Chris Cuomo Again Whines About Lack of GOP Support for Spending Bill

[See update below] Appearing on a panel for Wednesday's edition of "Hannity," "Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo once again fretted about a lack of support for Barack Obama's massive new spending bill. After mentioning an earlier interview he conducted with House Minority Leader John Boener, Cuomo complained, "He [Boehner] said that he was impressed by President Obama, that they thought there would be compromise, that they would get away from the politics as usual."

Following a discussion of the fact that not one House Republican voted for the "stimulus" bill, Cuomo lamented, "They said they were thinking about us. They said that was the analysis, because they don't know how to deal with this situation. So there's no reason to cling to the normal partisan lines. They did just that." In an earlier interview with Boehner on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," Cuomo asserted that the pressure was on politicians to "get past the age-old battle over tax cuts versus spending." And although Cuomo did at least admit that there has been wasteful spending in last year's bailout bill, he also introduced the GMA piece on a lack of congressional action with horror stories about the awful economy.

Also appearing on "Hannity" was former ABC reporter Jami Floyd. Floyd, who is now an anchor on In Session's "Best Defense," chided the Fox News host for attacking the "stimulus" bill from a conservative angle. She derided, "See, I want to talk about bipartisanship, and you want to talk about socialism. This isn't socialism." While not offering specifics, she also asserted, "This is time for all Americans to step up to the plate and give. That's what's got to happen."

Floyd is perhaps best known to MRC readers for a shockingly biased report that compared Muslim terrorist to a group of radical anti-abortion protestors. On the November 28, 2001 edition of "20/20," she attacked, "Since September 11, the word ‘terrorist’ has come to mean someone who is radical, Islamic and foreign. But many believe we have as much to fear from a home-grown group of anti-abortion crusaders."

UPDATE 2009-01-29 18:19:23: Ms. Floyd contacted the MRC and asked for a clarification. As noted in Brent Baker's CyberAlert, Floyd's story looked into the tactics of a radical abortion group that sent a powdery substance to a New York doctor. The MRC's Brent Baker wrote this about the story:

After recounting how last week many abortion clinics received letters containing a white powdery substance, which tested negative for anthrax, Floyd warned: "If Americans can learn something from the Wortmans about how to live with fear, then perhaps we can also learn something from those who live to spread fear. Since September 11th the word terrorist has come to mean someone who is radical, Islamic and foreign, but many believe we have as much to fear from a home-grown group of anti-abortion crusaders."

Floyd proceeded to list those who have murdered abortion doctors, such as Paul Hill who killed two, and then she interviewed Army of God leader Donald Spitz about his belief that he prefers "live babies over live abortionists."

Critiquing the segment's tone and substance, he added:

There's no doubt a small number of radicals use intimidation tactics, and sometimes even murder, to achieve their ends, tactics which can be classified as terrorism. But to equate that with al Qaeda's tactics as displayed on September 11 is ridiculous. There are at least two major differences. First, the anti-abortion terrorists are targeting specific individuals, not murdering everyone in a neighborhood around a clinic or thousands in a community because they elected a pro-abortion city councilor. Second, while the anti-abortionists are subverting the democratic process which has delivered a result with which they disagree, they are aiming to end a specific policy, not trying to destroy U.S. society and all the rights and freedoms it protects.

A partial transcript of the January 28 segment, which aired at 9:33pm, follows:

SEAN HANNITY: And tonight on our "Great American Panel" he is the co- anchor of "Good Morning America" on ABC News. Chris Cuomo is here. She is the coauthor of "Why You're Wrong About the Right." Conservative columnist, also, on Sports Illustrated, S.E. Cupp joins us tonight. She is a criminal defense attorney and the anchor of "Best Defense" on Tru TV. Jami Floyd also is with us. All right. Big news of the night is an issue we all care about, the economy. Republicans voted against it, Chris; Democrats all voted for it. I talked to John Kyl today. He expects, similarly, the same result in the Senate.

CHRIS CUOMO (news anchor, "Good Morning America"): Look, I think it's troubling to all of us. We had the opportunity to speak to the whip, John Boehner. He said that he was impressed by President Obama, that they thought there would be compromise, that they would get away from the politics as usual. What is upsetting about this- because it's not surprising. Right? A party line vote, you expect it on something where there was so much disapproval going into it, but they said they'd do it differently. They said they were thinking about us. They said that was the analysis, because they don't know how to deal with this situation. So there's no reason to cling to the normal partisan lines. They did just that.

