CBS This Morning co-host (and Democratic donor) Gayle King on Wednesday tossed softballs to 2020 Democratic contender Julian Castro. King tied illegal border crossing in general to the tragic photos of two migrants who died will attempting to enter the U.S.
After insisting, “I don’t know where to begin,” King declared, “You hear words like ticking time bomb. It's almost seems like we're criminalizing desperation here. What would you do? What do you think should be done right now?”
Co-host Anthony Mason only gently questioned the Democrat who wants to decriminalize all illegal border crossings: “You're in favor of decriminalizing border crossing. If you do that, how do you still have a secure border?” Regarding the current administration, co-host Tony Dokoupil offered up this softball: “You said earlier you think the cruelty is almost on purpose. What's the point of that cruelty then?”
King closed out the segment by offering the candidate an “ego boost” for his chances: “Before we go, can I just say you had a bit of an ego boost with the debate the other day. Your numbers took a little tick up.”
King has a history of bias when it comes to the 2020 Democrats. She called Cory Booker a “friend” and admitted to being a past backer. CBS let her interview him anyway. In April, King lamented the “sad conversation” over Joe Biden’s history of questionable behavior towards women.
A partial transcript of the segment is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
8:04 AM ET
GAYLE KING: Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro says crossing the border without permission should not be a crime. He wants to increase aid to central America to help address the migrant crisis. The former secretary of Housing and Urban development is with us as part of our series "The Road to 2020." Secretary Castro joins us at the table. Good morning to you.
JULIAN CASTRO: Good morning. Good to be with you.
KING: I don't even know where to begin. You look at those pictures. They're heartbreaking and so disturbing. You hear words like ticking time bomb. It's almost seems like we're criminalizing desperation here. What would you do? What do you think should be done right now?
ANTHONY MASON: You're in favor of decriminalizing border crossing. If you do that, how do you still have a secure border?
CASTRO: Well, two things. Decriminalizing, but they’re still part of a court process. It’s just a civil process. That's the way we used to do it from the late 1920s until about 2004. So this isn’t something radical. That's nothing radical. This is the way we used to hand it. Secondly, we have 654 miles of border fencing. We have thousands of border personnel. We have planes. We have helicopters. We have guns. We have security cameras. We have boats. We have a border that is being secured and we can maintain security. but what we ought to do is use compassion and common sense and not cruelty. And what you see there, those images that you see, that's not who we should be. That is evidence of the dark and hard cruelty of this administration that I think is unbecoming of this country.
TONY DOKOUPIL: You said earlier you think the cruelty is almost on purpose. What's the point of that cruelty then?
KING: What do you make of the Fourth of July plans in Washington this year?
MASON: I want to ask you quickly about an issue that came up in the debates, about private health insurance. When asked if they would eliminate it. You were one of the candidates who did not raise hands. Do you think the party risks losing key voters by bringing up eliminating private health insurance?
KING: Before we go, can I just say you had a bit of an ego boost with the debate the other day. Your numbers took a little tick up.
DOKOUPIL: You know your competition as well as any of us. In fact, better. Who do you think you could work with in an administration or a split ticket. Of your competitors, of the 2020 candidates, I want names, Secretary. I want names.