Amanpour Focuses on One Poll Showing Support for Tax Hikes, Schieffer Upset GOP Not as Reasonable as Obama

A couple of Sunday interview show hosts again forwarded White House talking points about the necessity to include taxes, I mean “revenues,” in any debt ceiling increase deal with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour focusing on a single poll she highlighted for ammunition the public is on her side while ignoring how, by two-to-one, the public opposes raising the debt ceiling at all.

CBS’s Bob Schieffer touted how President Obama has made “concessions” but, he sputtered, “I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture.” He demanded of Senator Marco Rubio: “Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way?”

With “STUCK ON TAXES” on screen, Amanpour fretted: “Republicans made that a line in the sand – ‘No new taxes,’” yet “poll after poll recently have basically said the American people are not with you on that issue. The majority actually says that there should be a balanced approach.” She cited a Quinnipiac University survey, prompting her guest, Senator Jon Kyl, to highlight a Rasmussen poll showing 55 percent opposed to including any tax hikes in a debt deal and how even “a majority of independents say so.”

Instead of acknowledging a range of survey findings, Amanpour denigrated the Rasmussen one, putting one set of Quinnipiac numbers on screen as she insisted “we could play polls all of the time, but a lot of the established ones, like the Quinnipiac, says 67 percent of Americans say debt reform should involve a balance of cuts and tax increases, especially for corporations and the wealthy.”

Despite claiming “a lot of the established ones” show people want taxes raised, Amanpour failed to cite any poll beyond the one Quinnipiac survey she plastered on screen.

Gallup’s survey released July 12 determined that by nearly two-to-one – 42 to 22 percent – Americans oppose even raising the debt ceiling, never mind what should constitute the elements of a deal. Amanpour, however, didn’t press Kyl, nor her earlier guest, OMB Director Jack Lew, about that.

Another Gallup question found more “concern” (51 percent) for “the government would raise the debt ceiling but without plans for major cuts in future spending” than “the government would not raise the debt ceiling and a major economic crisis would result” (32 percent).

Flashback to June 26: “Amanpour Does Obama’s Bidding in Pushing McConnell to Realize Need for ‘Revenue Raising’”

Flashback to June 13: “CBS’s Schieffer Trumpets Coburn’s ‘Candor’ on Willingness to Hike Taxes, Rues Others Lack Such ‘Courage’”

In April, Schieffer pressed GOP Congressman Paul Ryan: “Do you think that we can solve the deficit problem without raising taxes in some way?”


How on Face the Nation CBS’s Schieffer hit Senator Marco Rubio on taxes:

> Well where are the concessions that the Republicans are willing to make? I heard the President, just this week, saying yeah, he’d be willing to talk about means testing for people on Medicare. I don't hear any concessions from people on the other side. They just say no taxes, and that’s their negotiating posture.

> Can you have meaningful reform here without increasing revenues in some way – closing what some people call loopholes, eliminating what others call deductions? Aren't you going to have some way to increase revenues that goes beyond just cutting taxes?

From the July 17 This Week on ABC:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Obviously, the Republicans made that a line in the sand – “No new taxes.” And yet, poll after poll recently have basically said the American people are not with you on that issue. The majority actually says that there should be a balanced approach. Whether it’s the Quinnipiac, even including, not even a majority of Republicans say there should be no new taxes. So, do you think that you're out of step with the American people on this?

SENATOR JON KYL, SENATE MINORITY WHIP: Christiane, I haven't seen the polls you're referring to. In fact, I looked for polls that backed up the President, didn’t find any. The last poll, if I could, just three days ago, this is the Rasmussen poll, the question was, “do you think a tax hike should be included in any legislation to raise the debt ceiling?” 55 percent say no, 34 percent say yes. And even  independents, a majority of independents say so.

AMANPOUR: Okay, we could play polls all of the time. But a lot of the established ones, like the Quinnipiac, says 67 percent of Americans say debt reform should involve a balance of cuts and tax increases, especially for corporations and the wealthy. And, indeed, as I said, not even a majority of Republicans say that there shouldn't be any tax increases.

Amanpour was much gentler in raising with OMB’s Lew a liberal Democratic position: “Let's talk about entitlements. The Democrats – you’ve heard Nancy Pelosi, you’ve heard Senator Reaid – talk about not touching entitlements. Is that just a public posture, or will that be a part of a deal?”

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