CNN's Gloria Borger Says GOP's PR 'Disaster' Could Match Bush's 'Katrina' Fiasco

Although Democrats stymied a bipartisan debt ceiling deal over the weekend, CNN's chief political analyst focused on poor polling for the Republicans in Congress on Monday, and wondered if it couldn't be like "Katrina" for the party in the long-run.

"I think public opinion, this has been a disaster for the Republican party, unmitigated. Everybody admits it. And the question is whether this is going to be short-term damage or long-term damage, a la Katrina for George W. Bush," Borger stated on Monday afternoon, concerning the current standoff over the shutdown and debt ceiling.

Borger echoes NBC's Today anchor Savannah Guthrie from Monday morning. Guthrie cited "absolutely devastating" poll numbers for the GOP and asked if the party "deserves credit or blame" for the current standoff over the shutdown and debt ceiling.

Yet Borger didn't get beyond poll numbers. Over the weekend Senate Democrats rejected a bipartisan debt ceiling plan and began demanding that the sequester cuts be rolled back sooner, planning to use the debt ceiling as leverage against the Republicans. Borger did not touch on this or question whether Democrats were playing politics with the debt ceiling.

Borger cited a Democratic pollster while wondering how much blame the GOP would get. "The question that I have coming out of this, and Peter Hart raised this question last week," she began, before adding that Hart is a Democratic pollster, "is this short term or is this going to be long term?"

"Is this going to be sort of a moment when the American public took a look at the Republican party and decided you know what, they really can't run the government and we don't want them to do that, or will the damage just be short term because as you point out and as the Post poll points out, they're kind of mad at everybody," she wondered.

Below is a brief transcript of the segments, which aired on October 14:

CNN
NEWSROOM
10/14/13
[3:26 p.m. EDT]

GLORIA BORGER: I've got to say, I think it's public opinion.

BROOKE BALDWIN: Public opinion, you do?

BORGER: I think public opinion, this has been a disaster for the Republican party, unmitigated. Everybody admits it. And the question is whether this is going to be short-term damage or long-term damage, a la Katrina for George W. Bush. We don't know the answer to that yet, but right now, Republicans are looking for a fig leaf, a way to get out of this still intact with the voters. And we'll have to see if they can come up with it.

(...)

CNN
THE SITUATION ROOM
10/14/13
[5:29 p.m. EDT]

WOLF BLITZER: So there's a lot of disapproval there, although the Republicans are the winners as far as disapproval are concerned. More people disapprove of them than disapprove of the Democrats or the President.

BORGER: 20 points. 20-point difference. And I think you'd have to say that in the short term, at least, we don't know about the long-term yet but in the short term at least, the Republicans have given themselves a real black eye in the view of the American public. The question that I have coming out of this, and Peter Hart raised this question last week –  

BLITZER: He's a pollster.

BORGER: He's a Democratic pollster who does the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. His question is, is this short term or is this going to be long term? Is this going to be sort of a moment when the American public took a look at the Republican party and decided you know what, they really can't run the government and we don't want them to do that, or will the damage just be short term because as you point out and as the Post poll points out, they're kind of mad at everybody. We don't know the answer to that yet.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014