ABC’s Good Morning America chose on Thursday it wouldn’t share with viewers one of if not the top takeaway from President Biden’s marathon Wednesday press conference, which was that he signaled he would wage a campaign to delegitimize and question the results of November’s 2022 midterm elections if he doesn’t get his way on voting rights.
ABC covered Biden’s press conference, the crisis in Ukraine, and said battle in Congress over his so-called voting rights agenda for 15 minutes and 30 seconds, but gave only cursory overviews of where things stood with the exception of his gaffe appearing to have given Russia a green light for invasion in Ukraine and less of a response so long as it was just a “minor incursion.”
“Of course, the President defended his record in a marathon press conference before the vote which covered all the major issues facing the White House,” George Stephanopoulos, former Clinton flack and co-host of the show, stated this.
Mary Bruce, White House Senior Correspondent, concentrated on her interactions with Biden. “was grilled on his first year in office”As “[h]e highlighted his accomplishments, but with his top legislative priorities still stalled in Congress and poll numbers lagging, the President was also forced to play defense and admit he is going to have to make some changes.”
Bruce, always the stenographer was even a little hesitant about Ukraine.
The President is making headlines by predicting Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Biden has raised questions regarding the U.S. response and European allies.
In the 8:00 a.m. Eastern hour, she added that he’s “adamant…he did not overpromise to the American people on what he could deliver as President but he did say he was caught off guard by how much Republicans are opposing him.”
While their interview with Vice President Kamala Harris was similarly bland and unmemorable as ABC’s, CBS MorningsBiden’s attempt to undermine our electoral system was less gracious.
White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe made a point of it at the top of his report (click “expand”):
GAYLE KING: Ed, that was probably the longest of all new conferences I’ve seen. Evidently, he had lots to say. It’s good to see you.
O’KEEFE: He sure did. Gayle, it’s good to be here. On a range of topics, from the pandemics to future plans for his legislative agenda, he took many questions. He became the second American president in succession to voice concerns about future elections on the issue of voting rights. Biden was asked by reporters if he believed that this year’s elections would be free and fair, especially since his voter reform bill wasn’t passed.
BIDEN, It all comes down to whether we can convince the American people that there are some ins to attempt to change the outcome. [SCREEN WIPE]It’s going to be hard to believe that you will see people who aren’t willing to make the sacrifice.
Later on, Dispatch’s founder and former president will appear. Weekly Steve Hayes, editor in chief of the magazine, hammered Biden for creating a perilous narrative about a potential GOP Congress being illegitimate.
Surprisingly, it drew agreement from co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King (click “expand”):
TONY DOKOUPIL. Steve, the President’s inaugural address, said that the United States would become a uniter. This was also his campaign slogan. Unfortunately, the Administration seems to have people unifying in disapproval right now. Are you positive that the press conference has changed the story?
HAYES: No, I don’t…[H]He answered as many of his questions as possible.[H]Comment about the Russians’ minor intrusion into Ukraine. There was immediate response from abroad, especially in Kiev, where officials stated, “Boy, this seems like a green signal for Vladimir Putin.” You also had the President’s comments on the possibility of an illegitimate election in 2022, when he was asked a question about whether — if these voting reforms that have been debated in Congress don’t pass, that would contribute to the illegitimacy of the 2022 elections. My answer to that question would have been to confirm the strength of our electoral process while, well, acknowledging the fact that reforms weren’t likely to pass. Instead, he stated, “Yeah, it’s possible the 2022 election could be illegitimate,” which, regardless of whether one is a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, I believe, isn’t what we need.
KING: Yes, I do. Steve, is this helpful? Isn’t that a good way to get rid of the troubling dynamic in my opinion on so many matters?
HAYES: Yeah. It’s troubling. I mean, look, if you’re a conservative and you’ve got questions or problems with the way that Donald Trump conducted himself in the aftermath of the 2020 election, lying about whether the election was stolen, trying to remain in office, what his supporters have been doing in states and localities across the country to — to basically put themselves in a position where they could muscle through an illegitimate election. You didn’t want to hear that President Biden had questions regarding the legitimacy of these elections. You needed the President to say, no, we’ve got the best electoral system in the world —
HAYES: — the safest, the most secure and one thing we don’t need to worry about — even if I’m frustrated that Republicans aren’t supporting me on these voting reforms, the one thing we can be sure of is that elections are legitimate.
On NBC’s Today was more fleeting than CBS in mentioning Biden’s erroneous claim, but still did more than ABC.
Chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander cued up a Biden clip questioning the 2022 election’s legitimacy by stating:
The voting rights campaign was at an end. President Biden was asked if the midterm elections would be fair and legal after several Republican-led states had enacted new voting restrictions.
They were much tougher on Ukraine with Hoda Kotb, co-host of the show, stating in tease that he “stirr[ed] controversy” Alexander reports it was “perhaps the most explosive topic” According to Biden, reporters. “sent White House aides scrambling to clarify before the news conference even ended.”
Co-host Savannah Guthrie called it “the unintentional headline” Biden “created,” butMeet the Press moderator Chuck Todd was less convinced as it was more “a gaffe of honesty” due to a lack of consensus in Europe about standing up to Russia seeing as how they deeply rely on Russia for heat.
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For ABC, CBS and NBC transcripts, click here.