Earlier today, Yahoo! headlined a piece showing how in an interview with the Obama campaign’s CNN’s Candy Crowley, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pulled a comment by her Senate counterpart, Mitch McConnell out of context. Mrs. Pelosi contended that the Kentucky Republican “was talking about stopping, obstructing initiatives to create jobs, stopping initiatives that would show bipartisanship on the part of the president.”
McConnell’s fuller comments — including the vow to work with Obama “if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues” and his statement that “I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change” — contradict Pelosi’s claim that McConnell was speaking in the context of opposing any bipartisan initiatives or that he was outlining a position that Republicans would not support the president no “matter what the subject was.” One can argue about whether that turned out to be a Republican strategy or not, but that’s not what McConnell said.
Emphasis added. Surely, given how frequently Democrats cite this McConnell quotation (in attempt to buttress their talking point of Republican intransigence), a journalist would have checked the record and know that those Democrats had pulled it out of context. So, I went to the transcript.
Well, it is — I guess, the reason I’m asking it is so many people have pointed to, you know, when Mitch McConnell said that his number one goal was to see that the president was a one-term president. The president has now committed to you and others that he wants to do what he can to help turn the House Democratic. Isn’t that kind of the same thing?
And Crowley does indeed seem aware of how frequently folks trot out the McConnell comment. Not that she says, “many people have pointed to” it, yet seems oblivious that most of those “many people” have pulled it out of context. She didn’t do his journalistic due diligence to see if the claim were accurate, taking a Democratic talking point at face value.
At least she did acknowledge the president’s focus on turning the House Democratic.
Earlier in their conversation, Pelosi claimed that “The president has always been very respectful of the views of the Republicans and the Congress, their leadership and their membership. He has always tried to accommodate them.” Crowley did not ask Mrs. Pelosi to provide any evidence to justify her claim nor did she remind her of the president’s rhetoric accusing Republicans of “social Darwinism” and of playing politics with the sequester.
Nor did Crowley ask how the president could be so respectful of Republican when he meets so infrequently with GOP leaders.
Do wonder if Miss Crowley asks tougher followups when she’s interviewing Republicans. And why she refused to challenge so many of Mrs. Pelosi’s claims, many of which can be contradicted by a few quick google searches.
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