CNN Goes Soft on Biden, Ignores ObamaCare, IRS Scandal

In an interview with Vice President Biden that aired on Friday's New Day, CNN's Kate Bolduan brought up Corvettes but completely ignored ObamaCare and the IRS scandal.

Bolduan asked about Biden's new jobs task force, immigration reform (which only 6 percent of the public sees as their top priority), Corvettes, and Biden's presidential aspirations. Her toughest question was about Senate Democrats seeking re-election who don't want President Obama campaigning in their state.

"You served 36 years in the Senate," Bolduan told the Vice President. "What do you say to your fellow Senate Democrats who have made it pretty clear that they don't want the President anywhere near their state this election cycle? And you jokingly kind of said, okay, I'll stay out of it. But what do you say to them?"

Bolduan said nothing of the recent CBO estimate that ObamaCare will trim two million full-time jobs from the economy by 2017. Neither did she mention the most recent development in the IRS controversy – e-mails showing the former IRS chief did in fact help craft new rules to crack down on Tea Party groups.

Below is a transcript of the segment:

CNN
NEW DAY
2/7/14
[6:07 a.m. EST]

KATE BOLDUAN: I interviewed Vice President Joe Biden in Philadelphia. He was there touring Amtrak's new electric locomotive, which he calls an engine of the economy that will save middle class jobs. We jumped on one of those trains and talked about everything from jobs to immigration reform. And his most definitive response yet, I'd say, as to whether he would run for president. And when he would decide. Take a look.

(Video Clip)

BOLDUAN: Vice President Biden, thank you so much for taking the time.

JOE BIDEN, Vice President of the United States: It's great to be with you, Kate.

BOLDUAN: And in a train nonetheless!

BIDEN: I've spent half my life in one of these cars.

BOLDUAN: This is like your home.

BIDEN: Like I'm home. That's right. 8,000 round trips.

BOLDUAN: God, who would know?

BIDEN: It adds up.

BOLDUAN: It sure does. I want to talk to you about the task force. The President has tapped you to lead the task force to review the federal jobs training programs. Now you know Americans are rightly skeptical of hearing about another task force coming out of Washington. You've led task forces in the past where there really haven't been major changes that have come from it. How will this task force – how will this one be different?

BIDEN: Some of the stuff we did, a major change came out of the Recovery Act and a whole range of other things. But here's the deal. It's much more than a new task force. It's about how do we create wider avenues to the middle class. The income inequity in this country is profound, the middle class is shrinking. And you start off with a couple of things. There are right now a hundred thousand high-tech manufacturing jobs in America that are going unfilled for lack of skills. There's another group of people who are long-term unemployed who are qualified, but we can't get them hired. We're working with major corporations saying change your HR policies. Instead of just taking anybody who's been out six months and throw them aside, agree you'd hire a certain percentage of long-term unemployed.

And so that's what we're working on. What's the best way to get the most people to work in good jobs you can raise a middle class family on.

BOLDUAN: Another thing that would have a big impact, potentially, on the economy is immigration reform.

BIDEN: Absolutely.

BOLDUAN: I know you've been very optimistic, saying you think immigration reform can be done, and it can be done this year. Speaker Boehner is just now saying that he thinks any action on immigration reform is unlikely this year. Saying why? He says because House Republicans don't trust the President. He even said they don't trust the President to enforce our laws. So is this over?

BIDEN: No. Look, the thing we have going for us is the vast majority of the American people support reform. The vast majority of Republicans support immigration reform. And if you allowed a vote tomorrow on the Senate bill that passed, a significant portion of Republicans and all the Democrats would vote for it. He's getting, understandably, not a criticism, a great deal of pressure from the right that wants no part of this. I think he'll work his way through this, I still think we can get this done.  It doesn't take much time.

BOLDUAN: If it doesn't take much time, and if it does come your way, you could be looking at a bill that allows for legal status but does not offer a pathway to citizenship. The President did not say definitively one way or the other, in an interview with CNN, would you support a bill that falls short of a pathway to citizenship if it came your way?

