GOP Guest Informs CNN of Its Own Poll Results

Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) twice told CNN's John King Thursday night the results of CNN's own poll showing Americans favor a Cut, Cap, and Balance plan. King would not affirm his claims and instead reported other poll results showing that Americans favor compromise on the debt ceiling.

Throughout Thursday afternoon, the network selectively touted results from its newly-released poll showing a majority of Americans favor President Obama and his positions on the debt ceiling debate. What they ignored was that almost two-thirds of Americans want a balanced budget amendment to be passed, along with spending cuts and caps on spending in the future – or "Cut, Cap, and Balance," a conservative House GOP position.

 

Congressman Graves pointed this out to King. "And as your polls have shown, and that is what 66 percent of America, a supermajority of America, believes this is the right way to go," he said of the House passing a Cut, Cap, and Balance bill. King sounded like he was either ignoring the fact, or was simply unaware of it.

"Well, we have a new poll out today where two-thirds of Americans say you should raise the debt ceiling with a plan that has a mix of spending cuts and tax increases," King responded before changing the subject.

Graves later reminded King that two out of three Americans favor Cut, Cap, and Balance. "And that's why it's been endorsed by so many groups, why there's been hundreds of thousands of Americans who have signed the pledge for that and why 66 percent of Americans according to your very own poll support that plan as well," he said.

But King still seemed oblivious. "Well, our polling tonight shows something a little bit different; shows that most people want a plan that includes some revenue increases, two-thirds of Americans want that," he avowed.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the network reported that 62 percent of Americans support raising the debt ceiling and 64 percent wish for a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases. CNN made sure to add that a slight majority of Americans believe President Obama to be acting responsibly in the debt ceiling debate, as opposed to just 33 percent for Republicans. No mention was made of the support for Cut, Cap, and Balance.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on July 21 at 10:08 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

[10:08]

JOHN KING: Congressman, you told Bloomberg News earlier this month, this is quote, "no time to compromise," blaming compromise for what you consider the fiscal mess Washington's in right now. But so – the other view of that is that compromise is exactly what's necessary, and Republicans just control one piece here. Republicans have the House. Democrats have the Senate and the Presidency. What gives House Republicans the right to say no, we won't compromise?

REP. TOM GRAVES (R-Ga.): Well, John, you're right about my statement before. And that is this is no time to compromise. We've had years and years and years of compromises, and that's led to $14 trillion in debt. And if we're going to get out of this mess we've got to hold firm to what we know are the true solutions. The House passed a very bold proposal, and probably the most incredible proposal to empower the taxpayers this week. Now it's in the Senate.

And as your polls have shown, and that is what 66 percent of America, a supermajority of America, believes this is the right way to go, which means they don't want to compromise anymore, either.

KING: Well, we have a new poll out today where two-thirds of Americans say you should raise the debt ceiling with a plan that has a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. But let's focus on your plan, the Cut, Cap and balance plan. Leader Reid said it does not have one chance in a million of passing the Senate. They will take that vote on Friday. The President has said even if did pass the Senate he would veto that legislation.

So the question facing Washington and the question facing the House Republican majority is where do we go from here? If you can't get your way,  would you prefer the government default?

(...)

[10:13]

GRAVES: You know, that's still yet to be seen how the markets will react. But again, we can't make long term decisions based on short-term reactions in the markets. We – I mean we know clearly right now that there's a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace about a lot of things Washington has done.

We need to restore that certainty. And the only plan that does that is the Cut, Cap, Balance Plan. And that's why it's been endorsed by so many groups, why there's been hundreds of thousands of Americans who have signed the pledge for that and why 66 percent of Americans according to your very own poll support that plan as well.

KING: Well, our polling tonight shows something a little bit different; shows that most people want a plan that includes some revenue increases, two-thirds of Americans want that....

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014