On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Norah 'we shouldn't editorialize' O'Donnell hinted that Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour floor speech might jeopardize the Republican Party's chances in the 2014 congressional race. O'Donnell asked Cruz's colleague in the Senate, Bob Corker, if he was "concerned that what your fellow senator is doing could hurt your party's chances of taking back the U.S. Senate?"
Charlie Rose later played up how supposedly, "some people are saying this is about personal ambition and being seen fighting for this, because it serves his [Cruz's] own presidential ambitions." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
The CBS anchor brought up the Texas senator's marathon speech with Senator Corker as it was still in progress. O'Donnell first underlined that "Cruz has pulled an all-nighter. It's not a filibuster, because the fate of this is really already decided." She then tossed her "hurt your party's chances" question. The Tennessee Republican replied, in part, that "it depends on the outcome...all of us are unified in hoping that ObamaCare will be delayed, defunded...It's, obviously, the tactics that are being deployed."
Corker tried to continue, but the morning show host interrupted and asked, "But is Senator Cruz's speech going to do anything to help delay that for a year, which is the compromise that you guys are pushing for?" Rose followed-up with his "personal ambition" question to his Republican guest.
The two CBS anchors' hounding of Senator Corker contrasts with their kid glove treatment of Bill Clinton the day before. Rose and O'Donnell went easy on the former president concerning the possible conflicts of interest surrounding his Clinton Global Initiative, as well as Hillary's possible 2016 presidential run. In general, the journalists have a history of softball interviews of their liberal/Democratic guests, while hammering their conservative/Republican ones.
The transcript of the relevant portion of the Senator Bob Corker interview from Wednesday's CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: I want to turn now to what's happening in the U.S. Senate, and what's happening within your own party. One of your colleagues, Senator [Ted] Cruz, has pulled an all-nighter. It's not a filibuster, because the fate of this is really already decided. Are you concerned about – that what your fellow senator is doing could hurt your party's chances of taking back the U.S. Senate?
[CBS News Graphic: "Beltway Battled: TN Senator On GOP Defunding Debate"]
SEN. BOB CORKER, (R), FOREIGN RELATIONS CMTE. RANKING MEMBER: Well, it depends on the outcome. I think – you know, all of us are unified in hoping that Obama – ObamaCare will be delayed, defunded – you know, that we can do something relative to the individual mandate; that we can do something relative to the medical device tax. It's, obviously, the tactics that are being deployed – and, again, we'll see. I do-
O'DONNELL: But is Senator Cruz's speech going to do anything to help delay that for a year, which is the compromise that you guys are pushing for?
CORKER: Well, we still have some time, and Norah, as you know, watching Washington for all the time you have, nothing typically happens until the last minute. So again, we'll see. I do think the House is already, as we know, looking at sending something back that's a little different than a – than a pure defunding – a delay on the individual mandate; maybe, dealing with the OPM piece. I think you know that congressional members and their staffs have ended up being dealt with a little differently than the rest of the country. So, I think there are numbers (sic) of things that we might accomplish over this next week, as long as we don't cause this to – to go beyond the time of the government needing to be funded.
[CBS News Graphic: "Who Is More To Blame If Government Shuts Down? Republicans, 39%; Obama administration, 36%; Both, 17%; Source: Pew Research Poll; Margin of Error: +/- #.7 % Pts."]
CHARLIE ROSE: Senator, no one doubts Senator Cruz's opposition to ObamaCare and desire to defund it. But some people are saying this is about personal ambition and being seen fighting for this, because it serves his own presidential ambitions.
CORKER: You know, I think it's best for all of us to – I mean, people are here for different motivations, and I think to try ascertain what somebody's individual motivation is – you know, probably is not a good thing for me to do. But look, I came here to try to help create our country move – an opportunity for our country to move ahead; to put in place good public policy. And hopefully, over the course of the next several days, we'll have the opportunity to do that.
ROSE: Thank you-
CORKER: Thank y'all so much, okay?