During the post-GOP presidential debate analysis on Thursday’s CBS Mornings and ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA), liberal journalists bellyached that the seven candidates didn’t obsess over the four indictments against former President Trump or fixate on a recent Truth Social post calling for charges to be brought against former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley.
Chief Washington correspondent and soon-to-be three-time anti-Trump author Jonathan Karl was beside himself in both hours of GMA over how, other than Chris Christie looking into the camera and referring to “your indictments,” “that was the only mention in the entire debate of Trump’s indictments.”
“There was no mention whatsoever of this week’s ruling by a New York judge that Trump’s company had committed widespread fraud,” he added.
Co-host and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos reacted to that by rallying to Trump’s side and saying he “wonder[s] what the point of the debate is if, with the possible exception of Chris Christie right there, one mention on the indictments, no mention from the other candidates about the indictments, the civil lawsuits”.
Stephanopoulos went on, further whining that the seven candidates didn’t also spend time (away from policy issues) denouncing “the incendiary rhetoric where he’s making death threats against people like the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”
Karl obviously agreed, praising his former ABC colleague for “tak[ing]” Trump “on, on some of the substantive issues, took him on crime, on border, on his record,” but “it was remarkable how Trump basically got out scot free.”
Karl then offered this lie: “No major attacks on him from the other candidates besides, you know, suggesting that he should have been there.”
Hello, Jon? What was that clip of DeSantis talking about Trump and the national debt? Or how about the moments when DeSantis hit Trump from the right on abortion? Or Christie on the border and then Russia? Or Mike Pence on the size of the federal bureaucracy? Or Nikki Haley on China?
In a 7:30 a.m. Eastern half-hour news brief, Stephanopoulos doubled down: “Some went after frontrunner Donald Trump for being a no show, but they didn’t take aim at the former President’s indictments, his civil lawsuits, or his death threats against public officials.”
Over on CBS, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett similarly backed the calls for there not to be any further debates: “So look, the idea of a breakout moment when Trump isn’t there is an impossibility. It just doesn’t happen and even though there were some choice words, some criticisms of the former President at the margin, no one really took him on.”
Garrett then seethed with disgust that the night wasn’t (at least in part) about Trump’s indictments, offering this overgeneralization: “If you had watched that debate last night, you’d think the worst thing that former President Trump had done to America was not attend that debate.”
Asked by co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King if he was indeed referring to the indictments, Garrett confirmed and tacked on the attacks on Milley:
I’d say — a large swath of America that would think there are other things you might want to in — insert there...Like, well, January 6th would be one, what he said last week about reviving a 1798 law — let me repeat — a 1798 law, the Enemies Act, to begin the deportation of any noncitizen aged 14 or older suspected of any criminal activity. Mass deportations. No one brought that up in the immigration context. Mark Milley calling for or implying that it would be necessary to kill a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Nobody brought that up either.
To see the relevant transcripts from September 28, click here (for ABC) and here (for CBS).