Mark Shields: 'Republicans Have Had One Major Victory in the Past 25 Years'

Is it ignorance that causes liberal media members to speak falsehoods when talking about either politics or the economy or is it a willful dishonesty?

Take the case of Mark Shields who on PBS's News Hour Friday actually said of Republicans, "They have had one major victory in the past 25 years" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MARK SHIELDS: Republicans have lost five of the last six popular elections at presidential level. They have had one major victory in the past 25 years. That was 2010. They won 63 House seats.

And they -- Republicans argue, well, look, we nominated the guy from the blue state, Mitt Romney, and we lost. We nominated John McCain, Mr. Bipartisan, who worked with collegially with Democrats across the aisle, and we lost. When we were unapologetically conservative in 2010, we won. Now that`s we ought to do in 2016.

The problem is, in 2010, when the Republicans won, 87 million people voted -- in a presidential election, 129 million people.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And you didn't have a presidential candidate.


MARK SHIELDS: Of those -- of those 42 million people who voted in 2012 who didn't vote in 2010, 18 million of them were African-American, Latino or Asian, and eight million of them were voters between the ages of 18 and 29.

The Republicans have to figure out a way -- unless they are going to keep 40 million people home every presidential election year, they have got to figure out a way to talk to the concerns, the hopes, the ambitions of people who are not white, not old, and not Republican. That's their only hope.

25 years ago brings us to 1988.

As such, I guess Shields either forgot about the Republican takeover of the House and the Senate in 1994 or doesn't consider one of the biggest transfers of power in American history a "major victory."

And I assume he doesn't think Republicans keeping both chambers in 1996 despite President Clinton getting reelected was a "major victory."

Ditto Republicans bucking the odds and taking back the Senate as well as holding the House in the 2002 midterms.

And George W. Bush becoming the first president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 to win reelection while increasing majorities in both the House and the Senate also doesn't rate as a "major victory" to Shields.

Again I ask: Is it ignorance or willful dishonesty?

Whichever the answer, one has to ask why such a person is considered a credible political commentator.

PBS News Hour Video Mark Shields
Noel Sheppard's picture