Sawyer Forwards Charge of Tea Party Hypocrisy as Couric Frets: ‘Is There Danger’ Budget Cuts ‘Will Be Too Deep?’

ABC’s Diane Sawyer hit a group of incoming freshmen House and Senate members about presumed Tea Party hypocrisy in accepting farm subsidies and not refusing to accept federal employee health care while CBS’s Katie Couric, with three House members, despaired over the “danger” that budget cuts might “be too deep?” Forwarding liberal talking points, in the pre-recorded segment aired on Wednesday’s World News, Sawyer relayed:

The Democrats have a challenge for the Republicans, saying, if you're going to cut spending, go ahead and start close to home. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri got more than $750,000 in taxpayer subsidies for her farm. Are you ready to vote against all farm subsidies?

Sawyer continued: “And on the promise to repeal health care reform, Democrats ask: Will they be giving up their new taxpayer-subsidized insurance? Only two of them said they would.”

On the CBS Evening News, Couric noted “Republicans say high on their priority list is deficit reduction, starting with major cuts in domestic spending this year. Fiscally conservative freshmen say everything’s fair game.” She then fretted: “But is there danger in your view, Congressman West, that the ax will be too sharp, that the cuts will be too deep?”

(Meanwhile, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell found it relevant to point out: “For the first time in 64 years, no member of the Kennedy family holds a federal office.”)

From the Wednesday, January 5 ABC World News, transcript provided by the MRC’s Brad Wilmouth:

DIANE SAWYER: But the Democrats have a challenge for the Republicans, saying, if you're going to cut spending, go ahead and start close to home. Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri got more than $750,000 in taxpayer subsidies for her farm. Are you ready to vote against all farm subsidies? That's $20 billion by one estimate, at least.

REP. VICKY HARTZLER (R-MO): Well, I think everything should be on the table. And, yes, there's a lot of us farmers that have participated in the program.

SAWYER: Congressman Stutzman of Indiana got more than $100,000.

REP. MARLIN STUTZMAN (R-IN): Yes, I would vote to eliminate farm subsidies. It manipulates the market. And that's the problem here in Washington. The adult conversation, I think, has to be no.

SAWYER: Agree?

HARTZLER: I'm ready to start the discussion and look at it.

SAWYER: Not a yes yet?

HARTZLER: I think we need to make sure everything is looked at before we just pick on the farmers.

SAWYER: And on the promise to repeal health care reform, Democrats ask: Will they be giving up their new taxpayer-subsidized insurance? Only two of them said they would.

REP. PAUL GOSAR (R-AZ): First of all, Congress should not be exempt from rules they pass, and that's exactly what happened here. In fact, I ask everybody to denounce that because we shouldn't be taking that, unlike anybody else in regular everyday America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE CONGRESSMAN: I'm not taking the health insurance, either.

SAWYER: The rest of you who are now renouncing it, how do you answer this?

 



SENATOR MIKE LEE (R-UT): There's a big difference between receiving health insurance through one's employer on the other hand, and, on the other hand, establishing a national regulatory program that tells people where to go to the doctor and how to pay for it.

SAWYER: But the taxpayer doesn't have an option but to support it.
   
LEE: Look-

SAWYER: The taxpayer doesn't have a choice.

LEE: Health care regulation is fundamentally a creature of state law. This is a state issue.

SAWYER: We'll let you know later what each of them decides...

From the CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: ...Republicans say high on their priority list is deficit reduction, starting with major cuts in domestic spending this year. Fiscally conservative freshmen say everything’s fair game.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT DOLD (R-IL): Let's take a look at the Department of Defense so that we send a signal to those on the other side of the aisle that everything has to be at table.

COURIC: But is there danger in your view, Congressman West, that the ax will be too sharp, that the cuts will be too deep?

CONGRESSMAN ALLEN WEST (R-FL): I think if there's an opportunity for us to finally have that honest conversation with the American people and make some of the hard decisions, the hard choices, it's right now because the people understand the dire economic situation that we're in.

— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter
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