Stephanopoulos Eagerly Pushes Biden to Bash 'Racial Politics' of Newt Gingrich
Ex-Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos continued to nakedly promote the Democratic agenda, prompting Joe Biden on Wednesday to agree that Newt Gingrich is "playing racial politics" with his attacks on Barack Obama.
Rather than force the Vice President to spout his own talking points, the Good Morning America co-host tossed this softball: "You called the former Speaker's statements ridiculous. But, do you think he's playing racial politics when he calls President Obama a food stamp president?" [UPDATED: See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Stephanopoulos's previous question set Biden up to attack: "[Newt Gingrich] said that the President 'will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair.' Your response?"
Biden, appearing on the show to discuss the State of the Union, responded by mocking, "Uh, it's hard to respond to Newt with those kind of ridiculous statements." (This is an odd comment coming from someone who has made so many ridiculous remarks, such as telling a paraplegic to "stand up.")
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However, the Vice President's comments apparently weren't strong enough, thus prompting Stephanopoulos's "racial politics" question.
In a follow-up segment with Jake Tapper, Stephanopoulos insisted that it would be hard to accomplish legislative goals in 2012 because "the rhetoric [was] so tough after the speech."
The journalist added, "Not only Newt Gingrich saying... this is evidence of the President being a food stamp president. Also, the Republican response. Mitch Daniels that this is more politics of division."
A partial transcript of the January 25th segment can be found below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Battle plan. The President lays out the blueprint for bringing America back, saying he's ready to tax the rich to help get it done. And the night's most emotional moment. Gabby Giffords returns to her seat on Capitol Hill.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's turn to the State of the Union address last night. The President gave a forceful defense of his record and his agenda. No surprise. His challengers were right out with their response right away. Newt Gingrich said it's time to confront the truth about President Obama. He said that the President "will always prefer a food stamp economy to a paycheck economy and call it fair." Your response?
JOE BIDEN: Uh, it's hard to respond to Newt with those kind of ridiculous statements. But, look, the fact is that for 23 months, people have been getting- the private sector's been hiring people. The President talked about what we do think is fair. It's fair to give the middle class a fighting shot here, to bring home jobs, incentivize companies to come home and manufacture here. We're short tens of thousands of, of folks who are tool and die maker We have a different priority set than Newt Gingrich and apparently and our Republican colleagues have. And we think it's fair to focus on the people who built the country, who create the productivity, who are the people who need the jobs, who will go out there and do a good job. And, by the way, there's a reason why, a reason why the in-sourcing is coming back, because our workers are the most productive workers in the world. We should do everything we can to deal with that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You called the former Speaker's statements ridiculous. But, do you think he's playing racial politics when he calls President Obama a food stamp president?