"Good Morning America" reporter Kate Snow resorted to typical liberal terminology while asking Cindy McCain on Thursday about abortion and "women's rights groups." After observing that her husband, Senator John McCain, has been courting females, Snow simplistically asserted, "...But women's rights groups say once [women voters] discover he's anti-abortion, they may change their minds." So, pro-abortion organizations equal "women's rights groups?"
The interview, which took place in Vietnam where Mrs. McCain has been working with a charity organization, did feature friendly subjects, such as the children of the politician's wife and other topics. But Snow also offered questions that appeared designed to trap McCain. Speaking of Barack Obama, Snow queried, "Would you feel safe with Barack Obama as your president?" After mentioning the lack of interviews Cindy McCain has participated in, the ABC correspondent blurted, "And if [people] say, oh, she's just sort of up there and posing, what would you say to people who think that?" In contrast, "Good Morning America" has delivered numerous softball pieces on the spouses of Democratic presidential candidates.
On February 4, 2008, GMA reporter Deborah Roberts fawned over the "fascinating," "straight talking," "charming" Michelle Obama. She also provided not-exactly hard-hitting questions such as "Are you tired?"
On May 19, 2008, rather than pose provocative queries about the abortion stance of a candidate, co-host Robin Roberts offered empathy about the supposed negative attacks that will be directed towards the political couple of Barack and Michelle: "Should you get through this process and you have the general election ahead of you, that this is what you can expect more and more of. Are you prepared for that?"
In 2007, over the span of nine days, GMA presented two segments on the wedding anniversary of Elizabeth Edwards and her then-presidential candidate spouse John Edwards. (One story gushed over their yearly visit to Wendy's to celebrate the special day.)
So, perhaps the next time an ABC reporter profiles Michelle Obama, maybe he or she will be consistent and question Mrs. Obama about her husband's liberal stance on abortion and how conservative leaning women might feel about that.
A transcript of the June 19 segment, which aired at 7:11am, follows:
SAWYER: So, there was Michelle Obama and now what about the other side of the aisle? ABC's Kate Snow is the only network correspondent traveling with Cindy McCain in Asia on her charity tour with "Operation Smile." And Kate sat down one on one with this other possible, perspective, future first lady.
ABC GRAPHIC: Cindy McCain One-on-One: Her Mission & the Campaign
KATE SNOW: This is the Cindy McCain you don't see on a campaign stage, no pearls, no designer suit. At a hospital near the coast of Vietnam helping "Operation Smile" screen children to see if they qualify for a life-changing surgery. She got involved years ago after adopting a daughter from Bangladesh who needed the same operation. When you're there and you look at the faces of those kids, what happens? What do you think?
CINDY MCCAIN: It reminds me of my daughter and it also reminds me of what a simple $286 surgery can do to a child, change their life forever. A child that would probably be kept in a closet or kept in the back part of a house and never really be seen by family, friends or neighbors, and cannot only come out but have a productive and fulfilled life.
SNOW: Cindy McCain hasn't done a lot of interviews until recently. The latest ABC News poll found fewer Americans had a favorable opinion of her than of Michelle Obama and more than a third said they had no opinion of McCain. There seems to be this sort of mystery about you. People don't -- people don't know you.
MCCAIN: I don't think I'm very mysterious. I've just -- I've led my life differently and I have never been -- I'm not the candidate. I've never been front and center. I do the things that I enjoy and do the things that are important to me and do them in the way that I like to do them.
SNOW: And if they say, oh, she's just sort of up there and posing, what would you say to people who think that?
MCCAIN: Come get to know me. I'll talk to them.
SNOW: Her husband, the senator, has been actively courting female voters but women's rights groups say once they discover he's anti-abortion, they may change their minds. So, why should women support her husband?
MCCAIN: Well, supporting our troops the way he does, supporting our young men and women right now who are serving so gallantly is very pro-woman because every mother, wife, sister, aunt feels the way I have felt. The things that he does doesn't make him any more pro-woman, pro-man, pro-anti-anything. He's about America. He's about making America strong. If America is strong, it's good for all of us.
SNOW: Would you feel safe with Barack Obama as your president?
MCCAIN: I would feel safe with my husband as president. I think Barack Obama is a fine man. I think Michelle Obama is a fine woman. This is about who would be better and I think my husband would be better.
SNOW: Were you insulted when Michelle Obama said that she's proud of her country for the first time?
MICHELLE OBAMA: For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country.
MCCAIN: It wasn't about being insulted at all. I don't know where -- why she said that. I-- You know, everyone has their own experience. I don't know why she said what she said. All I know is that I've always been proud of my country.
SNOW: If she were first lady, she says she would encourage Americans to get up off the couch and volunteer. Her own work with "Operation Smile" inspired by the daughter that gave her life new meaning. Take me back to 1991 when you walked in that orphanage and you saw her. Do you remember that moment?
MCCAIN: I had been working there somewhat for a few weeks, and I always kept going back to her. You know, at the end of the day, beginning of the day, whatever we were doing in other parts of it I'd always wind up somehow at her little bassinet and would hold her and play with her so when it came time to leave there was just something there. I mean I knew. She chose me. On the way from Bangkok to L.A.,I realized I couldn't give her up. But then again, I hadn't told my husband either. He was remarkable because I stepped off the airplane and handed him a new baby and he never missed a beat.
SAWYER: And Mrs. McCain told Kate there, three things she can't live without, her husband, her children and a good brownie. And if you've looked at her you're thinking it's one brownie she does, right? Not the whole pan like everybody else.
ROBERTS: Like the rest of us.