CBS ‘Early Show’ Uses Republican to Call Palin a ‘Huge Mistake’

David Frum, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith discussed the presidential campaign with former Bush speech writer David Frum and declared: "There is growing concern among some Republicans about McCain's campaign. They're calling on him to stabilize it." Later in the segment, Smith asked Frum point blank: "Was Sarah Palin a mistake?" Frum replied: "I think Sarah Palin was a huge mistake...Americans can be pretty jokey about their government when times are good, but when times are bad, they want to know do -- can you do the job? And when you have a candidate who so obviously has never thought about any of the issues that are going to be important to the next administration and whose knowledge is so shallow, it makes people -- it doesn't just make people offended, it makes them afraid."

Just prior to asking Frum about Palin, Smith asked: "We're talking about the Gallup numbers, the Post has Obama up by ten points. Three weeks to go. Is it too late for John McCain to make substantial changes and literally save his campaign?" Part of Frum’s response to that question included: "The McCain campaign right now is running a campaign aimed at getting excited the last -- the core 30% of the country that supports the Republican Party, our base, but you don't win elections on your base. You win elections, but with a broad strategy. And above all, when you run an election like this aimed at your base you risk demoralizing and offending a lot of people who are needed by a Norm Coleman or an Elizabeth Dole."

Update: Frum's appearance on the Early Show prompted a discussion between Kathryn Jean Lopez and Mark Levin on National Review Online.

While the Early Show routinely has on liberal political analysts, like Michael Crowley from the New Republic, when the show finally has on a Republican to discuss the race he attacks conservatives and calls them offensive and scary.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:10AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: There is growing concern among some Republicans about McCain's campaign. They're calling on him to stabilize it. Joining us from Washington, David Frum, former speech writer for President Bush and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Good morning, David.

DAVID FRUM: Good morning.

SMITH: I tell you what, I'm also looking at The Washington Post. We're talking about the Gallup numbers, the Post has Obama up by ten points. Three weeks to go. Is it too late for John McCain to make substantial changes and literally save his campaign?

FRUM: Well, it's clearly kind of tough for him, but we have, as a party, more concerns than just John McCain. We have senators and members of Congress. And one of the things I've been arguing for a long time is that we may be getting a little too focused on the presidential campaign, which is going to be a tough race, and not paying enough attention to saving some crucial senators, who are going to be a real power basis if we do find ourselves out of the White House.

SMITH: Yeah, Democrats talking about a serious majority now in the Senate. Seats that are up for grabs, Elizabeth Dole, there are others who are right on the edge.

FRUM: Right. And so it may be a very important thing for us to think about. How do you run this presidential campaign in a way that does the most good for people like Elizabeth Dole, for people like Norm Coleman. The McCain campaign right now is running a campaign aimed at getting excited the last -- the core 30% of the country that supports the Republican Party, our base, but you don't win elections on your base. You win elections, but with a broad strategy. And above all, when you run an election like this aimed at your base you risk demoralizing and offending a lot of people who are needed by a Norm Coleman or an Elizabeth Dole.

SMITH: Right. Was Sarah Palin a mistake?

FRUM: I think Sarah Palin was a huge mistake. I've been saying that since the first day. In a time of emergency like this, as in 9/11, people turn to Washington and they want to see people in charge know what they're doing. You know, Americans can be pretty jokey about their government when times are good, but when times are bad, they want to know do -- can you do the job? And when you have a candidate who so obviously has never thought about any of the issues that are going to be important to the next administration and whose knowledge is so shallow, it makes people -- it doesn't just make people offended, it makes them afraid.

SMITH: So as a Republican, and if you are going to write a prescription for John McCain, in 30 seconds that are left, he's got three weeks to get this done, what would it be?

FRUM: He needs to pull every Republican with substantial economic experience together. He needs to be campaigning with them, he needs to get -- be delivering a message on that front and then the Republican National Committee needs to be shifting a lot of money into senatorial campaigns.

SMITH: David Frum, thank you very much for your -- for your input this morning. Do appreciate it, thank you.

FRUM: Thank you.

SMITH: Righto. Wow, wild campaign. Three weeks to go and every day, a new, another headline, right?

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