On Sunday evening and Monday morning, the network broadcasts of ABC, NBC, and CBS were in mourning over the “potentially fatal blow” dealt to President Biden’s radical left-wing agenda by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who announced his opposition to proposed massive social spending legislation. Anchors and correspondents were distraught as they described how the White House was “reeling” from the “bombshell” news.
“West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin delivered a potentially fatal blow to President Biden’s domestic agenda. Announcing he is a ‘no’ on the Build Back Better plan,” anchor Cecilia Vega wailed on Sunday’s World News Tonight, with the headline on screen blaring: “Death Blow to President Biden’s Agenda.”
Earlier in the day, on ABC’s This Week, the panel of liberal journalists and pundits could be heard audibly sighing as they heard the news in real time.
On NBC Nightly News that evening, anchor Kate Snow panicked: “Today Democratic Senator Joe Manchin effectively brought down the Build Back Better plan by vowing to vote against it.” Echoing ABC, correspondent Monica Alba declared: “Tonight a potentially fatal blow to President Biden’s massive social spending and climate plan.”
Over on CBS Evening News, anchor Jericka Duncan fretted over how “the White House was reeling from a big hit to the President’s agenda from a fellow Democrat.” Correspondent Christina Ruffini touted “the White House demanding an explanation” from Manchin and suggesting the Senator was two-faced: “...at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff and with his own public utterances.”
At the top of ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday, fill-in co-host T.J. Holmes worried: “Was the White House blindsided by Senator Joe Manchin saying ‘no’ to Build Back Better?” Minutes later, Holmes proclaimed that Manchin’s decision was a “bombshell.” Correspondent Rachel Scott repeated the central media talking point: “And there is no way around it, this is a potentially fatal blow to the President’s domestic agenda and one that caught the White House off guard.”
Holmes sympathized with the Biden administration: “And Rachel, the White House did not mince words here, calling this an ‘inexplicable reversal,’ saying it’s ‘a breach of commitment to the President.’ Were they really thrown off by this?” Scott emphasized: “They were caught off guard, they were blindsided...”
“Biden agenda goes bust?,” co-host Hoda Kotb warned as she lead off NBC’s Today show. She added: “Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announces he is a no on President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better plan, all but killing that bill.” Minutes later, fellow co-host Craig Melvin didn’t bother trying to be original as he direly announced: “And now to that potentially fatal blow to President Biden’s massive domestic agenda, delivered by a fellow Democrat.”
Correspondent Garrett Haake whined: “Senator Manchin’s decision to oppose this bill he spent months personally negotiating with the President has left the White House and many of his fellow Democrats absolutely reeling.” The Capitol Hill reporter further complained that “this bill, which Democrats hoped would direct hundreds of billions to fight climate change, provide universal pre-k and extend the child tax credit, may well be impossible to pass,” after the “devastating blow” from Manchin.
Haake hyped how “progressive Democrats” were “furious at Manchin,” before playing a soundbite of far-left Squad member, Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, ranting: “All I want for Christmas is a senator that has compassion for the American people and not contempt.”
“A single Democrat stops the President’s agenda, at least for now,” co-host Tony Dokoupil grumbled at the top of CBS Mornings. In report minutes later, correspondent Ed O’Keefe noted how “the White House lashed out” at Manchin and “Liberal Democrats also pounced.” A clip ran of this profane tirade from a another unhinged member of the left-wing Squad, Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar: “We all knew that Senator Manchin couldn’t be trusted, you know, the excuses that he just made I think are complete [bleep].”
Mistakenly thinking he was being clever, O’Keefe gushed over Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s passive-aggressive sniping at Manchin:
In a new letter this morning, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says that despite Manchin’s objections the Senate will consider the Build Back Better bill at some point in the new year so that, quote, “Every member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.” Tony, that is the definition, in this town, of a sick burn.
All this liberal media consternation over Manchin explains why the press have shown little or no concern over radical leftists bullying, intimidating, and outright threatening moderate Democrats like Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
ABC’s hysteria over Manchin standing on principle against irresponsible left-wing social spending was brought to viewers by GEICO, the similar panic from NBC was brought to viewers by Folger’s, and CBS’s bellyaching was brought to viewers by Ford. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.
Here are transcripts of the December 20 morning show coverage:
Good Morning America
7:01 AM ET
T.J. HOLMES: Caught off guard. President Biden’s ambitious $2 trillion social plan in jeopardy. Was the White House blindsided by Senator Joe Manchin saying “no” to Build Back Better?
7:14 AM ET
HOLMES: Alright, want to turn to Washington now, and that bombshell from West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin declaring he cannot support President Biden’s $2 trillion social spending plan. Our congressional correspondent Rachel Scott is on Capitol Hill with the latest. Good morning to you, Rachel.
