CBS Political Analyst: McCain Critics are Conservative ‘Crazies’

NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterOn Wednesday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Harry Smith discussed the ‘Potomac Primaries’ with Democratic Strategist Dee Dee Myers and Republican CBS Political Analyst Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush Administration Communications Director, who said of John McCain’s conservative critics: "The more that we see kind of the crazies like Ann Coulter out attacking John McCain, the better Republicans feel about their chances in the general election."

This attack upon conservatives critical of McCain, who include Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, and others, was prompted by Harry Smith asking about Mike Huckabee’s continued support in the race:

SMITH: Nicolle, let's talk about the Republicans, because McCain, he said himself a week ago, now I'm the frontrunner. This lingering Huckabee thing. Huckabee got a lot of votes in Virginia. These conservatives they're -- they're still -- they're not happy. They're not happy about this guy.

NICOLLE WALLACE: And, you know what, Republicans are beginning to say that's okay.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

WALLACE: The more that we see kind of the crazies like Ann Coulter out attacking John McCain, the better Republicans feel about their chances in the general election.

SMITH: Right.

WALLACE: The McCain camp has tremendous respect for the process. You hear them talk a lot about the process when you ask them about Huckabee continuing to win. But McCain did what he needed do last night. He swept all three contests, and I think acknowledging that Huckabee still has a great deal of support is eventually going to accrue to their benefit, and that they hope to make those supporters McCain supporters.

Here is the full transcript:

7:10AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Now on to the results of yesterday's primaries. Joining us, Republican strategist and CBS News Political Analyst Nicolle Wallace, and Democratic strategist Dee Dee Myers. Morning to you both.

NICOLLE WALLACE: Good morning.

DEE DEE MYERS: Morning Harry.

SMITH: Dee Dee let me start with you. Hillary Clinton got crushed yesterday. There was an anticipation that Barack Obama would do well, but there was not a shred of good news that she could pull out of anything that happened yesterday. How does she soldier on out of this?

MYERS: It was a very tough night for Hillary Clinton. It's hard to remember that Super Tuesday was just a week ago. You know, a week ago today we were saying, boy, mixed results coming out of Super Tuesday, need to go on. Since then Barack Obama has swept every primary and caucus. He's building up both a substantial -- or sizable, not substantial yet -- but a sizable lead in delegates and in money, and now for the first time I think we see real momentum in this race, and I think the headline for Democrats this morning is for the first time since Democrats started going to the polls and the caucuses, we have a bonafide frontrunner in the Democratic race for president.

SMITH: Front -- wow. Dee Dee Myers, you heard it here first.

MEYERS: You heard it here first.

SMITH: 'Barack Obama's the -- alright, write it down everybody. Nicolle, let's talk about the Republicans, because McCain, he said himself a week ago, now I'm the frontrunner. This lingering Huckabee thing. Huckabee got a lot of votes in Virginia. These conservatives they're -- they're still -- they're not happy. They're not happy about this guy.

WALLACE: And, you know what, Republicans are beginning to say that's okay.

SMITH: Oh, okay.

WALLACE: The more that we see kind of the crazies like Ann Coulter out attacking John McCain, the better Republicans feel about their chances in the general election.

SMITH: Right.

WALLACE The McCain camp has tremendous respect for the process. You hear them talk a lot about the process when you ask them about Huckabee continuing to win. But McCain did what he needed do last night. He swept all three contests, and I think acknowledging that Huckabee still has a great deal of support is eventually going to accrue to their benefit, and that they hope to make those supporters McCain supporters.

SMITH: In one sentence, If you're Hillary Clinton, what do you do for the next week?

WALLACE: I think you've got to fake it. You've to buck up. Act like things aren't as bad as they are. You know, firing your campaign manager, letting the deputy go, those are all things that project weakness.

SMITH: And Dee Dee, how about you? If you're -- if you're Hillary Clinton, how do you get -- how do you get the mo back? Real quick.

MYERS: Right. You've got to go to Wisconsin next week, campaign hard, and try to win there. She had a great crowd last night in San Antonio, but that's not going to be enough. She needs to win someplace.

SMITH: Yeah, it's the Rudy strategy, don't wait until Florida, could be all over.

MYERS: Right.

WALLACE: Right.

SMITH: Alright. Nicolle, Dee Dee, thank you both very much for being here this morning, do appreciate it.

MYERS: Thanks Harry.

WALLACE: Thanks Harry.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC