ABC & CBS Chide Republicans for 'Turning Cold Shoulder' to Obama

Shortly after the House on Wednesday passed President Barack Obama's $825 billion “stimulus” package, ABC and CBS commiserated with Obama over his unsuccessful efforts to woo Republican votes. “Not one Republican voted for it,” ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced on World News with “Rescue Plan” as the on-screen heading, “turning a cold shoulder to the President's appeal for bipartisan support.” Reporter Jonathan Karl fretted: “So much for the President's charm offensive. Today it was all partisan rancor and name-calling.”

CBS reporter Chip Reid related how “the White House says this is a victory for the President, but certainly there is also some disappointment that he worked so hard to get bipartisan support and couldn't get a single Republican vote.” Reid soon chafed over how “Republicans relentlessly attacked the bill despite the President's extraordinary efforts to get bipartisan support.” Katie Couric noted how “the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already,” so, she pleaded, “what more can he do?”

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide these transcripts of the Wednesday, January 28 stories:

ABC's World News:

CHARLES GIBSON: President Obama's giant $825 billion economic stimulus package cleared its first hurdle today. The House of Representatives passed it – 244 in favor, 188 opposed. Not one Republican voted for it, turning a cold shoulder to the President's appeal for bipartisan support. Jonathan Karl reports from the Capitol tonight.

JONATHAN KARL: So much for the President's charm offensive. Today it was all partisan rancor and name-calling.

REP. DAVID DREIER (R-CA): It is 627 pages long, and that totals $1.18 billion for every single page in this bill.
                
REP. DAVID OBEY (D-WI): -many members behaving like mosquitoes.

REP. JERRY LEWIS (R-CA): Mr. Chairman, I very much appreciate you recognizing this mosquito.
                
REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): It's merely a wish list of long-standing liberal Democrat priorities.

KARL: One after another, Republicans lined up in opposition. But Democrats are in charge now, able to pass the largest bill of its kind in history – $825 billion, including $275 billion in tax cuts; $550 billion in new spending, including $43 billion on transportation projects, more than $160 billion on health care, and $150 billion on education, double the entire budget of the Department of Education.

NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER: We are moving the ship of state in a new direction.

KARL: But Republicans say the bill is filled with old-fashioned big-government spending that won't stimulate the economy. For example, $335 million for sexually transmitted disease prevention, $600 million to buy new cars for government employees, and $1 billion to follow up on the 2010 Census, which, of course, hasn't happened yet. The Senate is expected to pass its own more costly version of this bill next week. That would put Congress on track to meet President Obama's deadline of getting a final bill to his desk by President's Day. But, Charlie, in the Senate, it is expected that the overwhelming majority of Democrats will oppose this as well.
CBS Evening News:
KATIE COURIC: Good evening, everyone. President Obama made an in-person appeal to House Republicans to vote for his economic stimulus plan, but it didn't work. Not a single Republican joined the majority Democrats tonight as the House passed the more than $800 billion package. The final tally, 244 yeas and 188 nays. Twelve Democrats also voted no. Chip Reid is our chief White House correspondent, and, Chip, the President gets a victory, but not the bipartisan one he had hoped for.

CHIP REID: That's right, Katie. The White House says this is a victory for the President, but certainly there is also some disappointment that he worked so hard to get bipartisan support and couldn't get a single Republican vote. As the House of Representatives prepared to vote on the economic stimulus bill today, President Obama made one last plea for bold action, on behalf of American workers.

BARACK OBAMA: -the workers who are returning home to tell their husbands and wives and children that they no longer have a job. And all those who live in fear that their job will be next on the cutting blocks, they need help now.

REID: House Democrats voted overwhelmingly for the bill, which they say will create three to four million jobs.

REP. DAVID OBEY (D-WI) Every week that we delay is another 100,000 or more people unemployed.

REID: But Republicans relentlessly attacked the bill despite the President's extraordinary efforts to get bipartisan support.

REP. MIKE PENCE (R-IN): It's merely a wish list of long-standing liberal Democrat priorities that have little to do with putting our economy back on its feet.

REID: Some examples, they say, a billion dollars for Amtrak, $41 billion for local school districts, $127 billion for health care for the poor and unemployed.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): Spending, just plain old spending

REID: Earlier, the President met with a group of CEOs who told him the bill will create jobs, lots of them. Around the table, long-time pillars of the economy whose work forces are now taking it on the chin – IBM, 2,800 layoffs, Xerox, 3,000; Motorola, 6,100; and Corning, 3,500 layoffs announced just yesterday.

DAVID COTE, HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC., CLIP #1: -needs to get done fast.

COTE CLIP #2: Thank God you are not a timid man.

REID: And White House officials say this is just the beginning. Next week, the bill goes to the Senate, and the President is going to work very hard, they say, to get Republican support. As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs put it today, they're in the third inning of a nine-inning game, and a lot can change. Katie?

COURIC: And, Chip, as you mentioned, I mean, the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already, so what more can he do?

REID: Well, he can do a couple of things, Katie. Number one, they can make more changes in the bill, and they are prepared to do that. And number two, they are going to continue this charm offensive, essentially. They're going to have a cocktail party here tonight – 11 Republicans, 11 Democrats. That's part of the new bipartisan way of looking at Congress.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center