ABC's Robin Roberts Again Puffs 'Powerful Voice' of Elizabeth Edwards

On Monday's "Good Morning America," co-host Robin Roberts again interviewed Elizabeth Edwards and lauded her as a "powerful voice" on the issue of health care. The journalist never identified Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, as a "liberal voice" on the subject or questioned the rightness of government run health care. Roberts also failed to ask just where the money to fund universal health care would come from.

In an intro, Roberts announced, "[Elizabeth Edwards] has, of course, emerged as a powerful voice in her own right, particularly on the issue of health care." During an April segment, the co-host applauded the "passionate voice" the then-candidate's wife brought to the debate over the issue. On Monday's segment, Roberts only challenged Edwards from the left. Referencing earlier support for Senator Hillary Clinton's universal health care plan, the journalist quizzed, "...You indicated [during the April interview] that you considered Senator Clinton's health care plan a better plan. That you had some concerns about Senator Obama's health care plan. Are you going to partner with him and do you still have those same concerns?"

Another not-so tough question from Roberts included prompting Edwards to vocally support Obama:

ROBERTS: Last month when your husband endorsed Senator Obama, many noted that you did not. They did not hear from you. And there was a feeling that maybe you did not back him like your husband did. Is the case? And are you backing Senator Obama now?

It's not too surprising that Roberts failed to press Edwards in this interview, as she did the same in the aforementioned April 9, 2008 segment. During that piece, the ABC journalist casually related that a new part of Edwards's life now includes "working at the Center for American Progress [CAP]." Of course, Roberts skipped mentioning that CAP is a liberal organization founded by Clinton operative John Podesta.

There's also the fact that in the summer of 2007, GMA found the time to air two segments on the wedding anniversary of John and Elizabeth Edwards.

A transcript of the June 23 segment, which aired at 7:15am, follows:

ROBIN ROBERTS: And joining us now from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards. She has, of course, emerged as a powerful voice in her own right, particularly on the issue of health care. Elizabeth, good to see you this morning. I know you planned on being here with us live in the studio, but the thunderstorms didn't kind of didn't cooperate at the airport.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS: Bad weather is not letting me get up to see you in person or I was supposed to speak at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York and that's problematic for me too.

ROBERTS: I'm sure. A lot of people want to know first and foremost how are you doing these days? How's your health?

EDWARDS: I'm feeling great. Both my younger children just had tonsillectomies, so I'm a little tired of scooping out ice cream and tending to them. But they're a little better and so am I.

ROBERTS: Oh, good to hear that. You know, it is a big week on the political trail once again with Senator Clinton and Senator Obama coming together, campaigning for the first time later this week. Don't have to tell you about the long nomination process and the hard feelings. Can these two truly work together, do you think?

EDWARDS: I really think that they can. I mean, slips in language are gonna always be a problem and I think the press will focus on that. But if you pay attention to Hillary Clinton's speech when she withdrew from the race, I thought you saw an enormous amount of graciousness at that point, which I think that ability by both candidates, one former candidate and one-- our general election nominee, if we can keep that same feeling going, I think we have a great capacity to heal the bitterness that still might exist. I think that this is going to happen. It will happen before the convention and we'll go into the fall with a united party.

ROBERTS: Last month when your husband endorsed Senator Obama, many noted that you did not. They did not hear from you. And there was a feeling that maybe you did not back him like your husband did. Is the case? And are you backing Senator Obama now?

EDWARDS: I'm backing Senator Obama. I expect to work as hard as I need to, as I'm called on to do to make certain that he is the next president. Already working with his team with respect to health care. Trying to make certain that we get the message out about how much difference it will make in individual Americans' lives if we have a president with the ideas and the vision that Senator Obama has. As opposed to the same old-same old that Senator McCain is suggesting we can live with. I don't think we can.

ROBERTS: Recently, this is what Senator Obama said about McCain's health care plan and the possibility of working with you. This is what he said recently.

SENATOR BARACK OBAMA: We cannot afford that. Not when 47 million Americans already are uninsured. A number that is growing by the day. By the way, I'm going to be partnering up with Elizabeth Edwards. We're going to be figuring all of this out.

ROBERTS: When-- The last time I talked with you, Elizabeth, early April in Boston, you indicated at that time that you considered Senator Clinton's health care plan a better plan. That you had some concerns about Senator Obama's health care plan. Are you going to partner with him and do you still have those same concerns?

EDWARDS: I am going to partner with him. The idea is, we want to get to universality. We want to make sure that every American is covered. And you know, the mechanism for doing that, there's going to be disagreement about what that is. I expect that the final solution be worked out in Congress about how it is we get every American covered. And although I have my particular preferences, it makes -- it makes a huge difference whether or not, if Senator Obama's plan or Senator McCain's plan. You know, I have cancer. You have cancer. Preexisting conditions. If you have those kind of conditions, Senator Obama guarantees that you have coverage. Preexisting conditions are covered. Senator McCain's is a lot more problematic and potentially enormously expensive. His latest suggestion about how it is we cover people with preexisting conditions can be enormously expensive and contrary to what Senator McCain says, a huge government-run program.

ROBERTS: Final quick question, your husband, VP, interested in the job, is he? Talking about it?

EDWARDS: Honestly, at home, this is not a subject of conversation at our house. With two tonsillectomies and a lot of other daily life to take care of, this is not a topic of conversation at home. We're both going to work as hard as we can to make certain that Senator Obama is the president. And we'll let's everything else take care of itself.

ROBERTS: Elizabeth Edwards. Thank you as always for your time. We hope you that make it up to New York real soon. I know that you want to. All the best to you.

EDWARDS: Thanks very much.

CHRIS CUOMO: Boy, you know, if they're not talking about it in the home, there's nothing to talk about.

ROBERTS: That's it. That's it.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org