CBS's Rose Hounds Boehner on Ryan Budget, Cites Bishops; Went Easy on Pelosi

Charlie Rose did his best to forward liberals' talking points about Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, during an interview of House Speaker John Boehner. Rose played up Mitt Romney's endorsement of the Ryan plan and how the former governor "talked about, perhaps, abolishing H.E.W. [sic]- I mean, HUD, as well as Department of Education."

The anchor even went so far to tout how "Catholic bishops today said that the Ryan budget fails to meet moral criteria and disproportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable, which sounds like the President." By contrast, Rose didn't even bring up Nancy Pelosi's notorious dissent from Catholic doctrine during a recent interview of Boehner's immediate predecessor on PBS.

Rose brought up the economy midway through the first segment of the interview.  When Boehner stated that the "the election's going to be about economics, economics, economics," the journalist replied with his H.E.W. gaffe (the name of HHS before 1979). The Republican insisted that "we've got to make choices, and we shouldn't criticize candidates because they're talking about the big choices that we have to make. When you have $1.3 trillion budget deficit, have you to do something."

The CBS anchor continued by forwarding a liberal talking point against Romney and the GOP for the upcoming election: "The President would say to you...this is going to be a referendum on the Ryan budget, because the Speaker has even said, it's a vision of what we want to do." The Speaker replied, "The President's going to try to make the election about anything other than his failed economic policies, because he can't run on his record. And so, they're going to pull out every boogieman they can."

Rose then pushed ahead on the topic of the Ryan plan, and referenced the Tuesday statement from two committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor; & Rep. John Boehner, (R), Speaker of the House | NewsBusters.orgROSE: Do you think the Ryan plan is the way to do that, because Governor Romney has clearly made it- at one with him?

BOEHNER: Somebody in this town has to own up to the problems that we face-

ROSE: And your budget does it?                

BOENHER: And that budget does it. Now, if the President doesn't like that budget, where's his budget? His budget failed on the floor of the House, zero to 414. Not one Democrat or one Republican voted for the President's budget. Why? Because he wasn't serious about dealing with America's problem.

ROSE: The Catholic bishops today said that the Ryan budget fails to meet moral criteria and disproportionately cuts programs that serve the poor and the vulnerable, which sounds like the President.

BOEHNER: I understand. Listen, when you look at the budget choices that we have to make, it's time that Congress and Washington and the President quit kicking the can down the road and address our challenges. I don't believe that our budget will hurt the poor in any way. I don't think it will hurt the safety net in any way. But we can't continue to spend money that we do not have.

Over two weeks earlier, on the April 2, 2012 edition of his PBS program, Rose interviewed Pelosi and not once mentioned how the same bishops' conference has been outspoken on the issue of religious liberty, in the wake of the Obama administration's abortifacient/contraception mandate (something the far-left politician vocally supported). The closest the journalist came was when he asked the Democrat, "So you are saying this coming election should be a battle of values?"

CBS's morning and evening newscasts haven't mention the HHS mandate controversy since February 11, 2012, according to a Nexis search. On that note, the bishops' conference issued a "call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to work to protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights" on April 12, but the document hasn't received any attention as of yet from the network. This difference is just the latest manifestation of what the MRC documented in our special report, "Secular Snobs":


Journalists have a love-hate relationship with Vatican City. They love when the Pope is opposing capital punishment or U.S. wars, but when it comes to social issues and Catholic church governance, they portray the church hierarchy as a group of  white male celibate authoritarians viciously enforcing a "rigid" and ancient orthodoxy.

Earlier in the interview, Rose channeled another liberal talking point about Romney supposedly being out of touch with ordinary Americans:

ROSE:  No one doubts you're not in touch [sic], not only with the constituents you have Ohio, but generally, you're that kind of guy. Is Mitt Romney that kind of guy? He's had a very different lifestyle from you.

BOEHNER: Listen, we're all different. You know, we have different personalities-

ROSE: But can he be in touch? Does he need to figure out a way to have the same kind of visceral appeal?

BOEHNER: I think he's done a good job in a Republican primary, under some very difficult circumstances, and I think he's prepared for this general election and will appeal to more than half of America. But after any primary, there's always a little retooling; always some adjustments, in terms of now, you have a different opponent. And so, I think you'll see some new things out of this campaign.

The transcript of the first segment of Charlie Rose's interview of House Speaker John Boehner, which aired three minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour of Wednesday's CBS This Morning, is available at MRC.org.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center