Longtime ABC White House correspondent Sam Donaldson fervently endorsed Michael Bloomberg for the White House on Friday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. The funny part was the journalists pretending Donaldson has never really favored a politician before.
Cooper solemnly began: "Sam Donaldson has spent years has a prominent White House correspondent, anchor for ABC News, never strayed from the ethic that journalists should not take sides [!] and should at all cost, avoid endorsing political candidates. Sam Donaldson has retired from the news business and now he has publicly endorsed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the Democratic nomination."
Donaldson said he had to endorse Bloomberg because “we are in the grip, Anderson, of a sick, ignorant man.”
ANDERSON COOPER: Sam, thanks so much for -- good to have you back. Your career obviously speaks for yourself. You've held candidates, presidents on both parties, you've held their feet to the fire. Why endorse Bloomberg and why now?
SAM DONALDSON: Well because I think Mike Bloomberg is best suited to take on Donald J. Trump this November and beat him. And that's something I think is very important for the country. You're right. When I was a working reporter in Washington for 52 years, I never did anything like this. I never gave any money to candidates. I didn't even register for a political party. But when they threw me out at age 80, six years ago, I was free to do this.
And I think it's very important now. We are in the grip, Anderson, of a sick, ignorant man. He's mean, he's corrupt. And if we don't get this right, we may lose the things that have made this country the best place no live in the world and that shining city on the hill that Ronald Reagan used to talk about, which was the envy of the world. So I'm in it.
Cooper then ran Donaldson through his pro-Bloomberg talking points. Yes, Bloomberg is spending many millions to promote himself, but blame the Citizens United decision, Bloomberg is "his own man," unlike Trump. Donaldson also defended Bloomberg on the Left's obsession with "stop and frisk" policies in New York City. .
We're just amused by the idea that Donaldson was this objective journalist with bipartisan aggression. Let's take just a few old examples:
"You'd better be glad I'm leaving the White House beat in November, because if Bush gets elected, I'd savage him." -- Donaldson, at the Republican Convention, quoted in Newsweek's "Overheard" column, August 29, 1988.
Sam Donaldson: "Over the years I’ve run into him [Sen. Jesse Helms] two or three times at receptions here and he’s the most gentlemanly, courtly, friendly, pleasant individual you would ever hope to meet. But, when you see him in action, you see beneath that courtliness beats the heart of a dictator and I think the country is appalled.”
George Stephanopoulos: “Or a terrorist. The President is really, I think made a mistake because he’s been negotiating with a terrorist here.” — ABC’s This Week, September 14, 1997.
“Newt Gingrich’s problem, I’ve always thought, he’s like Lenin. They both made a revolution by shooting people — Newt shot Democrats, Lenin shot everybody — and then they didn’t have enough sense to stop shooting once they won. So, I mean, once you win, you say, ‘Okay, now I’ve shot all your relatives, but you’re a good guy, let’s work together.’ Instead, Newt shut down the government and kept on trying to shoot Democrats.”— ABC’s Sam Donaldson on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, January 8, 1997.