Acting as if he were trying out for a MSNBC gig, Piers Morgan used his half hour of CNN’s prime time, following President Barack Obama’s 9 PM EDT speech on the debt ceiling and House Speaker John Boehner’s response, to hit his guests from the left, presuming Obama holds the reasoned moral high ground while Boehner represents an obstinate and selfish position.
“A lot of people blame the financial crisis on Bush tax cuts and expensive wars,” Morgan told GOP Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in repeating a liberal talking point, demanding: “Isn't it time you guys took one for the team, the team being America?”
Morgan soon condemned Grover Norquist for being “intransigent” on taxes, contending: “Most impartial observers outside of America say that is crazy, and you have got to change your attitude to this and allow some tax increases.”
The Brit began by cuing up White House adviser David Plouffe with how Obama admirably pursued “compromise” complemented by “a direct appeal to the people of America,” while Boehner, in contrast, remained stubborn: “‘Forget it. As things stand, we are not budging, let's not compromise.’”
To Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, Morgan fretted: “Didn’t sound to me like the Republicans are prepared to compromise very much.”
Going into an ad break, Morgan touted one finding from CNN’s latest poll while ignoring how it also quantified overwhelming public support for the plan which passed in the House:
With the clock ticking down to next week’s debt deadline, Americans are running out of patience and when it come to the blame game, the GOP just might have the most to lose. In a CNN/ORC poll, 51 percent of Americans said they would blame the Republican if there’s no deal to raise the debt ceiling. Far fewer, just 3 in 10, said they would blame the President.
When CNN's pollsters summarized the House GOP's “Cut, Cap and Balance” proposal, 66 percent answered in favor of the plan:
In another proposal, Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?
Morgan, however, continued CNN’s on-air blackout of that finding.
Morgan’s first questions to his four guests during the 9:30 PM EDT half hour on Monday night, July 25:
To White House adviser David Plouffe:
David Plouffe, I mean, it seemed to me the President was saying, “Look, we need compromise, we can make this work,” a direct appeal to the people of America. But Speaker Boehner made it absolutely, crystal clear: “Forget it. As things stand, we are not budging, let's not compromise.”
To Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer:
Senator Schumer, what did you make of both speeches tonight and in particular the emphasis on the word compromise? Didn't sound to me like the Republicans are prepared to compromise very much.
To Republican Senator Rob Portman, OMB Director for former President Bush:
Senator Portman, they've got a point, the Democrats, haven't the they? You're being pretty intransigent. You won't countenance any tax increases. How is the President supposed to balance his books?
You ran budgets for President George W. Bush. A lot of people blame the financial crisis on Bush tax cuts and expensive wars. Isn't it time you guys took one for the team, the team being America?
To Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform:
Grover, you're the eye of the tiger in all this. People take their lead from you on the Republican side and you’ve been intransigent. “There will be no tax increases.” Most impartial observers outside of America say that is crazy, and you have got to change your attitude to this and allow some tax increases.