On Thursday, CBS This Morning did its best to cast doubt on Jeb Bush’s presidential prospects by playing up his family ties while ignoring the potential roadblocks facing Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016.
Speaking with reporter Nancy Cordes, co-host Gayle King hyped how "the jokes have already started. Conan O'Brien has already made the first one. His campaign slogan, Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan may be ‘Because my mommy said I could.'"
The segment began with Charlie Rose wondering "how big a deal is this for Jeb Bush, the family connection?” Cordes explained the Bush name certainly helps in terms of fundraising and name recognition but stressed that Bush needs to establish his own “name identity."
As the segment progressed, Gayle King eagerly brought up how late night comedian Conan O’Brien had already started making fun of Bush for his family connections:
You know, the jokes have already started. Conan O'Brien has already made the first one. His campaign slogan, Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan may be "Because my mommy said I could." Do you think that that's something that's going to haunt him through this campaign?
Rather than push back against King’s lefty question, Cordes eagerly took the bait and insisted that such jokes by O’Brien certainly “doesn't help. You hope that your whole family is going to be on board when you decide to run for president and she now says she is.”
Earlier in the broadcast, co-host Norah O’Donnell teased how in the next hour the network would “see what the voters said about the Democrats too” but never actually discussed the Democrats during the network's 2016 discussion.
On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, Nancy Cordes did acknowledge that “Hillary Clinton will face a similar problem if she runs, Scott, and wants to tray to set herself apart from her husband” but never once brought her up during the discussion about Jeb Bush trying to set himself apart from his family.
While CBS spent more than 2 minutes of a 3 minute 18 second segment hyping Jeb Bush's supposed family problems, the network devoted only 20 seconds to the controversy surrounding the Clinton Global Initiative receiving millions of dollars from foreign sources, which critics say could create a conflict of interest if she decides to run for president.
See relevant transcripts below.
CBS This Morning
February 19, 2015
7:15:53-7:16-18 [25 seconds]
NORAH O’DONNELL: A CBS News poll this morning finds the Republican race for president is tightening at a very early stage. The poll asked voters which potential candidates they're considering. Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee lead the GOP list followed by Marco Rubio and Rick Perry. Governor Chris Christie didn't make the top five. In our next hour we're going to look closer at Jeb Bush's chances in a crowded field, how he wants to be his own man and see what the voters said about the Democrats too.
CBS This Morning
February 19, 2015
8:02:32-8:05:48 [3 minutes 18 seconds]
NORAH O’DONNELL: A CBS News poll this morning ranks potential candidates that voters are considering for president. Republicans give Jeb Bush a 3 point edge over Mike Huckabee. Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are next on the list. The former Florida governor laid out his foreign policy ideas in Chicago Wednesday. He also addressed concerns about another Bush running for president.
JEB BUSH: Just for the record, one more time, I love my brother, I love my dad. I actually love my mother as well. I hope that's okay. And I admire their service to the nation and the difficult decisions that they had to make. But I'm my own man and my views are shaped by my own thinking and my own experiences.
CHARLIE ROSE: Nancy Cordes is here with a closer look at the race. Nancy good morning.
NANCY CORDES: Good morning.
ROSE: So how big a deal is this for Jeb Bush, the family connection?
CORDES: It's a big deal because it helps him obviously in some ways.
CORDES: He’s got that early name recognition, he's got tons of donors who are ready to give him money. But at the same time when his brother left office, he wasn't all that popular, so he does need to create some distance. And he needs to show that he ease his own man. He can't become president if people don't see you have your own distinct identity.
O’DONNELL: Did he back that up with substance yesterday?
CORDES: Not really. You know, he did offer some mild criticism of his brother's handling of the Iraq War. He said that more should have been done to secure Baghdad after the invasion. But even President George W. Bush has said that. So that's not a big revelation. It shows that this is going to be a very slow, very delicate process because he doesn't want to look like he's being disloyal to his family either.
GAYLE KING: You know, the jokes have already started. Conan O'Brien has already made the first one. His campaign slogan, Jeb Bush’s campaign slogan may be "Because my mommy said I could." Do you think that that's something that's going to haunt him through this campaign?
CORDES: Well, it doesn't help. You hope that your whole family is going to be on board when you decide to run for president and she now says she is.
KING: Yeah, she’s changed her mind.
CORDES: But, you know, those videotapes are there, those clips are there, and opponents are going to bring it up.