During the 5pm hour of this evening’s The Situation Room, CNN senior national correspondent John Roberts devoted a portion of his report from the Southern Republican Leadership Conference [SRLC] in Memphis, Tennessee to highlight one potential GOP presidential candidate that most people have likely never heard of. Roberts set up the exchange with Dr. Mark Kline in the live portion of his report:
John Roberts: "His name is Dr. Mark Kline. He’s a psychiatrist from California who is launching an exploratory campaign for president."
Shortly thereafter, the taped exchange between Roberts and Kline was shown:
Roberts: "So, Dr. Kline, you’re–you’ve launched an exploratory committee here for president. What do you, what do you think of the current administration?"
Dr. Mark Kline: "I think this is actually the worst administration I’ve ever seen in my entire life."
Roberts continued, stressing that not only was Kline’s view rare in this venue [the SRLC], but that the venue itself was a "dangerous place" to be expressing his opinion.
Roberts: "You know, that’s not an opinion we hear a lot around here."
Kline: "Well, you know something, it really would be a good idea for the party to hear an alternative opinion."
Roberts: "Isn’t this kind of a dangerous place to be talking about things like that?"
Kline: "You know something, it is the dangerous opinions that will save this party."
Thankfully, Roberts assured us that despite his "dangerous opinions," Mr. Kline has not been made a target by other SRLC attendees.
Roberts: "Surprisingly enough, Dr. Mark Kline is not a marked man here at this conference, but everyone else wants to show solidarity for President Bush. In fact, they’re distributing these little cards to say vote for President Bush in tomorrow’s straw poll as opposed to one of the potential 2008 candidates. Wolf."