For the last few months on CBS This Morning, the network program has been a training ground for possible Joe Biden vice presidential picks. The CBS journalists turned into Democratic cheerleaders as they excitedly hype one possibility after another. That continued on Friday as Gayle King basically asked Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms how she got so great.
King who, has donated to Barack Obama, the DNC and other candidates, touted, “It's been widely reported and well known that you appear to be on Joe Biden's short list for vice presidential candidate. And you were asked recently are you ready? You said yes. Unequivocally, you did not stutter.”
Saying something that’s demonstrably not true, she insisted the mayor is “not courting the position.”
“What makes you so confident? I realize you're not courting the position. I get it. You already have a big job. But what makes you so confident that you'd be a good candidate for him?”
In an answer that contradicted King's claim about not "courting the position," Bottoms lobbied, “I'm a leader. And I believe that when you are searching for a vice presidential candidate, you need someone who's able to lead in a crisis.”
King asked no tough questions to the potential VP candidate, instead wondering, “You're a mayor, you're a mother of four, you're a wife, your husband also was affected by COVID greatly. How are you navigating all of these roles?”
On June 10, the co-host talked to former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams about her chances and asked a very similar promotional question. Regarding her vice presidential chances, King gossiped, “You know it's widely reported you're on the short list for Joe Biden's VP. We talked about it last time you were here. Clearly you're very interested. Have you had recent conversations?”
In an April appearance, King touted the Democrat’s “great answer” in avoiding talking about the VP spot. The co-host parroted what she would say in June: “Stacey Abrams I hope this is not our last conversation. Something tells me it isn't.”
On June 8, This Morning co-host Tony Dokoupil cheered Biden VP hopeful Val Deming and her non-answer about being on the ticket, saying, “very well done.”
A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
8:03:47 to 8:12:12
GAYLE KING: Tough times in Georgia, too, where hospitals there are quickly nearing capacity. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms just issued an executive issue requiring face masks in public spaces. Earlier this week, she revealed that she tested positive for COVID-19, but she also says she has no symptoms. She joins us from her home in Atlanta where she is quarantining. Good morning to you, Mayor Bottoms. It's very good to see you this morning. We should say this -- when you announced your diagnosis it got a lot of attention — good morning. It got a L of attention first, of course, because you're the mayor. Second you had no symptoms. You said you and your family had been so vigilant and so diligent about following the rules. It effected your husband, one of your children. The other two were getting tested. How did that turn out for them?
KING: All of the top experts as we know, say everybody, please wear your masks. I've heard people say “Wear your damn mask” for emphasis. You've issued an executive order saying in our city you're going to wear your mask. Your governor, on the other hand, said that's not enforceable. He doesn't seem to be supporting you on this. How are you navigating that and the relationship between the two of you?
KING: President Trump is heading your way, heading to Atlanta next week. Do you plan to meet with him? If so, what is your message to him? What do you want him to know about your city?
KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS: Well, I doubt that he wants to meet with me, and the feeling is mutual. But what I want president trump to do is lead. Just that simple. He is making an already bad situation worse. We are seeing challenges throughout our cities including challenges with testing. If he would allow the experts to do their job, then I think that lives could be saved across this country. But he's silencing the scientists, he's silencing Dr. Fauci. He's interfering with guidelines coming out of the CDC, and it's costing people's lives. We just simply want him to allow us to live. Give us an opportunity to receive the most unbiased scientific information on COVID, and he continues to interfere with that.
KING: You know, Mayor Bottoms, you were sworn in as mayor in 2018. You gained a lot of national attention earlier this year because you gave such an impassioned plea to your city the first week of the protesters. I remember so clearly where you were saying a protest, “you need a plan.” You said your 18-year-old son was out. You called him and said "Where are you?" Your pain and love and strength for the city was so palpable to me and many people who are watching you.
So I'm wondering how you're navigating this. You have mama bear tendencies that come out. You were very upset when a young girl was killed in your city recently. So I'm wondering how you're navigating. You're a mayor, you're a mother of four, you're a wife, your husband also was affected by COVID greatly. How are you navigating all of these roles?
KING: Mayor, you're also -- it's been widely reported and well known that you appear to be on Joe Biden's short list for vice presidential candidate. And you were asked recently are you ready? You said yes. Unequivocally, you did not stutter. You did not stammer. You did not hesitate. What makes you so confident? I realize you're not courting the position. I get it. You already have a big job. But what makes you so confident that you'd be a good candidate for him?
BOTTOMS: Gayle, there's a saying if you stay ready you don't have to get ready. And as mayor, you have to stay ready because you are faced with any number of challenges every day. I've served in three branches of government. I've served as a judge. I've served as a legislator. And now as executive as mayor. The challenges that we deal with in Atlanta every day really represents the challenges that are happening across this country, especially in this moment in time. And so I'm a leader. And I believe that when you are searching for a vice presidential candidate, you need someone who's able to lead in a crisis. That being said, I want Joe Biden to put on that ticket whomever it is he thinks will help him beat Donald Trump in November. Because we cannot take four additional years of what we’ve dealt with in this country.
KING: All right, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. I hope you feel as good as you look.