Tapper: Clinton a Chameleon Playing Pro-Gun, Anti-Gas Tax Populist

“Senator Hillary Clinton is multimillionaire former First Lady with a solid liberal voting record,” ABC's Jake Tapper observed in a rare story applying an ideological label to a Democrat but, he pointed out Monday night, “you wouldn't necessarily know that from catching up with her on the campaign trail” where she plays a barbecue-eating populist on trade to the right of Barack Obama on guns and the gas tax.

From Indiana, Tapper marveled at how the Democratic presidential candidate now bashes Wall Street though she “has taken millions from Wall Street,” and then explained some other campaign spins which don't match her record, including the rarely recalled fact that Bill Clinton raised the tax on gas:

The National Rifle Association says Clinton's name is synonymous with gun control. But here, in Indiana, in a new mailer, she suggests Obama would outlaw guns. She has distanced herself from trade deals her husband signed into law and she worked to pass. And while her husband raised gas taxes, she wants to give consumers a summer without them.
This is the second time in a week Tapper has informed viewers of Clinton's duplicity. My May 1 NewsBusters item, “ABC Corrects Clinton's Indiana Tale Blaming Bush for Closed Factory,” recounted:
ABC reporter Jake Tapper on Wednesday night undermined Hillary Clinton's campaign trail tale blaming the Bush administration for allowing a Valparaiso, Indiana manufacturer of magnets for smart-bombs to move to China, costing 200 jobs and giving the technology to the communist regime. Tapper, however, pointed out that the sale occurred in 1995 and was approved by....the Clinton administration. “Senator Clinton decries how the company Magnequench moved from Indiana to China in 2003,” Tapper reported, “but there's one key part of the story Senator Clinton tends to leave out: Her husband's role.”...
Giving Hillary Clinton her due, in Monday's story Tapper reported Clinton's populist pitch “seems to be working” and featured a soundbite from an Indiana woman who hailed her as “brilliant.”

The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of Tapper's story on the Monday, May 5 World News on ABC:
JAKE TAPPER: Well, Senator Hillary Clinton is a multimillionaire former First Lady with a solid liberal voting record, but you wouldn't necessarily know that from catching up with her on the campaign trail. She has repackaged herself as a working-class hero. New York Senator Hillary Clinton has taken millions from Wall Street. Less than a year ago, she appeared on the cover of Fortune magazine: "Business Loves Hillary." But this is what Clinton sounds like here in Indiana.

HILLARY CLINTON: Why don't we hold the Wall Street money brokers responsible for their role in this recession?

TAPPER: Meet the new populist Hillary Clinton.

HILLARY CLINTON CLIP #1: We have eaten barbecue from one end of this state to the other.

HILLARY CLINTON CLIP #2 DATED SUNDAY: I am unabashed. I am unapologetic. I am going to fight for the middle class, and I am going to take on the oil companies.

TAPPER: The National Rifle Association says Clinton's name is synonymous with gun control. But here, in Indiana, in a new mailer, she suggests Obama would outlaw guns. She has distanced herself from trade deals her husband signed into law and she worked to pass. And while her husband raised gas taxes, she wants to give consumers a summer without them.

HILLARY CLINTON: Senator Obama wants you to pay the gas tax this summer instead of trying to get it so the oil companies pay it out of their record profits.

TAPPER: Policymakers of all stripes think that proposal is a lousy one that may not even save consumers money. That prompted this response from the former First Lady.

HILLARY CLINTON, ON THIS WEEK: Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that really disadvantage the vast majority of Americans.

TAPPER: And in this narrative, Obama is the elitist.

HILLARY CLINTON: And he's always saying, oh, you know, that's just like $20. Well, you know, for a lot of people, $20 is something, right?

TAPPER: Here in Indiana, this pitch seems to be working.

MAN: Her work ethics and her working-class roots really stuck to me. And her determination to get where she wanted to get.

TAPPER: And what about you?

WOMAN: Well, number one, she's brilliant.

TAPPER: The goal, of course, is to win over the support of white working-class voters. And she has a not-so-secret weapon in small towns here in Indiana and throughout North Carolina. She has been sending her husband, former President Bill Clinton in North Carolina today, he went to Lewisburg, Roxboro and Henderson.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center