CBS Plays Softball with Senator Klobuchar on Fiscal Cliff; Fails to Mention Runaway Spending

Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose tossed softball questions at Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday's CBS This Morning on the looming fiscal cliff, just two days after they hounded Republican Senator Bob Corker on the same issue. Rose casually mentioned to Senator Klobuchar how "the President believes you can't get there by deduction. You have to raise [tax] rates. Is that your view?" O'Donnell merely asked, "Is this posturing on the fiscal cliff, or is there real work being done? What's your sense?"

By contrast, Rose tried to get Senator Corker to "forgo the [anti-tax hike] pledge because it is outdated and the country's problems are too big." O'Donnell followed up by asking the Tennessee Republican if he was "willing to also raise the capital gains rate." The morning show anchors failed to make similar demands of the Minnesota Democrat to cut spending.

Charlie Rose, CBS News Anchor; & Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Anchor; Screen Cap From 28 November 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgO'Donnell led the interview with her "what's your sense" question on the continuing budget negotiations between congressional leaders and the Obama administration. Klobuchar answered by outlining that "a number of us that really legitimately want to bring down the debt...we are going to have to see a mix of significant spending cuts, as well as revenue....You close loopholes and subsidies, and you can get to that number $4 trillion, where we want to be in reductions in ten years."

The CBS anchor then pointed out that "Republicans say you could also get that...800 billion [dollars] by capping deductions and closing loopholes above about $50,000." Klobuchar countered by citing one of the left's favorite billionaires, which Rose replied to by noting President Obama's unending call for higher taxes on the wealthy:

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D), MINNESOTA: Yeah, and I don't think you see anyone saying it has to be one plan. Warren Buffett put one out this week, as a way to bring in some revenue on some of the wealthier – so, there – people are-

CHARLIE ROSE: A minimum tax on the wealthy-

KLOBUCHAR: Right - and so, people are open to different plans, and that's – to me, is the most important thing. You haven't seen people say, it's my way or no other way. That's not happened.

ROSE: It seems that the President believes you can't get there by deduction. You have to raise rates. Is that your view?

KLOBUCHAR: If you need to get that significant revenue, I believe you do have to do something with rates. But let's – let's just let everyone put their proposals out. We want to do something significant here - not just pretend that people are doing something

Later in the segment, O'Donnell brought up the record high percentage of women in the Senate, but still lamented this as too low (just as she did over a week earlier during an interview of British writer Frances Osborne). This gave Senator Klobuchar the opportunity to forward an oft-used claim by feminists that government would function better if only more women were in positions of power:


O'DONNELL: Senator, we also saw [in] this election a record number of women elected to the United States Senate - 20 female senators out of a hundred - still not on par with the population-

KLOBUCHAR: But enough to cause a traffic jam in the women's Senate bathroom. (Rose and O'Donnell laugh) So, that was – that was a big excitement-

ROSE: Men have more bathrooms than women in the Senate?

KLOBUCHAR: They just have a bigger one - first-ever in the United States history.

O'DONNELL: Why aren't there more women in the United States Senate, and why does it matter?

KLOBUCHAR: Well, first of all, it matters. You want to represent the country and you want elected officials that are representative of the country. But it matters in a much bigger way, especially now when you see this intransigence in Washington, and that is that women tend to be more problem-solvers. We work together....Susan Collins led the Postal Reform Bill on the Republican side. That's a bill that passed in the Senate - still waiting over in the House - Debbie Stabenow, Patty Murray – they led bills - Barbara Boxer - that went through working with men and women from the other side.

O'DONNELL: So you're saying, if there are more women, more would get done?

KLOBUCHAR: I believe that. Yes, I do-

ROSE: And because they are what, in terms of their approach?

Charlie Rose & Norah O'Donnell, CBS News Anchors; & Senator Amy Kobuchar, (D), Minnesota; Screen Cap From 28 November 2012 Edition of CBS This Morning | NewsBusters.orgKLOBUCHAR: They are problem-solvers. Someone who studied women candidates once said that women candidates - I don't believe this - but, speak softly and carry a big statistic-

ROSE: (Rose and O'Donnell laugh) I was wondering where you were going with that-

KLOBUCHAR: And so, I don't believe they speak softly, as we've seen, but they do carry a big statistic in that they tend to be more focused on accountability. They didn't get there by swaggering around. They got there by getting things done.

O'Donnell and Rose wouldn't have had such a light conversation with a Republican/conservative on an issue, even a secondary one. Beyond their badgering of Senator Corker earlier in the week, the two CBS anchors pummeled Senator John McCain earlier in November over his promise to block Susan Rice if she's nominated to be secretary of state. Just a day earlier, they let far-left director Oliver Stone promote his revisionist historical documentary during an eight-minute-long interview.

The full transcript of the interview of Senator Amy Klobuchar from Wednesday's CBS This Morning is available at MRC.org.

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