If there’s one thing CBS This Morning journalists have been worried about during the 2020 Democratic primaries, it’s whether the various candidates are liberal enough. That trend continued on Friday as co-host Tony Dokoupil pressed Amy Klobuchar on whether she’s “progressive” enough for today’s Democratic voters. He also demanded the Senator endorse a wealth tax.
After noting that socialist Bernie Sanders is far-left, Dokoupil lectured, “I was looking at a report just this morning that said that the average family, the typical family is poorer today than they were back in 2000. Life expectancy in this country is falling.” He worried:
There are big problems. And yet, you have got this more moderate position. Are you out of step with, maybe, the progressive vision that's working for these other candidates?
Klobuchar is not a moderate. Her lifetime American Conservative Union score is 4.7. Here 2017 and 2018 scores are 5 and 0, respectively. As a comparison? Sanders’s lifetime score is 6.7 So who’s the moderate in this case?
Dokoupil followed up by encouraging Klobuchar, right there in the interview, to come out for a wealth tax: “So you've been edging up to support a wealth tax to fund programs to help everybody else. Could you say today that you support a wealth tax?”
If that wasn’t good enough, he deemed another Democrat to be a moderate: “Make the case for yourself against a Joe Biden who people see as similar ideas and as a moderate here.”
In December, CBS’s Ed O’Keefe wasn’t sure if then-candidate Kamala Harris is liberal. (She has a lifetime ACU score of 4.5. Harris is solidly on the left when it comes to abortion, gun control and other contentious issues.)
On September 24, O’Keefe touted Buttigieg’s Medicare plan. Guess what he called it? Moderate. The journalist promoted: “[Buttigieg is] hoping to gain support for sure and definitely wants to talk up this idea because he sees it as a more moderate alternative to Medicare for all.”
For CBS and 2020 Democrats, they’re all moderates.
A transcript of the segment’s questions are below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
TONY DOKOUPIL: Senator Amy Klobuchar has a big role to play in this trial as a ranking member of the Rules Committee and she a democratic presidential candidate and she joins us now.
SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR: Thank you so much, Tony.
DOKOUPIL: Thank you for being here. The reason you're here on the east coast yesterday you were in Washington, D.C. And it looks like you'll be in Washington, D.C. For at least a couple of weeks. How is that going to affect Iowa, you are fifth in the polls. Seventeen days before caucus. 17 days before people go to caucus. Are you going to lose momentum by having to be here for a senate trial?
DOKOUPIL: You've been staking your campaign there on your presence. I mean, sometimes doing nine events in a given day. Now you're going to be at a trial that starts every day at 1. Six days a week. You’re going to be shuttling back and forth.
DOKOUPIL: So let’s get one question in on impeachment and then back to Iowa. The big question is are there going to be witnesses. Do you get a sense, as someone who has worked with Republicans, who know Republicans very well behind-the-scenes, do you get a sense there are some colleagues across the aisle who will vote for witnesses in this trial?
DOKOUPIL So let's jump back to Iowa and the campaign trail in 2020. You're fifth right now in most polls. Among the people you're trailing are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who have staked out more progressive positions in the party. I was looking at a report just this morning that said that the average family, the typical family is poorer today than they were back in 2000. Life expectancy in this country is falling. People are not hopeful that their kids are going to do better than they have done. There are big problems. And yet, you have got this more moderate position. Are you out of step with, maybe, the progressive vision that's working for these other candidates?
DOKOUPIL: A lot of these issues in America have developed over Democratic and Republican administrations and the big issue is wealth inequality. The top one percent has more than the bottom 90 percent.
KLOBUCHAR: They have 40 percent of the wealth.
DOKOUPIL: Just three of them have more than the bottom 50 percent. So you've been edging up to support a wealth tax to fund programs to help everybody else. Could you say today that you support a wealth tax?
DOKOUPIL: Two quick questions because we’re running out of time here. Your ideas are similar to Biden and Buttigieg yet you trail them in the polls.
KLOBUCHAR: I just went up 10 points in new Hampshire. Four points behind the vice president.
DOKOUPIL: Who is counting, though? So make the case for yourself against a Joe Biden who people see as similar ideas and as a moderate here.
KLOBUCHAR: I want to get one question on sexism. After the 2016 campaign I talked to Hillary Clinton and she said her debate experience with Donald Trump was imbued with sexism. Her words. She has a whole file on sexism in politics. On the campaign trail and in the 2020 election, is sexism still a problem for you.