HANNITY: But there are some real fundamental principles. S.E., we're conservatives.

S.E. CUPP (columnist): Yes.

HANNITY: I believe in limited government. I believe capitalism. I believe tax cuts. It worked for JFK. It worked for Reagan. It didn't work for George W. Bush to get him out of the recession and the negative impact of 9/11. So why should Republicans abandon their principles? I'm glad they stood firm.

CUPP: Me, too, and I'm really proud of Republicans, and I hope this - this bill gets a tougher go of it in the Senate. You know, I've got to say my favorite part of this package is that no money goes to Illinois if Blagojevich is still in office. Democrats got it right there. Good job.

HANNITY: Contraception, we went through the whole list of the radical spending and pork barrel in here. Barack Obama has promised no earmarks. This is full of earmarks.

JAMI FLOYD (host, "Best Defense"): I think there's one place we agree. This is an opportunity for the Republican Party to begin redefining itself. We know what the values of the party is, and we know- are. And we also know what the party has stood for in the past. But as Chris said, there is a promise in Washington to the American people from both sides of the aisle to work in a bipartisan fashion. And so it is disappointing-

HANNITY: But let me ask-

FLOYD: -even though I hear where you're coming from. We know what you stand for: 80 percent of the American people support this plan. And they're watching.

HANNITY: I like the word "bipartisan." It sounds nice. You know, let's sing "Kumbaya." We can all get along. But here's the reality. There are fundamental principles. Rush Limbaugh has created a big controversy in the interview with me. He said if Barack Obama were to adopt Reagan along with Lincoln and FDR and cut taxes, he'd support him. He would defend him. But if he's going to adopt socialism, if we're going to expand health care, he's going to oppose him and wants it to fail, because he knows it's not in the best interests of the country. And it's been misinterpreted almost all over the media.

FLOYD: See, I want to talk about bipartisanship, and you want to talk about socialism. This isn't socialism.

HANNITY: It's not?

FLOYD: This is time for all Americans to step up to the plate and give. That's what's got to happen.

HANNITY: Give. To be patriotic?

FLOYD: That's what's got to happen.

HANNITY: Wait a second. To give-

FLOYD: This is a time- this is a time for service across the board. That's what this is about.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. All right, let me ask S.E. this.

FLOYD: And sacrifice is what we're all going to have to do.

HANNITY: Wait a minute. The average American works five and a half months a year to pay their tax bill.

CUPP: Right.

HANNITY: And Joe Biden says, Chris, that we're not patriotic if we're not willing to step up and pay more. That's almost offensive to people that pay so much.

CUOMO: What it is, is partisan rhetoric that you're used to hearing. The question is will anything be different? We've talked before. So do you cut taxes? Will that help? Do you spend? Will that help? I've read hundreds of pages of experts on this. You know that when you read the research, it's very specific. There seems to be no real answer. It depends on what the situation is at the time. And this is totally unprecedented. So my concern as a journalist is when I hear that you're telling me the same thing you would have told me four years ago, eight years ago, 12 years ago, when this is supposed to be different -that you care about the Americans first.

HANNITY: It worries me. See, I pointed this out the other day. Reagan had a far worse economy than he inherited: 21.5 percent interest rates, inflation out of control. We lost 10 million new jobs.

CUPP: That's right. Right.

HANNITY: He dropped the top marginal rates from 70 to 28 percent, we created $20 million new jobs and we doubled revenues to the government.

CUPP: Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: It was, you know, unprecedented success.

CUPP: Tax cuts work. What bothers me about this is that this wasn't bipartisan. This is a Democratic package. Republicans were largely shut out.

HANNITY: Yes.

CUPP: And the plan the Republicans had cost half as much, would have created twice as many jobs in twice as fast a time. Why wasn't that looked at?

CUOMO: They weren't shut out. They weren't shut out. They had this big powwow. They all come up. They say they want a compromise. That's not what happened. Tax cuts definitely work as long as the people getting them spend that money. In this economy-

HANNITY: Republicans can't offer any new bills as these new Draconian rules were accepted by Nancy Pelosi.

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