CBS's Charlie Rose Lobbies Republicans to Adopt 'Fundamental Change' of GOP

CBS co-anchor Charlie Rose on Tuesday lobbied Eric Cantor to adopt "fundamental changes" in the Republican Party and not just accept "tweaks." Rose and CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell also pushed the House Majority Leader to sign onto immigration reform.

Charlie Rose, lectured, "There's this issue that seems to be going in Republican Party circles that the party has to rebrand and reform. Governor Jindal called it the stupid party." Regarding Marco Rubio's immigration plan, the journalist demanded, "Is this a recognition that the Republican Party has not spoken to the American people about issues that concern them and how government can work for them?"

After Cantor explained that the party better needed to clearly express why its message is could for the country, Rose hectored, "...You're just tweaking and rebranding. This is not a fundamental change that you're recommending."

Earlier in the segment, Norah O'Donnell repeatedly quizzed, "So on policy and on immigration reform, will you today endorse the proposal put forward by Senator Rubio?...Did you say yes or no? Forgive me. Did you say yes or no?"

CBS has a history of pounding Cantor. On July 29, 2012, Rose offered a similar theme, an outdated GOP: "Are you worried that there is today too much intolerance, and some of it is coming from within your own party?"

He fretted that the "the party and its ideas do not reflect diversity and intolerance."

A transcript of the February 5 segment can be found below:


7:10

NORAH O'DONNELL: Meantime, House Majority leader Eric Cantor will be outlining a new agenda for his party today. He'll call on Republicans to focus more on issues like education and health care and spend less time talking about the deficit. Congressman Cantor, good morning.

REP. ERIC CANTOR: Good morning.

NORAH O'DONNELL: You've got a big speech today asking the Republican Party to change. Is this about tone or ideology?

CANTOR: What this is about is about making sure that we can express why we're doing what we're doing. We believe very strongly obviously in things like fiscal discipline and not spending money you don't have. We also believe in that because it helps people. In the same way, we've got to address the plight of so many working Americans right now and those who don't have any work and say that, yes, we've got policies that will help you in terms of giving you an opportunity for a quality education in terms of trying to help you bring down the cost of health care. We've got some real policies that we want to put to work to help people. And that's what this is about.

O'DONNELL: So on policy and on immigration reform, will you today endorse the proposal put forward by Senator Rubio?

CANTOR: Well, you know, I really admire Senator Rubio and the kinds of things that he's standing for. I think he's moving the right direction. We've got a lot of issues to weigh around this debate on immigration. Obviously we're a country of immigrants. And my grandparents came from eastern Europe at the turn of the last century to flee religious persecution to come to America. We're a country–

O'DONNELL: Forgive me, I didn't hear an answer. Did you say yes or no? Forgive me. Did you say yes or no?

CANTOR: We're a country of immigrants. So I said that I really admire Senator Rubio. He's going the right direction. We've got things that I believe that need to be addressed from border security to worker programs. And we need to be addressing the situation where you've got some children in this country that are here because of actions against their parents and know no other place as America as home. So, we've got a lot of issues, and I believe we've got to work in an expedited fashion to address them but do so that we are secure as a country of law as that we can help our economy and move forward.

CHARLIE ROSE: There's this issue that seems to be going in Republican Party circles that the party has to rebrand and reform. Governor Jindal called it the stupid party. You've got Senator Rubio talking about immigration reform. Is this a recognition that the Republican Party has not spoken to the American people about issues that concern them and how government can work for them?

CANTOR: Charlie, what I think it is more is explaining why we're do what we're doing. You know, I went to an inner city school, private school in the District of Columbia yesterday. It sprung out of a desire to give the kids who are trapped in some of these failing schools a fair shot in actually quality education so their future could be better. This is why we're doing it. We're doing it to help the families of that school and all others around America who want a better future. And, you know, our party has always stood for the conservative philosophy of self-reliance, of faith in the individual, accountability in government. But what we're trying to do is to explain that these proposals of ours actually can help people. And we'd love to see the Democrats join us in trying to set aside differences and seeing if we can come together to actually give some relief to the millions of Americans, frankly, who just want their life to work again.

ROSE: But some who look at the proposals, those on immigration and others, that you make in the speech saying including some of your aides, you're just tweaking and rebranding. This is not a fundamental change that you're recommending.

CANTOR: We've got some new policies in here. We've got some policies we've stood for such as empowering parents and giving them a choice for their children's education. We've got proposals that will address the rising in health care costs as a result of the President's health care bill. We're trying to be constructive, to help people again, Charlie. And hopefully we can bring folks together on both sides of the aisle, something that has not happened too often here in Washington. So we can provide a path to a better future for more Americans and make their life work again.

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