CBS ‘Early Show’ Frets Over ‘Liberal Backlash’ Against Obama

Bill Plante, CBS On Friday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a report on difficulties President Obama is having with left-wing: “President Obama is facing a growing backlash from liberal supporters on the issue of health care reform.” White House correspondent Bill Plante described the: “...anger really among the President’s former grass roots supporters on the Left.”

After citing former Democratic Party Chair Howard Dean’s opposition to the health care bill, Plante turned to other liberal critics: “Christopher Hayes, editor of the left-leaning magazine The Nation, says President Obama has betrayed the promises of his campaign.” Hayes argued: “What made the campaign so great was that it engendered a feeling of empowerment, that it felt like power was being distributed downwards, right? And that is something that you’re seeing the opposite of in this legislative battle.”

Plante even cited left-wing commenters on President Obama’s Facebook page: “Jamie writes ‘I had so much hope, but I feel like I’m invisible to a man I worked so hard to elect.’ While Melanie warns ‘if this White House doesn’t change, I won’t vote for you again.’” Plante concluded: “And that’s exactly the problem. It may mean that all of that enthusiasm that was generated in 2008 won’t be there either to push Congress or to reelect the President.”

Here is a full transcript of the segment:
7:05AM

RUSS MITCHELL: Meanwhile, President Obama is facing a growing backlash from liberal supporters on the issue of health care reform. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante has more on that. Bill, good morning.

BILL PLANTE: That’s right, Russ. Good morning. The intense horse trading over the health care bill has meant some increased, increased, really, you know – anger really among the President’s former grass roots supporters on the Left. Former President Bill Clinton weighed in, trying to help President Obama with the dissent, urging Democrats to back the bill. ‘Does this bill read exactly how I would write it? No. Does it contain everything everyone wants? Of course not. But America can’t afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.’ But other leading Democrats disagree. Former Democratic National Chair Howard Dean says he wouldn’t vote for it, writing in the Washington Post, ‘I know health reform when I see it and there isn’t much left in the Senate bill.’ Christopher Hayes, editor of the left-leaning magazine The Nation, says President Obama has betrayed the promises of his campaign.

CHRISTOPHER HAYES: What made the campaign so great was that it engendered a feeling of empowerment, that it felt like power was being distributed downwards, right? And that is something that you’re seeing the opposite of in this legislative battle.

PLANTE: That’s the sentiment echoed on the President’s Facebook page. Jamie writes ‘I had so much hope, but I feel like I’m invisible to a man I worked so hard to elect.’ While Melanie warns ‘if this White House doesn’t change, I won’t vote for you again.’ And that’s exactly the problem. It may mean that all of that enthusiasm that was generated in 2008 won’t be there either to push Congress or to reelect the President. Russ.

MITCHELL: Bill Plante at the White House. Thank you very much.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC