In an interview with newly elected Colorado Senator Cory Gardner for PBS's Charlie Rose, Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt grilled the Republican on conservatives in Congress being obstructionist: "Some of your Republican colleagues, Ted Cruz in the Senate, those twenty-four House members who voted against Speaker Boehner, they're not interested in getting things done as much as they are in putting down markers. Isn't it more likely there'll be a series of confrontations rather than any kind of collaboration?"
At the conclusion of a story on Wednesday’s CBS Evening News on the drop in gas prices and how Americans feel about the economy, CBS News senior business correspondent Anthony Mason felt that it was important to inform viewers that President Obama’s approval rating has improved six points from October in the latest CBS News poll.
“All this has also helped lift President Obama's job approval rating. It's still below 50 percent, but at 46 percent, it's jumped seven points from October, just before the midterm elections,” Mason stated.
The New York Times' message to the new Republican congress? Don't cross Obama. That was the gist of three political stories on Wednesday. Sheryl Gay Stolberg's profile of grizzled Senate veteran John McCain included this harsh attack: "...despite hints that he is trying to reinvent himself from cantankerous Obama critic to elder statesman, Mr. McCain still seems to be in clobber mode."
On Tuesday morning, Luke Russert, NBC News Congressional Correspondent, appeared on MSNBC’s The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart to discuss the current tensions between the newly-controlled Republican Congress and President Obama. Speaking to anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, Russert criticized the GOP over the issue of immigration and argued that they “are going to move forward with their bill on Wednesday, Jose. It goes very far to the right.”
On Sunday, ABC’s This Week took some time away from discussing the horrific terrorist attack in France to examine the 2016 presidential landscape. The panel featured Robert Reich, liberal economist and former Labor Secretary under President Clinton, former Clinton official James Carville, and liberal GOP strategists Nicolle Wallace and Ana Navarro, all four of whom warned the GOP against running against President Obama in the 2016 election. During the panel discussion, Nicolle Wallace warned “Republicans would be wise to make this about the future and, you know, I don't recommend that any of them run against Obama, they should run against whoever their opponent is.”
The Esquire pundit urged Democrats to “screw with [the Republicans] every way you can… Monkeywrench the whole business and explain in simple terms to the country why you're doing it. This has to start in the White House. The rest of the country needs to be protected from the hazardous material for which a third of it voted.”
On Tuesday, the Republican Party officially took control of both houses of Congress, which made it the perfect opportunity for MSNBC to blast the new GOP majority as eager to push dangerous policies on the American people. During an appearance on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on Tuesday night, Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and current MSNBC contributor, eagerly slammed the GOP as “intellectually challenged on that side of the aisle. I wish I could be more nice about it. But that’s like [an] odd group of people.”
While Republicans officially took control of both the House and the Senate on Tuesday, NBC, ABC, and CBS all touted GOP setbacks. NBC's Today led the way, with correspondent Peter Alexander seizing on comments from the top Senate Republican: "Among incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's main goals for his party: don't be scary."
On Tuesday, the newly elected members of the 114th Congress were officially sworn in and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell sat down with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 30. While the interview was mostly friendly, co-host Norah O’Donnell found time to push her guest on the GOP’s standing with minority voters and asked Stefanik “does the Republican Party have an image problem?”
As Republicans take control of both the House and Senate, the New York Times is preparing the political ground for GOP failure. Exhibit A: Monday's front-page story by Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse, who quickly got to the "sour note" of John Boehner's struggle for re-election as House Speaker. Exhibit B: Michael Shear's front-page story Sunday on the GOP turning to the courts for what they can't achieve through elections (sound familiar?).
President Obama’s annual Christmas vacation wraps up this weekend and on Saturday CBS Evening News did its best to promote the president’s 2015 agenda. CBS reporter Chip Reid filed a report from Hawaii that offered no soundbites from Republicans opposing Obama and instead found time to quote liberal presidential historian Douglas Brinkley who argued that Obama’s “starting to learn that he could be like FDR and Theodore Roosevelt--don't worry about Congress, just lay down these executive orders.”
Chris Megerian at the Los Angeles Times, in a report first published online on Tuesday, had a difficult time trying to downplay the fact that Democrat and leftist mega-donors outspent their Republican and conservative couterparts by an overwhelming margin during the past election cycle.
But Megerian made the best of it, giving readers the impression that David Koch, of the supposedly evil Koch brothers, was the fourth-largest such donor. Times editors did their part to keep the news as quiet as possible by publishing the obviously national story in the California secion of its Wednesday print edition.