BIDEN: That is clearly not our preference. Any bill that passes out of the House has to go to a conference committee in the Senate which passed overwhelmingly a pathway to citizenship. Dual status in America, legal but not citizens is a bad idea –

BOLDUAN: Isn't a principle you need to stand for one way or the other – I know you don't like to judge legislation before it's before you guys, of course. But –

BIDEN: Let's be straight, as the President says. You see the way the hard right responds to anything the President says. So the President is being very smart. He's saying what passed, we support. See what you guys pass and then we'll respond. Because what you don't want to do is create more problems for John Boehner in being able to bring this up.

BOLDUAN: It's going to change the dynamic, though. That was last year. This year's all the same.

BIDEN: There's an election. The overwhelming majority of the American people, overwhelming majority of Republicans, overwhelming majority of the American business community say this is essential, get done.

BOLDUAN: Let me ask you about the election. And this is important. You served 36 years in the Senate.

BIDEN: I did.

BOLDUAN: What do you say to your fellow Senate Democrats who have made it pretty clear that they don't want the President anywhere near their state this election cycle? And you jokingly kind of said, okay, I'll stay out of it. But what do you say to them?

BIDEN: First of all, that's not universally true. In the states we lost, in the states where we lost the presidential race, that may be the case. I know I've been invited to go into well over 128 races so far. And so there's some places the President is considerably more popular than I am. But there's some places where I can go in and the President can't. There's some places where it makes no sense for me to go in, the President to go in. So look, the reason why, Kate, I am truly optimistic about this year's races, no matter what the polls say, one thing they say on every major issue, the public agrees between 51 and 70 percent with the position taken by the President of the United States and the Democratic party. You give me a chance to have all the issues my way, or have popularity at the moment, I'll take the issues. That's what's going to win.

BOLDUAN: It's very likely you still have a divided Congress. But –

BIDEN: No, no, I'm not suggesting you won't have a divided Congress. But in terms of the prospects of Democrats running for Congress, incumbents in the Senate, I think we are in the best shape we can be because the American public agrees with us on the issues.

BOLDUAN: Can I ask you one fun question about Corvettes?

BIDEN: Sure you can. That's what you – now you hit my sweet spot.

BOLDUAN: I know I hit your sweet spot, but what can I say? You had a lot of fun earlier this week speaking to the UAW. Talking about Corvettes, talking about going from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.

(Video Clip)

BIDEN: There's a lot of reason to run for president, but there's one overwhelming reason not to run for president. I like to get that Z 06 from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds.

(End Video Clip)

BIDEN: That's right, man.

BOLDUAN: That was the one reason you said you would not run for president. Other than Corvettes, give me another good reason why you shouldn't run.

BIDEN: I can't.

BOLDUAN: Yeah?

BIDEN: There may be reasons I don't run, but there's no obvious reason for me why I think I should not run.

BOLDUAN: Can I have a timetable?

BIDEN: Probably the – realistically a year, this summer.

BOLDUAN: Is Dr. Biden on board?

BIDEN: When I ran the first time, Jill didn't want to run again. Second time, she came to me and said, you've got to run. The reason she wanted me to run? Because she was convinced if I ran we'd end the war in Iraq and have a sounder foreign policy, and she's convinced that if I ran, I would work like hell to make sure the middle class got a fighting class. For me, the decision to run or not run is going to be determined by me as whether I am the best qualified person to focus on the two things I've spent my whole life on. Giving ordinary people a fighting chance to make it, and a sound foreign policy that's based on rational interests in the United States where we are not only known for the power of our military, but the power of our example. I think there's future for this country. I know people think I'm too optimistic. But it is incredible. There's so much just within our grasp. Doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it. But if no one else, I think can, and I think I can, then I'd run. If I don't, I won't.

BOLDUAN: Sounds like a man who's seriously considering it. Thank you so much Mr. Vice President.
 

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