Appearing on MSNBC’s Jansing and Co., Vanity Fair contributing editor Carl Berstein joined the ranks of his fellow liberal journalists who are slamming the Romney campaign and the entire Republican Party as radical. Naturally, anchor Chris Jansing failed to challenge the premise or balance out the segment with someone who would. Bernstein insisted that polls showing President Obama with a lead over Governor Romney show that:
There's a fundamental problem and that is the Republican Party. That their polls reflect the fact that the real issue in this campaign has become the Republican Party in Washington.
Throughout the segment, Bernstein argued that Romney has been taken captive by a radical party with what he says has a radical message that Romney is saddled with and can’t get out of. Bernstein continued his anti- Republican rant by claiming that: [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
The 47% remark is devastating because it really reflects what so many people in the Republican majority in Washington, in the House particularly, believe, that these are free loaders, that these are people that aren't worthy of our consideration really as human beings in our social contract.
As the segment progressed, Bernstein continued to push his belief that Romney is trapped by a radical Republican Party. Bernstein went on to compare the current Republican Party to McCarthyism and ridiculously asserts that:
In Washington, there has been by Republicans in Washington since the McCarthy era, a hunt for so-called radicals on the other side. There's never been a really radical democratic party, but now we have in Washington a truly radical Republican Party way outside the mainstream of even the Ronald Reagan party. So there's a huge problem that Romney has to position himself.
The end of the segment featured a typical MSNBC talking point, slamming Romney running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as, in Bernstein’s words, “the most radical, both fiscally and in terms of social policy guy in Washington of any influence.”
It appears as though Bernstein as shifted from journalist to liberal MSNBC commentator who has taken aim at the Republican Party by painting them as radical and extreme.
See relevant transcript below.
Jansing and Co.
September 27, 2012
10:00 a.m. EDT
CHRIS JANSING: I want to bring in Carl Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize winning, investigative journalist and contributor to “The Daily Beast" and Lynn Sweet, columnist and Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun Times. Good morning to both of you. So you look at those polls and you wonder, Carl, if you're running Mitt Romney's campaign, what do you do now? Do you hear that clock ticking?
CARL BERNSTEIN: I think there's a fundamental problem and that is the Republican Party. That their polls reflect the fact that the real issue in this campaign has become the Republican Party in Washington. That it's a radical party such as we've never seen in a presidential race before, that Mitt Romney has become a captive of it. And as we have seen in the senate races that are shifting more and more toward Democrats who are expected to lose or be competitive, it's about who the Republicans are in Washington and really radical message that Romney is saddled with and he can't get out of it. And the 47% remark is devastating because it really reflects what so many people in the Republican majority in Washington, in the House particularly, believe, that these are free loaders, that these are people that aren't worthy of our consideration really as human beings in our social contract. Romney said out loud what many in his party believe and what an ideology in his party has come to embrace. It was no accident he said it. And he stuck with it.
JANSING: That would be a radical shift from what a lot of people thought this campaign would be, Lynn, and certainly what the Romney campaign wanted it to be, which is a referendum on the president. Do you agree that this could be a referendum on the Republican Party and Republicans in Congress?
LYNN SWEET: Well, I respectfully disagree a bit because in the end this is more about the two men running, though the context, as Carl Bernstein points out, is correct. The Republicans in Congress are unpopular but actually so are the Democrats. Congress is a lull. So here is my point. Just as one video seemed to have been the game changer in this election, the 47%er, we still have three debates coming up, where if Mitt Romney was to do a turn around, he has a chance, starting Tuesday – or starting October 3rd in Denver, Wednesday -- where he has, i think, some of the few chances left to try and figure out a way to turn this around. To explain if there is an explanation for what he really wants to do that will be more inclusive than the message that video sent. He has a few chances left. The trend is against him but I'm not ready to call it yet.
JANSING: Well I have to say, it does seem over the last 24, 48 hours that they are doing some very specific things. He's getting out there more. He's been doing a ton of interviews. Let me play, you know, after all the criticism early on that he was never there to be interviewed. Let me play for you a little clip from yesterday.
MITT ROMNEY: Throughout this campaign as well we’ve talked about my record in Massachusetts. Don't forget, I got everybody in my state insured. 100% of the kids in our state have health insurance. I don't think there's anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.
JANSING: A lot of people who follow politics, Carl, their jaw dropped from that. I mean he was running away from it.
SWEET: Now he’s talking about it.
BERNSTEIN: Look, he's damned if he does, and he's damned if he doesn't. He ran against Ted Kennedy in 1994 as a left of center Republican. Now he’s running as a far right candidate trying to run away from his own record, now he’s trying to run back to the old record. Who the hell know where's he is.
JANSING: But Karl, let me ask your expertise. Would it have been a bad idea for him to say, look, from the beginning I insured 100% of kids in Massachusetts, and we did it in a different way than the president is proposing, a smarter way.
BERNSTEIN: I think –
JANSING: A more cost effective way.
BERNSTEIN: You’re looking at a grandeur a small question when, in fact, the big question is his credibility as a candidate. It's shocking. Can he win? Sure. There's still scenario he could win. There are debates. The problem in the debates, he's got a big glass jaw out there on what he said in 1994. He's really trapped. He's trapped by himself and he's trapped by the people who have captured him on the Republican right. In Washington, there has been by Republicans in Washington since the McCarthy era, a hunt for so-called radicals on the other side. There's never been a really radical democratic party, but now we have in Washington a truly radical Republican Party way outside the mainstream of even the Ronald Reagan party. So there's a huge problem that Romney has to position himself. He was in a position to make at one point Obama and his presidency the issue. He's lost that chance by what happened at the convention.
SWEET: Actually, I think he might have lost that chance when he picked Paul Ryan as his running mate.
BERNSTEIN: Absolutely. Lynn is absolutely right.
SWEEP: And that's -- that is where that turned. Before then, I think it was a referendum on Obama's tenure as the leader of our economy.
BERNSTEIN: Totally right. He had Bob Portman, he had a perfect chance to win Ohio to say I'm a centrist mainstream Republican. Here I am. I’ve told you people on the right where I stand on things. I'm now not going to pick the most radical, both fiscally and in terms of social policy guy that we have in Washington of any influence. He went to Ryan and he’s stuck with him now and he brought him nothing, Ryan.