, essentially the enemy getting into the Republican convention. She was prevented from doing so. And a little bit of pulling and yanking, no violence, nothing thuggish or anything like that. 

But it was the kind of unsettled emotions that Donald Trump has sparked in many people around the country. And as I say, a security breach. And the whole sense here tonight, many of the speeches from the podium, we've heard a grieving mother of one of the dead from Benghazi, the Benghazi attacks. We’ve heard a blow-by-blow description of killing people on the battlefield there in Benghazi. It has been a dark night, in many ways from the podium and it is that kind of emotion that one feels here. 

CBS coverage
7/18/16
10:57

SCOTT PELLEY: Scott, this one is different. The Republican Party is betting its future now on a candidate who has never held public office, never served in the military, is anti-trade, anti-entitlement reform and has proposed a budget critics say would add trillions of dollars to the national debt. By any conventional reasoning, he is a long shot but this is not a typical year. Republican primary voters chose him because they say he speaks his mind and they feel abandoned by their party leaders. 

But his nomination has left this party deeply divided, so divided even Republican Governor John Kasich, the host governor will not be here. His friends say he will not step foot in the arena because he disagrees with what Trump stands for and feels it would be hypocritical to give his stance of approval. Modern history shows that candidates outside their party mainstreams don't do well. Barry Goldwater  wrestled the nomination from the Republican establishment in ‘64, but lost to Lyndon Johnson. Democrats kicked out party regulars in ‘72 and nominated George McGovern. He won only one state. Donald Trump may or may not win. But in a party facing an identity crises, the overriding question here is is he changing the party for better or worse or as many establishment Republicans worry, destroying it altogether?        

NBC coverage
7/18/16
10:45

TOM BROKAW: The fact of the matter is, however, as you look at this audience and as you look at the message, even with Mrs. Trump saying what she said, it's a pretty divisive message. There was no attempt to really pull the country together. It’s kind of separating one against the other, which worked so successfully for him. All the pollsters say they go out and talk to groups, and they talk about some of the outrageous things he's said and the way he's challenged people even in his own party. They don't care. They like him for who he is, taking on the conventional way we do business. 

Tell the Truth 2016

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Events 2016 Republican Convention ABC CBS NBC Video Tom Brokaw Terry Moran Bob Schieffer
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