CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, Channeling Howard Dean, Says GOP ‘Not Diverse’
CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin echoed Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean on the subject of "diversity" in the Republican Party during CNN’s Tuesday evening coverage of the Republican convention: "I'd just like to make an observation about sort of the night as a whole. Fred Thompson, George Bush, Joe Lieberman -- the Republican Party, are they the party of old, white guys? I mean, this is who the Republican Party put forward first, and the only other people there were wives.... It is not a diverse party. It is not a party where women have had great success" [audio available here].
During an August 15 interview with NPR, Dean made the following remark about the apparent success of minorities and women in the Democratic Party: "If you look at folks of color, even women, they’re more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the Republican Party." Three years earlier in 2005, he called the GOP a "white Christian party."
Host Anderson Cooper had asked Toobin to respond to a comment that had just been made by conservative commentator Amy Holmes, who compared Joe Lieberman’s appearance at the Republican convention that night to Zell Miller’s famous appearance at the 2004 Republican convention. Cooper, responding to Holmes, remarked to Toobin that "Zell Miller never was going to be [the] vice-presidential candidate for the Democratic Party." The senior legal analyst for CNN replied, " No, that's an understatement. Zell Miller was certainly not close to that."
Toobin then continued on the "problem that the Republican Party has," which, in his view, is its apparent lack of "diversity:"
TOOBIN: I'd just like to make an observation about sort of the night as a whole. Fred Thompson, George Bush, Joe Lieberman -- the Republican Party, are they the party of old, white guys? I mean, this is who the Republican Party put forward first, and the only other people there were wives. I just think that is a problem that the Republican Party has. It is not a diverse party. It is not a party where women have had great success. Sarah Palin, perhaps, will be a -- will be a great exception to that. But -- this is a very different party from the Democratic Party. You look around that convention hall. It's a very different group of people than you see in the Democratic Party. The country's changing -- I'm not sure the Republican Party is.
On August 25, during CNN’s coverage of the first night of the Democratic convention, Toobin complained about the lack of "red meat" from the speakers: "There is one big missing piece tonight I think, which is why the American people should throw the bums out. We haven't heard one word about that. We have the most unpopular President in American history, and he's barely been mentioned tonight. I just think that is an extraordinary gap..."