Morning Show Drumbeat: Drop Out Joe!

Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer and Harry Smith aren't dumb, they know a potential roadblock to Democratic success when they see one, and that's why all three of them collectively told Sen. Joseph Lieberman to drop out. Lieberman appeared on all three network morning shows and received identical reactions from all three hosts.

NBC's Matt Lauer on this morning's Today show: "Senator is there any phone call you could receive, is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?" ABC's Diane Sawyer on this morning's Good Morning America: "Senator, I heard you say I'm a Democrat. But you're talking about running as an independent and there are members of the party who've already said, commentators, that this is a selfish decision. How can you run against the party? What will happen?" CBS's Harry Smith on The Early Show: "A final quick question. You will run as an independent at risk of losing the seat to the Republicans? You understand that risk? By splitting the Democratic vote."

Below is the barrage of "Drop Out," questions Lieberman faced from Matt, Diane and Harry:

NBC's Today show

Matt Lauer: "Good to have you here, thank you for your time. I would imagine your phone is gonna start to ring pretty early this morning, Senator. The likes of Frank Lautenberg and Chris Dodd and maybe even Bill Clinton calling to say, 'Senator step aside, the voters have spoken.' Are you gonna take their calls or are you gonna screen those calls?"

Lauer: "But, but facts, facts are facts Senator though, and you lost to a political novice by four percentage points. Now that political novice is going to have the support of the entire Democratic machine behind him for these next three months. How can you win?"

Lauer: "Let me go back to that line in your speech last night, I'll paraphrase it if you don't mind. You said, 'For the sake of your state, your country and my party you will not let these results stand.' It's a nice line in a speech but the fact of the matter is there are a lot of Democrats who think now, going forward you're putting your own personal ambitions above the good of the party. How do you respond to that?"

Lauer: "So you won't bend at all on the issue of a deadline for troop withdrawal. Senator is there any phone call you could receive, is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?"

ABC's Good Morning America

Diane Sawyer: "Senator, I heard you say I'm a Democrat. But you're talking about running as an independent and there are members of the party who've already said, commentators, that this is a selfish decision. How can you run against the party? What will happen?"

Sawyer: "President Clinton has indicated that he's going to support the Democratic nominee and so many other members of your party, your friends, have said, we're going to come in and campaign for the Democratic nominee. You're going to be all alone out there. Will you stay in, no matter what, til November?"

CBS's The Early Show

Harry Smith: "And that's why you've said you're going to run as an independent, even though polls show among Democrats, 61% of people polled yesterday said don't do it."

Smith: "A final quick question. You will run as an independent at risk of losing the seat to the Republicans? You understand that risk? By splitting the Democratic vote."

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.