Think the mainstream media has let go of its anger over the events surrounding the release of Vice President Dick Cheney’s hunting accident to the press? Judging from the tone of his comments on today’s American Morning, CNN’s senior national correspondent John Roberts certainly has not. Roberts, formerly biased over at CBS News as the MRC’s Rich Noyes reported here, appeared shortly after 8am to discuss President Bush’s speech in India. After trumpeting the latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll showing the job approval numbers for the President slipping, Roberts attributed the decline to a "tired" White House staff.
John Roberts: "But there’s no question that the people at the White House have, you know, they’re almost like the gang that can’t shoot straight–"
That’s when Roberts took his shot at the White House and Cheney:
Roberts: "–and when they do shoot straight, they don’t tell people about it for 24 hours. But the problem could be that they’re, they’re suffering real fatigue there, that they’re burned out, that they need to bring in some new blood."
The transcript of the segment with American Morning co-host Miles O'Brien is behind the cut.
John Roberts: "..In terms of what this speech could possibly do for the President here at home, I don’t know that it really address his, his problems here. And if you look at our CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, that came out just the other day, there’s a very troubling number for President Bush. You know, despite the fact that his numbers were bad on the economy, and bad on Iraq, he always had the American people with him on the fight against terrorism. Look at the old numbers from February, 54 percent of people approved of what he was doing to fight the war on terror, whereas 43 percent [sic] approved. Those numbers are beginning to flip around. You know, fewer than a majority of Americans, 47 percent, now approve of the way he’s handling the war on terror, 49 percent disapprove now. The majority of Americans still believe that he shows strong leadership, but it’s just a, it’s a bare majority, it’s now 52 percent, and his overall approval rating has now dipped below 40, 38 percent. Now, what, what sort of, you know, effect could that have on him? Well, in terms of this upcoming election that’s going to be fought on national security, and if Republicans in Congress don’t think his numbers are big on national security, they may start distancing themselves from him, Miles."
Miles O'Brien: "Well, maybe they already have, given they’re–the way they’ve sort of distanced themself on this whole issue of the management of the ports. Is–that poll happened in the context of, of the port deal being announced, that the United Arab Emirates would, in fact, propose a deal to manage some key U.S. ports, correct?"
Roberts: "Correct. Yes, but–at this point, what I’m picking up from some very prominent Republicans is that they’re just checking him on this particular issue, and that this isn’t going to spread across the board, in terms of the trust level with, with the President. But there’s no question that the people at the White House have, you know, they’re almost like the gang that can’t shoot straight, and when they do shoot straight, they don’t tell people about it for 24 hours. But, the problem could be that they’re, they’re suffering real fatigue there, that they’re burned out, that they need to bring in some new blood. Lot of those people have been in the White House since the President won election, and they were working with him on the campaign well before that, and the burn out factor at the White House is extremely accelerated, and there’s a good chance, according to a lot of people I’ve talked to, that these people are just so tired they can’t keep their finger on the game anymore."