During Tuesday night’s Republican debate, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer attempted to goad Representative Duncan Hunter into agreeing that the national GOP should be "following that Arnold Schwarzenegger example" in California. This is the fourth time since the 2006 midterms that Blitzer, host of CNN's "Situation Room," has lobbied for the GOP to adopt the liberal policies of the Republican governor.
During the preamble to his question, Blitzer noted how "popular" Schwarzenegger is with moderates and approved of how the former actor attempts to "forge a consensus."
CNN’s cheerleading for Schwarzenegger’s brand of Republicanism began shortly after the midterm election. On November 9, Bill Schneider, a reporter for Blitzer's "Situation Room," wondered about the GOP's future:
Bill Schneider: "Will Republicans move further to the right? Not if they got the message of the election. Republicans lost because they abandoned the center....The election also provides an alternative model of a Republican who moved to the center and thrived."
That Republican, of course, was Arnold Schwarzenegger. On November 20, the CNN reporters were at it again. Anchor Wolf Blitzer gushed over the Arnold model:
Wolf Blitzer: "In California, Schwarzenegger carried independent voters handily. He reclaimed the center. Schwarzenegger did two things President Bush has never done. He flatly acknowledged his mistakes, and he changed course."
This year, on February 26, the cable anchor once again marveled at how "Arnold Schwarzenegger thinks in shades of purple" and asserted that the former actor is pushing the national party to do the same.
So, Wolf Blitzer and CNN think that Republicans should mimic Governor Schwarzenegger? Any chance that they would call for the Democrats to adopt the policies of former Senator Zell Miller?
Below is the exchange between Blitzer and Duncan Hunter during the June 5 debate. The question and answer occurred at around 8:55pm:
Wolf Blitzer: "Congressman Hunter, I want you to weigh in, because Arnold Schwarzenegger, your governor in California, has become very popular out there by bringing in independents and moderates, and trying to forge a consensus among Republicans and Democrats in your state. Shouldn't the GOP nationally be following that Arnold Schwarzenegger example in California?
Representative Duncan Hunter: "No. And let me just say, you know, I look at Governor Romney, Mayor Giuliani, my good friend John McCain -- Governor Romney joined with Bill Clinton for the 1994 gun ban when I was fighting that. Mayor Giuliani stood with him at the White House on that. Governor Romney has passed what I consider to be a major step toward socialism with respect to his mandated health care bill. John McCain is standing strong with Ted Kennedy on this Kennedy-McCain-Bush border enforcement bill. I think the guy who's got the most influence right here with these three gentlemen is Ted Kennedy. And I think we need to move away from the Kennedy wing of the Republican Party."