CBS's Norah O'Donnell Badgers Scott Walker on 2016 Election, Immigration

Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.

O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

NORAH O'DONNELL: Governor, your comments get a lot of attention – about needing someone from outside of Washington – but isn't that a bit simplistic? Isn't it really about policies and reform that you talk about?..you have said you support a pathway to citizenship. Do you think the next nominee for the Republican Party has to back a pathway for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country?

Rose led the interview with a biased question on the ObamaCare controversy: "What can the President do to make this a successful piece of legislation? He has said if 80 percent of people are signed up, that would be success." The anchor interrupted Walker mid-answer, after he targeted HealthCare.gov: "Well, what's the measure of success for this legislation?" When the Republican governor touted how Wisconsin didn't "have a coverage gap", despite not signing up for "the Medicare expansion...[and] didn't do a federal exchange", Rose again cut in with a follow-up question: "That's Wisconsin. Is there an alternative by the Republican Party and the Congress that would be appropriate?"

O'Donnell then upped the ante and challenged the politician's take on the next presidential election. She first asked her question where named Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ryan, and like her co-anchor, repeatedly interrupted their guest:

O'DONNELL: Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections. The Republican Party is looking to win in 2016, and – and to make reforms. You're a governor. But you have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul; your good friend, Congressman Paul Ryan?

WALKER: All great people – in fact, if there was a fan club for Paul Ryan, I would be the president of that. But I think-

O'DONNELL: You just don't want him to be president.

WALKER: ...Overall, people in America, I think, are frustrated with everyone in Washington – not just Republicans; not just Democrats – with the lack of getting things done...you even mentioned the numbers in the presidential elections – in 30 states in America, after last November's presidential election, there are now 30 states with Republican governors; almost as many states with Republican legislative majorities. Why?

O'DONNELL: But forgive me, you had an outsider in the last election. That didn't work.

WALKER: Well, but again, those are one of the – the key differences in the future. A proven, successful reformer in the states, I think, would go a long way – not just towards winning, but more importantly, towards governing.


It should be pointed out that the CBS journalist's "Republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections" line is inherently slanted towards the Democrats. Of course, she glossed over the fact that the GOP has kept control of the House of Representatives for all but four of the years since the 1994 elections, as well as what Walker pointed out about the majority of states having Republican governors.

Toward the end of the segment, O'Donnell raised the immigration issue, and twice wouldn't let Governor Walker complete an answer before asking a follow-up question. She even got in one more shot at the politician as Rose tried to wrap up the segment:

O'DONNELL: Would you give them temporary visas on a pathway to citizenship?

WALKER: Well, I think you've got to fix the front door. Before you talk about who came in, you've got to fix the front door....right now, we don't enforce the law for legal immigration on the front end. You could fix all these other problems if we had a successful legal immigration system in the United States.

ROSE: Governor Scott-

O'DONNELL: We'll wait for specifics. (laughs)

ROSE: (laughs) Thank you.

[Update: the full transcript of the Scott Walker interview from Monday's CBS This Morning is available at MRC.org.]

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