Welker's Haley Interview Is All About Trump, Zero Questions on Biden

March 3rd, 2024 4:07 PM

On NBC’s Meet the Press, host Kristen Welker’s big interview was with Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, which took up more than 17 minutes in the hour, with around 25 questions…and not a single question was focused on President Biden or the Democrats.

Later, when Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) was on, all her questions were about Biden, about how he’s dealing with “pro-Palestinian” voters, air drops in the Gaza strip, the border crisis, and if Biden has “urgency” on the latest bad poll for him (from The New York Times). Haley would have enjoyed answering those questions. But Welker preferred to talk horse race – when are you getting out? – and whether she would endorse Trump. The first 11 questions were all horse-race.

Then Welker turned to January 6, and whether Haley agreed with Mitch McConnell that Trump was “practically and morally responsible” for the rioting. Haley argued that the pro-Trump rally demonstrated freedom of speech, but then it went wrong at the Capitol. This was the sharpest point:

KRISTEN WELKER: Do you think Donald Trump would follow the Constitution if he were elected to a second term?

NIKKI HALEY: I don't know. I don't, I don’t know. I mean, you always want to think someone will. But I don't know. You know, when you, when you go in and you talk about revenge, when you go and you talk about, you know, vindication, when you go and you talk about, what does that mean? Like, I don't know what that means. And only he can answer for that.

This gave Welker the opening for the anti-GOP hardball: “What does it say about the state of the Republican Party that you're saying that you don't know if the GOP front-runner will follow the Constitution?”

Haley said “that’s not the Republican Party. That is Donald Trump,” and she repeated that the country could do better than Trump and Biden.

After a break, Welker turned to some policy questions – their current favorite, which is IVF regulations in Alabama and whether there should be a federal solution (with some abortion questions thrown in). That was seven questions, and then there were two about aid to Ukraine. Welker ended by going back to the horse race, pressing her to repeat she won’t run on a third-party ticket in the fall.

It's fascinating that Welker can worry about unconstitutional Republicans, but never ask Dingell if Biden's respecting the Constitution (starting with his "student loan forgiveness" spending, going around Congress and the courts. As for extremists, Welker suggested to Dingell that Democrats need to do more for pro-Hamas advocates: "But this issue, Congresswoman, as you know, has really gained traction. In fact 11 other states that are poised to vote have similar protest votes that are being mobilized. What is your message to those voters? And is the president doing enough to reach out to them?"