CBS Hypes Democrats Fundraising Off Impeachment, Dismisses Boehner Lawsuit

In the wake of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s impending lawsuit against President Obama, CBS This Morning did their best to minimize its merits and instead promote Democratic efforts to raise money off of impeachment. 

On Wednesday, July 30, co-anchor Gayle King introduced a report by Nancy Cordes by highlighting how “Democrats are using the lawsuit debate to raise campaign cash and now the White House says it's worried about impeachment.” [See video below.] 

Cordes began her story by peddling Democratic talking points and explained how “Democrats argue if Republicans are willing to sue the president, who's to say they won't go a step further and try to impeach him. And it turns out that is a message that gets Democratic donors to open their wallets like almost nothing else.” 

While the CBS reporter did provide soundbites of Speaker Boehner and other Republicans dismissing impeachment talks as “all a scam started by Democrats at the White House” Cordes never bothered to investigate the reasons behind the GOP’s lawsuit, which include numerous executive orders issued by President Obama aimed at subverting Congress.

Unlike Cordes, co-anchor Charlie Rose did briefly mention how "the president's accused of exceeding his power to enforce his signature health care law." Instead of investigating the merits of the lawsuit, Cordes chose to validate impeachment talks by finding two members of Congress who support such an initiative:  

There are some Republicans who have openly mused about impeachment. A Michigan’s Kerry Bentivolio said impeachment would be a “dream come true.” Blake Farenthold of Texas said the House “would probably bet the votes” to impeach...But most Republicans have ruled it out including some of the president's harshest critics. 

As the story continued, Cordes continued to ignore any validity to the lawsuit, and instead played up how Democrats will attempt to raise money off of impeachment:

When President Clinton was impeached in 1998, Republicans experienced a backlash, losing seats in the House and later their majority in the Senate. Democrats have sent out a slew of fundraising emails warning supporters that Republicans might give it a try with Mr. Obama. On Monday alone the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised a million dollars.   

Cordes did her best to oversell the political damage Republicans faced following the impeachment of President Clinton. After the 1998 election, the “backlash” Cordes referenced was a loss of only five seats in the House and none in the Senate. Republicans didn’t lose their majority until Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords left the GOP in 2001, a far cry from the “backlash” portrayed by CBS.  

Cordes concluded her report by once again dismissing the Boehner lawsuit:

And so voters will probably be hearing a lot about impeachment all through the August break when Democrats are campaigning in their home districts just like Republicans will be talking about suing the president which is catnip to their base. Although if both sides were being honest they would admit that neither initiative is likely to go anywhere. 

See relevant transcript below. 


CBS

CBS This Morning 

July 30, 2014

CHARLIE ROSE: House Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit threat against President Obama could become a reality today. House lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to allow the suit. The president's accused of exceeding his power to enforce his signature health care law. 

GAYLE KING: Democrats are using the lawsuit debate to raise campaign cash and now the White House says it's worried about impeachment. Nancy Cordes is on Capitol Hill where the GOP is backing away from any mention of that idea. Nancy good morning. 

NANCY CORDES: Good morning. Well Democrats argue if Republicans are willing to sue the president, who's to say they won't go a step further and try to impeach him. And it turns out that is a message that gets Democratic donors to open their wallets like almost nothing else. 

JOHN BOEHNER: Listen. It's all a scam started by Democrats at the White House. 

CORDES: House Speaker John Boehner insisted again yesterday he isn't interested impeachment. 

BOEHNER: We have no plans to impeach the president. 

CORDES: But the White House Press Secretary wasn't convinced. 

JOSH EARNEST: And I suspect that there may be members of the Republican conference that didn't receive the memo. 

CORDES: And the Senate's top Democrat brought it up too. 

HARRY REID: Republicans are spending their time talking about impeachment and suing the president. This is a degree higher than absurdity and I don’t know what that is. 

CORDES: There are some Republicans who have openly mused about impeachment. A Michigan’s Kerry Bentivolio said impeachment would be a “dream come true.” Blake Farenthold of Texas said the House “would probably bet the votes” to impeach.  

BARACK OBAMA: You hear some of them. Sue him. Impeach him. Really? Really? For what? 

CORDES: But most Republicans have ruled it out including some of the president's harshest critics. 

MICHELE BACHMANN: I don't think will happen. I think the president would like to see Congress bring about impeachment against him because I think he sees that politically that would help his party. 

UNKNOWN PERSON: A resolution seeking impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States.

CORDES: When President Clinton was impeached in 1998, Republicans experienced a backlash, losing seats in the House and later their majority in the Senate. Democrats have sent out a slew of fundraising emails warning supporters that Republicans might give it a try with Mr. Obama. On Monday alone the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised a million dollars. 

STEVE ISRAEL: This is, in fact, a defining contrast between Democrats and Republicans and we will run on it. 

CORDES: And so voters will probably be hearing a lot about impeachment all through the August break when Democrats are campaigning in their home districts just like Republicans will be talking about suing the president which is catnip to their base. Although if both sides were being honest they would admit that neither initiative is likely to go anywhere. 

O’DONNELL: All right. Nancy, thank you.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.