On Wednesday's CBS This Morning, Jan Crawford played up how voters supposedly find Vice President Joe Biden's "gaffes almost endearing", as she reported on the potential face-off between President Obama's running mate and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Crawford played clips of Biden's most infamous gaffes, and later added that these verbal slip-ups "may not be so funny for the leader of the free world" [audio available here; video below the jump].
Back in August 2012, the CBS morning newscast actually did its best to spin the Vice President's "put y'all back in chains" slam of Mitt Romney, and adopted the Obama campaign's own talking points on the inflammatory line.
The correspondent led her report by noting how both Democrats "shared the spotlight" at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards on Tuesday evening and "heaped on the praise" at each other. She continued by highlighting that "in many Democratic circles, Clinton already is the de facto nominee – a super PAC supporting her and raising money – even held a rally before last night's event. She's certainly sounding like a candidate, releasing a video supporting same-sex marriage...and now, writing a book."
Crawford then summarized Biden's apparent advantages going into hypothetical presidential bid: "Biden has spent the past four years as a vocal advocate for the President, skewering potential rivals...and supporting Mr. Obama's policies, a high-profile role that he will hold through the second term." But she then outlined the drawbacks for both liberal politicians, making a vague reference to Clinton's role in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the consulate in Benghazi and playing her soundbites of the Vice President's gaffes:
JAN CRAWFORD: ...But going into 2016, they both face questions. Clinton's tenure as secretary of state would come under scrutiny, (file video of Clinton's testimony on the Benghazi attacks before a congressional committee) as would her health, after suffering a concussion last year that had her briefly hospitalized. She's also become a fixture in Washington over the past two decades, at a time when voters are sick of insiders. Biden appeals to voters with his regular Joe image.
BIDEN (from White House event): This is a big (expletive deleted) deal!
CRAWFORD: They have found his gaffes almost endearing.
BIDEN: I didn't know you guys were here.
CRAWFORD: But it may not be so funny for the leader of the free world.
BIDEN: Spread your legs, and you're going to be – frisked.
Near the end of her report, the CBS journalist did point out how President Obama's declining approval ratings might have a long-term impact if Biden or Clinton picked up the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination: "Voters say they like President Obama, but not necessarily the job he's doing. And a new poll that's out overnight has the President's approval ratings now at 49 percent, with 45 percent saying they disapprove. So, it's not at all clear whether voters are going to want to continue that legacy by tapping one of his senior confidantes to take his place."
The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Wednesday's CBS This Morning is available at MRC.org.