The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday plotted strategy with Kamala Harris, demanding that the administration employ executive action to accomplish gun control that the Senate can’t. CBS turned over the entire 7:30 half hour over to the Vice President, with much of it given over to “whether President Biden is prepared to bypass Congress on gun reform.”
Co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King wondered, “Listen, it's clear that the President's intention and his frustration are very clear. But the reality is you guys just don't have the votes. So what's your move?” King pestered again: “So, what will the Biden administration do? We keep hearing about executive action. What does that mean Madam Vice President?”
Co-host Anthony Mason also used his question to demand that Congress be overridden: “Madam Vice President, as it stands right now, you do not have the votes. Failing that, is the President prepared to take executive action?”
Describing the Senate as useless because it doesn’t bend to the will of gun control advocates, he continued, “And my question is, how do you change minds in the Senate? You were in the Senate. You know.”
If you didn’t get exactly what the CBS journalists want to happen, here it is yet again:
ANTHONY MASON: But Madam Vice President, we heard from the head of Moms Demand Action earlier in the broadcast, who said that the President has it in his power to do something right now.
VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS: And the President has said he is prepared to sign legislation.
MASON: But he can also take executive action.
Well, if a pro-gun control group says something must be done then there's no argument, right?
The full interview ran for a total of 13 minutes and 34 seconds. Here was the lone attempt at offering a perspective other than rabidly pro-gun control.
GAYLE KING: Ted Cruz said something interesting, yesterday. He called this conversation ridiculous theater, that the gun laws that are being proposed, the changes, would have done nothing to stop those shootings. Does he have a point? Is this a uniquely American failure? Does he have a point?
Six questions pushing for executive action. One questioning it. Sounds like typical media "fairness."
[Special thanks to MRC news analysis intern Donovan Newkirk for the transcript.]
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
CBS This Morning
7:30 AM ET
GAYLE KING: Vice President Kamala Harris joins us, now, for an exclusive interview from Washington, D.C. Madam Vice President, good morning to you. We're very glad to see you this morning. There is so much to discuss, so we'll get started.
KAMALA HARRIS [VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES]: Okay.
KING: Listen, it's clear that the President's intention and his frustration are very clear. But the reality is you guys just don't have the votes. So what's your move?
HARRIS: Well, on the issue of gun violence, let's just be very clear. We are seeing tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. We are now learning the names of the ten people in Colorado including that police officer who was -- who ran in toward the sound of gunfire. A father of seven children. We are looking in Atlanta and all of those folks who -- all of them at the grocery store, in these establishments, going about their lives—
KING: I know the personal stories are heartbreaking. The personal stories, we all get it—
HARRIS: But Gayle, here’s why I mention it, here’s why I mention it—
HARRIS: Because I’m going to tell you something. I’ve been working on this for a long time. I actually thought that Sandy Hook would have been the thing that moved Congress. How—when 20 of 6- and 7-year-old babies were slaughtered, and they did not act. And they did not act. It is time for Congress to act. And stop with the false choices. This is not about getting rid of the Second Amendment. It's simply about saying we need reasonable gun-safety laws. There is no reason why we have assault weapons on the streets of a civil society. They are weapons of war. They are designed to kill a lot of people quickly.
KING: Yeah. We all agree—
HARRIS: Let us all agree that we need background checks. But the point, here, is Congress needs to act. And on the House side, they did. There are two bills which the President is prepared to sign. And so, we need the Senate to act. And this is going to be about your viewers and all of us pleading to the reason, pleading to the reasoned, pleading to the hearts and minds of the people in the United States Senate to say enough with the partisanship, enough with the ideological perspective on this. Let's just be practical and agree. People who have been found to be a danger to themselves and others should not be able to purchase a gun—
KING: So, what will the Biden administration do? We keep hearing about executive action. What does that mean Madam Vice President?
HARRIS: What it means is that we need to take action. But Gayle, let's be clear about this–there is the piece about executive action, but if we pass legislation, it's permanent. If we – if the Congress acts, then it becomes law. And that is what we have lacked. That is what has been missing. We need universal background checks. You know, various states have done it. But there's no universal approach to this. And so, what ends up happening, people can move from one state to another depending on what the law is. We need to have a federal standard. And that is going to be accomplished by the way we have structured our democracy, when the United States Congress acts. The House has acted. Now it's in the hands of the Senate—
ANTHONY MASON: But Madam Vice—
HARRIS: The President is prepared to sign it.
MASON: Madam Vice President, as it stands right now, you do not have the votes. Failing that, is the President prepared to take executive action?
07:34:45 AM Eastern
KING: Yeah. Yeah. And most reasonable people get that. Ted Cruz said something interesting, yesterday. He called this conversation ridiculous theater, that the gun laws that are being proposed, the changes, would have done nothing to stop those shootings. Does he have a point? Is this a uniquely American failure? Does he have a point?
HARRIS: And, you know, but, guys, I want to be—again, I’m going to start with where, where I started, which is I thought Sandy Hook would be—
HARRIS: The thing that—
MASON: But it didn’t.
HARRIS: …compelled everyone and it didn’t.
MASON: I agree with you, but it didn’t. And my question is, how do you change minds in the Senate. You were in the Senate. You know.
HARRIS: Elections matter. Elections matter. And, you know, there are bunch of folks—Moms Demand Action, a bunch of folks from Gabby Giffords to the Brady folks who—
MASON: We heard, Madam Vice President—
HARRIS: …signed up and joined them and let’s say that we’re going to hold our elected people accountable, if they’re not going to be with us on what we need in terms of reasonable gun-safety laws.
MASON: But Madam Vice President, we heard from the head of Moms Demand Action earlier in the broadcast, who said that the President has it in his power to do something right now.
HARRIS: And the President has said he is prepared to sign legislation.
MASON: But he can also take executive action.
HARRIS: I don't think the President is excluding that. But again, I want to be clear that if we really want something that is going to be lasting, we need to pass legislation.