CBS’s O’Donnell Hits Ryan with White House Talking Points, Then Cues Up Softballs to Schumer

Filling in for Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, Norah O’Donnell hit Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from the left, using White House talking points to contend his budget plan helps the rich and hurts the poor, but with her next guest, liberal Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, she simply cued him up to react to Ryan and ruminate on whether ObamaCare will be a campaign issue.

“The current tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is 35 percent, you would reduce it to 25 percent and the White House says, that under your plan, you would give millionaires in this country a 150,000 tax cut,” CBS’s chief White House correspondent asserted. Ryan reorted: “Those numbers obviously are not credible.” Not dissuaded, O’Donnell cited “$810 billion in cuts to Medicaid” and demanded: “How can you guarantee people that you’re not giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and taking away aid to the poor?”

She followed up: “You don’t deny that you’re cutting $810 from Medicaid for the poorest Americans?” Ryan, in fact, denied the “cutting” misstatement with a fact: “$810 billion in savings, but we still grow Medicaid each and every year under our formula.”

 

Audio: MP3 clip

Seemingly oblivious to her own distortions, O’Donnell recalled for Ryan how last year “an independent organization” ran an ad “of you pushing a grandmother off the cliff. Why would you do that again this year, propose a similar budget? The Democrats are going to take this budget and try and wrap it around the Republican Party’s neck for this election.”

Just as O’Donnell is doing for them! Instead, however, of pressing Schumer about that left-wing demagoguery from the Agenda Project run by a former staffer at the Democratic National Committee, O’Donnell, after some time spent on the Trayvon Martin case, just recounted how Ryan said “he can guarantee that he would not be providing tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and cutting funding for the poor in terms of the cuts that are to Medicaid” and asked: “What’s your response to that?”

Next, she cued him up with an open-ended question with an obvious answer: “The Ryan plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Monday the Supreme Court will begin debating the legality of that. Do you think this is going to be a major issue in this presidential campaign?” 

O’Donnell’s budget-related questions posed to Ryan and Schumer on the Sunday, March 25 Face the Nation:

> You just released a budget and let’s take a quick look at it. You call for $5.3 trillion in spending cuts, two trillion in tax cuts. And you would reduce the top bracket to 25 percent. Are you asking everyone to sacrifice in this budget?

> The current tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is 35 percent, you would reduce it to 25 percent and the White House says, that under your plan, you would give millionaires in this country a 150,000 tax cut. [RYAN: “Those numbers obviously are not credible.”]

> You also include changes to Medicare and cuts in Medicaid. $810 billion in cuts to Medicaid. How can you guarantee people that you’re not giving tax cuts to the wealthiest and taking away aid to the poor?...You don’t deny that you’re cutting $810 from Medicaid for the poorest Americans? [RYAN: “$810 billion in savings, but we still grow Medicaid each and every year under our formula.”]

> Last year you proposed a budget very similar to this that was considered political suicide. There was an independent organization that ran an ad of you pushing a grandmother off the cliff. Why would you do that again this year, propose a similar budget? The Democrats are going to take this budget and try and wrap it around the Republican Party’s neck for this election.

To Schumer:

> I want to turn to the future for this country. We just heard from Congressman Paul Ryan. The Republicans have put forward a budget plan. He says he can guarantee that he would not be providing tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and cutting funding for the poor in terms of the cuts that are to Medicaid. What’s your response to that?

> The Ryan plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Monday the Supreme Court will begin debating the legality of that. Do you think this is going to be a major issue in this presidential campaign?

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