The mainstream media has a tendency to turn to prominent conservatives whenever a significant portion of the conservative movement and President Bush have a policy disagreement. On Friday, it was Laura Ingraham's turn, when she was interviewed by John Roberts on CNN's "American Morning." When Roberts asked her about President Bush's recent slam of opponents of the immigration "reform bill," Ingraham turned the tables and took a shot at CNN itself.
The president has been consistent on supporting this. You have to give him credit on that. I've never questioned his motives in pushing for this type of comprehensive reform. But to insult his base, I mean, I hope he thinks he's going to be saved by the liberal elites at CNN, John, because if he is, then I'll be wrong about this. But I think it's kind of silly.
Ingraham was on to discuss the issue of border security, after a man infected a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis made it across the U.S.-Canadian border without being stopped by Homeland Security officials, who had been informed of the Centers for Disease Control's advisory to stop the man if he was spotted at any port of entry. As one might expect, the discussion went to the immigration "reform" bill currently being debated in Congress, and President Bush's support of it.
After playing a clip from President Bush's speech in Georgia about immigration, Roberts said to Ingraham, "He [President Bush] seems to suggest that critics of the bill such as yourself are unpatriotic." This is when Ingraham took her shot at CNN.
A transcript of the key portion from the Roberts/Ingraham segment:
ROBERTS: I want it play a little bit of what President Bush said about his immigration bill as he was down in Georgia promoting it. That was on Tuesday. Take a quick listen, and we'll get you to react to it.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you want to kill the bill, you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it. You can use it to frighten people, or you can show leadership, and solve this problem once and for all.
ROBERTS: What do you think about that Laura, the fact that he says that opponents of this bill are opposed to what's right for America?
INGRAHAM: If one little aspect of the bill is the border, then I guess the president is right. But I think one little aspect is how you actually certify that the border is enforced. John, to certify that the border is enforced in this bill, which I hope the president has read, all you require, all it requires is that the president certify that the border's enforced, that the money has been allocated to hiring these new people, and it's been allocated toward the border. George Will said it best, if that actually holds, then we should say that Iraq is democratized, because we spent the money there.
ROBERTS: He seems to suggest that critics of the bill such as yourself are unpatriotic.
INGRAHAM: It's absurd. I think it was a bad, tactical decision for him to say that. The way to get people on your side is not to insult them, especially people in the conservative movement, who worked tirelessly to get him re-elected. The president has been consistent on supporting this. You have to give him credit on that. I've never questioned his motives in pushing for this type of comprehensive reform. But to insult his base, I mean, I hope he thinks he's going to be saved by the liberal elites at CNN, John, because if he is, then I'll be wrong about this. But I think it's kind of silly.
ROBERTS: Excuse me, what was that last comment?
INGRAHAM: By the way, John, how did you introduce me for this segment before the break. 'The outspoken Laura Ingraham.' Do you guys introduce liberal commentators that way? I'm going to check.
ROBERTS: Yeah, we do actually.
INGRAHAM: OK, I'm going to check that.
ROBERTS: Are you denying that you're outspoken Laura?
INGRAHAM: No, but why would you say that?
ROBERTS: I just think that we're appropriately characterizing you.
INGRAHAM: OK, got it.
ROBERTS: You're definitely outspoken. You were outspoken about immigration on Wednesday's show.
INGRAHAM: How about radio talk show host and author. That's quite effective.
ROBERTS: This isn't about a disagreement between you and I. This is about you and your views here.
It should be noted that earlier this year, John Roberts appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, after she suggested he call in to clarify who his "anonymous Republican source" was that had suggested that the Republican party needed an "exorcism," in order to "rid itself of all its missteps and corruption."