On Thursday, the day after the Republican presidential debate, the network morning shows turned to a high profile Democrat for a response. On Friday, the day after Barack Obama's jobs speech to Congress, the same programs turned to Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.
On Friday's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos offered this softball to Biden: "Mark Zandi, the economist says this can create close to two million jobs. Is that what you expect? And what is the down side risk for the economy if the President's plan doesn't pass?"
Today co-host Ann Curry blandly asked the VP: "Mr. Vice President, let's say for a moment that Congress comes together and supports the President's plan. When is the earliest that the first job could be created as a result of this plan?"
She did wonder if Obama's proposed legislation was "too late" in coming, but mostly failed to challenge Biden.
In a tease for the segment, Curry oddly asserted, "Also ahead this morning, we're going to get reaction from both sides to last night's speech from President Obama." The reaction from "both sides" never really happened. Yes, Eric Cantor and Rick Perry were quoted in a Chuck Todd segment, but they didn't appear as guests.
On the Early Show, Erica Hill pushed the Vice President: "There is going to probably need to be some compromise in [sic] the part of the White House. Where would you and the President be willing to compromise with Republicans here?"
However, none of the programs asked tough, probing questions, such as how this plan was any different from previous efforts and speeches?
Additionally, it's odd that after the Democrats had a big event, Joe Biden was featured by CBS, NBC and ABC. But, on Thursday morning, after the much-talked about GOP debate, Obama's chief of staff, William Daley, appeared
A transcript of the September 09 Good Morning America segment, which aired at 7:10am EDT, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And for more, let's turn right to Vice President Biden, he joins us from Washington. Thank you for join us. I want to get to the President jobs plan. But, first this terror threat against New York and D.C. I know the President was briefed yesterday afternoon. How serious is this threat and are you confident it can be stopped?
JOE BIDEN: We were both briefed. We've been planning on this. Four months ago, the President told Mr. Brennan to get going on extra look at, run down every lead possible for- related to 9/11. Remember, George, we got documents out of the bin Laden compound that indicated he was interested in an attack on 9/11. So, we've been focused on this. This is- there were specifics, but- and that sense it was credible. But there's no- there' certitude. We don't have- We don't have the smoking gun but have talk about using a car bomb.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, we do know that individuals entered the United States with the intent to launch a car bomb?
BIDEN: We have been told that's a intention to get people into the United States to do that, we- from a credible source. But we do not have confirmation of that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, Mr. Vice President, thank you to that. Let's turn to the president's jobs plan. We heard in Jake's piece, Mark Zandi, the economist say this can create close to two million jobs. Is that what you expect? And what is the down side risk for the economy if the President's plan doesn't pass?
BIDEN: Well, here's a big downside risk and it relates to confidence, George. One of the things that's going on out there, as you know, is you have corporations, coffers that are flush with money, banks have plenty of money to lend. There's a lack of confidence that the consumers are going to be there to purchase what they may build, or, in fact, pay back what is able to be lent. This is about putting money in the pockets of middle class people. Almost everybody collects a pay stub where their taxes held. They get $1500 a year more than that. We're going to move to see that six million people, up to six million people are eligible, because they are paying more than six percent on their- on their mortgages to get them down to four percent by reducing fees and making them more eligible. That can save them $2,000 a year. This is about getting small business incentives to go out and hire people. And so, there's a whole lot in here, George, that could actually get things moving. And here's the deal: There's no ideological component to this. Democratic presidents, Republican presidents, Republicans in Congress, Democrats in Congress. We have all agreed in the past that every one of these elements is worthwhile doing. There's no excuse not to do it. Let's get moving. Do it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I saw you sitting with Speaker Boehner last night. You all looked pretty friendly up there on the podium.
BIDEN: Yeah. I like John.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And he put out a rather conciliatory statement last night saying he wanted to look at the President's plans. But, he wanted the President to look at his plans. But, are you getting any more indication that Congress will actually act on this plan and pass it?
BIDEN: My indication, George, is spending a lot of time in the United States Congress and what I've observed is that when Congress takes an action, that backfires on them, and the American people respond very harshly, as they have for plain brinkmanship for playing the national debt, they come back somewhat chastened.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Not on the presidential campaign trail. Rick Perry, front-runner for the Republican nomination said the President's plan is guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to prosperity. Your response?
BIDEN: Look- We're going to have- I thought the best line the President used last night- He and I talked about this, I mean, before in principle- the campaign is 14 months away. George, there's people going to go to bed at night staring at their ceiling in their bed, wonder if they'll be able to be in that house next month. There are people hanging on by their fingernails. And for us to play this game between- we can fight that out next fall. Fight it out. Say whatever you want about our plan. Right now, help these people now. And we can.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. Vice President, thanks very much for your time this morning.