Blitzer: 9/11 Video at GOP ‘Provocative,’ Brown Asks About ‘Fear’
Just after the bottom half of the 8 pm Eastern hour of CNN’s coverage of the Republican convention, as Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin began an introduction of a video presentation about Islamist attacks on the U.S. over the past decades, host Wolf Blitzer gave a bit of a warning about the content of the video: "Let's listen to Congresswoman Mary Fallin of Oklahoma. She's going to make the case why Republicans are better in protecting us than Democrats, and that will lead into a video. It's provocative. There will be images of 9/11 and towers going down. It will raise controversy. We're going to show to it you because it's part of this convention. But let's listen to this Congresswoman from Oklahoma speak first."
Nine minutes later, after Fallin had finished her introduction and the video concluded, Blitzer began a short discussion with correspondent John King, co-host Campbell Brown, and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos about the video’s content. Brown charged that Republicans were playing on fear: "But that message though, has been fear, I mean, as a message at this convention."
BLITZER: A rather dramatic video -- powerful images, remembrances of 9/11. John King, some will say, you know what -- at a political convention, there's no real need to bring those kinds of images into this hall.
JOHN KING: That -- some will say that's controversial in playing politics out of a tragedy. Since they were doing it, it's interesting to see how they used it. You saw Rudy Giuliani. You did not see President Bush -- that was his defining challenge and his defining moment -- nowhere in that video at a Republican Convention -- think that's interesting. I think it's no accident. Number two, many will criticize the tactic. What they're trying to do is say, whatever you may think of Republicans right now -- and the brand is damaged -- but there has not been another attack since 9/11, and they will make the case at this convention that is because of their policies -- their president too, George W. Bush, but their policy.
CAMPBELL BROWN: But that message though, has been fear, I mean, as a message at this convention. And, Alex, is that the message that Republicans want to convey?
CASTELLANOS: There are things I think a lot of Republicans in this hall, especially people from, I'd say, the New York delegation, and maybe around Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania -- there are things worth fearing in this world. You know, I think a lot of Republicans here think that video should run every day, because we -- somewhere out there, there may be a terrorist with a nuclear weapon thinking about going into an American city. This is not just politics. Politics is a means to an end. It's how we govern ourselves.
The CNN talking heads had a measured response to the video in comparison to their competitor at MSNBC Keith Olbermann, who took offense to how his network decided to show the Republicans’ video.