[“Build Back Better” Bombshell; Biden Agenda In Jeopardy After Manchin Says “No” to Social Spending Bill]
RACHEL SCOTT: T.J., good morning. And there is no way around it, this is a potentially fatal blow to the President’s domestic agenda and one that caught the White House off guard. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announcing that he will not support the Democrats’ social spending plan. Now this is the signature proposal by the President that includes funding for universal pre-k, for child care, money to combat climate change. Manchin says he is a hard no, citing his growing concerns about inflation and about debt. Just moments ago, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he will bring this bill to the floor for a vote in the new year to put every senator on the record. But Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote in the Senate, so it’s still likely doomed to fail, T.J.
HOLMES: And Rachel, the White House did not mince words here, calling this an “inexplicable reversal,” saying it’s “a breach of commitment to the President.” Were they really thrown off by this?
SCOTT: They were caught off guard, they were blindsided, T.J. I’m told they were only informed just minutes before Senator Manchin actually announced this on national television. Senior officials tried to call the Senator, they could not reach him. I’m told the President signed off on that statement. His economic agenda now hanging in the balance, T.J.
HOLMES: He sent them right to voicemail. Alright Rachel Scott for us this morning, thank you as always.
7:01 AM ET
HODA KOTB: Biden agenda goes bust? Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announces he is a no on President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better plan, all but killing that bill. Straight ahead, the heated response from the White House and where the President goes from here.
7:11 AM ET
CRAIG MELVIN: And now to that potentially fatal blow to President Biden’s massive domestic agenda, delivered by a fellow Democrat. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announcing he will not support the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better bill, effectively killing it, at least for now. The President and his party now scrambling to respond. NBC’s senior Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake has the very latest on all of it. Garrett, good morning to you.
GARRETT HAAKE : Hey, Craig, good morning. Yes, Senator Manchin’s decision to oppose this bill he spent months personally negotiating with the President has left the White House and many of his fellow Democrats absolutely reeling. Now this bill, which Democrats hoped would direct hundreds of billions to fight climate change, provide universal pre-k and extend the child tax credit may well be impossible to pass.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin dealing a devastating blow to his party's nearly $2 trillion top priority, sinking the Build Back Better in a Sunday interview.
HAAKE: Manchin joining every Senate Republican in opposition to the bill he’d spent months negotiating directly with President Biden, tanking the legislation in the evenly divided Senate and stunning the White House, which released a statement saying Manchin’s comments were, quote, “At odds with his discussions this week with the President.” Press Secretary Jen Psaki, writing, “Just as Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press it to see if he will reverse his position yet again to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.”
HAAKE: Republicans and Manchin argue the bill diverts too much money to goals that they say aim to rework the social safety net in America and advance liberal progressive goals. But it’s progressive Democrats who are now furious at Manchin.
REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY [D-MA]: All I want for Christmas is a senator that has compassion for the American people and not contempt.
MELVIN: So Democrats up in arms.
7:00 AM ET
TONY DOKOUPIL: A single Democrat stops the President’s agenda, at least for now. What’s next for Build Back Better?
7:13 AM ET
NATE BURELSON: Now a prominent Democratic senator has handed President Biden a major setback in his giant social spending plan. After months of negotiations, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says he will not vote for it. Now with all 50 Senate Republicans planning to vote no, the bill cannot pass without Manchin’s support.
ED O’KEEFE: The dramatic announcement puts much of the President’s domestic agenda at risk, and an expiring tax credit for more than 35 million families with children likely won’t be renewed. As written, the President’s Build Back Better plan included hundreds of billions of dollars to combat climate change, more funding for medicare, childcare, and universal pre-k. Manchin didn’t rule out working on those issues, just not as currently written in a bill costing nearly $2 trillion.
JOE MANCHIN: There’s a lot of good, but that bill is a mammoth piece of legislation.
O’KEEFE: But the White House lashed out, saying Manchin’s stance is at odds with what he told the President and a breach of his commitments to fellow Democrats. Liberal Democrats also pounced.
REP. ILHAN OMAR [D-MN]: We all knew that Senator Manchin couldn’t be trusted, you know, the excuses that he just made I think are complete [bleep].
O’KEEFE: While Manchin has infuriated progressives, the White House is also facing pressure from Democrats to start fulfilling pledges, like addressing voting rights.
O’KEEFE: In a new letter this morning, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says that despite Manchin’s objections the Senate will consider the Build Back Better bill at some point in the new year so that, quote, “Every member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television. Tony, that is the definition in this town of a sick burn.
DOKOUPIL: Ed, thank you very much. We appreciate it. Keeping it real, Ed O’Keefe.