Question: what would happen if a Republican pundit called Michelle Obama "mean" and suggested President Obama "unleash" her on an opponent? On With All Due Respect today, co-host Heilemann said that whereas her public image was that of a "lovely and matronly figure," First Lady Barbara Bush was in fact as "mean" and tough as anyone, and said he'd like to see the Bush campaign "unleash" her on Donald Trump.
Heilemann's comment, which we'll stipulate he presumably meant as a compliment in his own way, came in the context of a Jeb campaign video in which Mrs. Bush praises her son as a problem solver--but also takes an unsubtle shot at people who talk "about how popular they are, how great they are." Take that, Donald! Heilemann said he would like to see the Bush campaign "unleash" Barbara on Trump, saying she "might be the one best able to stand up to him." Question: what would happen if a Republican pundit praised Michelle Obama by calling her "mean" and suggesting President Obama "unleash" her on an opponent?
Yesterday, we noted With All Due Respect's report on Chelsea Clinton's absurd attack on Bernie Sanders, in which Chelsea claimed Sanders would "strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance." John Heilemann rightly called Chelsea's line a "lie." Today, Heilemann reported that he and co-host Mark Halperin have received "a lot of blowback," i.e. criticism, from fellow MSM members for their report.
Heilemann chalked up the MSM's criticism up to its "muscle memory" in not reporting on a president's child. I'd say the real reason for the MSM's reticence is its tendency to rally around liberals of all sorts, and certainly not to accuse them of a "lie"—even when the evidence of it is, as in this case, indisputable.
Proving that there is nothing and no one she won't sacrifice on the altar of her political ambition, Hillary Clinton today sent her daughter Chelsea out to smear Bernie Sanders by claiming his health care plan would "strip millions and millions and millions of people of their health insurance." On today's With All Due Respect, Mark Halperin repeatedly said he was "stunned" by the attack. John Heilemann put in blunter terms, flatly calling the attack a "lie."
Last night I suggested that Hillary's lurch left in suddenly proposing a big tax increase on the rich suggested panic on her part. But what she pulled today makes yesterday's panic pale in comparison. Let's call it a sign of craven hysteria.
Offering his thoughts on Tuesday’s With All Due Respect concerning President Obama announcing his executive actions on gun control, Bloomberg TV/MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin declared that he was “touched by” the President’s tears and was “proud of his ability to show” his emotions on something that’s “a national crisis that needs to be addressed.”
Not merely does Chris Matthews claim that Hillary Clinton was "shocked" to learn that Bill was having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Matthews can't imagine anybody thinking she wasn't shocked.
On today's With All Due Respect, Matthews said "I don't think anybody thought that she wasn't shocked when this Monica thing came about. You just look at her face in the old clips. You can see she couldn't believe it had happened." Of course. After all, Monica is on record in the Starr Report saying that Bill confided to her that he had "hundreds" of affairs before the age of 40. That's on top of the hundreds of affairs that Dick Morris says Clinton had while in the White House. So naturally Hillary "couldn't believe" that Bill would fool around with a zoftig intern. Right.
Let's you and him fight! That was John Heilemann on today's With All Due Respect, trying to lure Chris Christie into a fight with Republican voters. Heilemann's first foray was to invite Christie to "name an issue where you are out of step with the conservative base of the Republican party." When Christie wouldn't bite, Heilemann tried again, asking Christie to name "an issue where you feel like the conservative base is wrong."
Christie called out Heilemann's ploy, saying "you're kind of looking for some Sistah Souljah moment" which Christie described as "manufactured and political." Even those who are not Christie fans might applaud him for refusing to fall into Heilemann's trap.
Judging by Nicolle Wallace's performance on today's With All Due Respect, it looks like establishment Republicans are going full bore against Ted Cruz. Here was Wallace talking about her personal experience with Ted Cruz: "I worked with him on the [2000 Bush/Gore] recount in Florida, and the recount was sort of ground zero for the biggest egos in both parties in the whole country, and he rose to the top in terms of hubris and egomania."
Co-host John Heilemann was flabbergasted: "you're saying that among all of your colleagues in the recount effort, that he was the biggest ego? Is that really what I heard you say? Wow! That is an incredible thing to say."
It's one thing to dump on Trump, as author Rick Perlstein did on today's With All Due Respect, calling The Donald a modern-day George Wallace, and floating "fascism" about him. But Perlstein took things a nasty step further, denigrating Trump supporters in the ugliest terms.
Per Perlstein, Trump has unleashed forces in his supporters "that are more animalistic than human." Perlstein added that spectacle of the US losing to ISIS has filled Trump fans with "childlike, impotent rage."
For a moment there, it looked like John Heilemann might go Absolut Olbermann and call Donald Trump a "fascist" for his proposal which would for the time being bar the entry of all Muslims into the United States.
But Heilemann backed off that f-word. While noting "some will say fascist" about Trump or his policy, Heilemann declared "I'm not saying that." Instead, he settled for asserting that there are "many voters in the country who are in fact reactionary" and that there is no way to describe Trump's policy "other than reactionary."
Would John Heilemann have called Francois Hollande "shameless" and "un-French" if a few months back he had halted the immigration of Syrian immigrants into France, thus stopping two of the Paris terrorists—who reportedly posed as refugees—from entering the country?
The question arises because on today's With All Due Respect, Heilemann condemned as "shameless" and "un-American" the dozen or so governors, mainly Republicans, who have declared that their states won't accept Syrian refugees.
Can you imagine the liberal outrage if a Republican called a prominent African-American Dem candidate "Chauncey Gardiner," the simple soul from the Peter Sellers film Being There? The cries of racism might well cost such a hapless Republican his job.
But don't expect James Carville to pay any price. On today's With All Due Respect, Carville said that a frustrated Bush "can't believe that Chauncey Gardiner [laughs] and Trump and all these people are running ahead of him." Given that Carson and Trump are the two front-runners, and that Carson, while brilliant, is soft-spoken, there would seem little doubt that Carville meant his Chauncey crack for Carson.
God forbid it should be said that Bernie Sanders throws a "Christmas" party!
Sanders wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, was interviewed on today's With All Due Respect. When Mark Halperin asked the affable Mrs. Sanders to share a side of her husband that people might not know, she twice mentioned that Bernie organizes an annual "Christmas" party. And twice she promptly corrected herself, calling it a "holiday" party.