CBS Asks if ‘Grown-Up’ Kamala Feels ‘Betrayed’ by Manchin

On Tuesday, CBS Mornings previewed Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan’s exclusive softball sit-down with Vice President Kamala Harris set to air on Sunday. Brennan was shown fretting to the VP about whether West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was “playing fair” or if Harris felt “betrayed” by his opposition to trillions in wasteful spending. Later, co-host Gayle King gushed over the Vice President supposedly being the “grown-up in the room.”

“We now turn to Margaret Brennan’s exclusive, wide-ranging CBS News interview with Vice President Kamala Harris….one day after Senator Joe Manchin said he couldn’t vote for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a major setback for the President’s domestic agenda,” announced morning show co-host Nate Burleson.

As the taped segment played, Brennan worried: “Do you feel that Senator Manchin is playing fair with you? I mean, he went on television and said ‘no’ pretty definitively.” Harris dodged: “I think the stakes are too high for this to be in anyway about any specific individual.”

Brennan followed up moments later: “So you don’t feel betrayed?” Harris initially denied taking it personally: “No, I don’t feel – I don’t have any personal feelings about this. This is about let’s get the job done.”

However, the Vice President then got quite personal as she suggested Manchin’s opposition to the bill was somehow preventing people from getting “life-saving medication”: “And talk with families who say, ‘I can’t afford to do the basic things that I need to do as a responsible adult, like care for my children, care for my older parents, or afford to get life-saving medication like insulin.’”

Following the interview clip, Brennan appeared on CBS Mornings to discuss her friendly chat with Harris. The Face the Nation host admitted that Democrats “need Senator Joe Manchin” and lamented the bad press for the White House: “And it is not a good look, after eight months of infighting, for this to be front page news that they’re having problems wrangling their own party.”

Brennan then touted how Harris demanded the passage of legislation that would unconstitutionally federalize all elections in order to protect Democrats from defeat at the ballot box:

So they need Senator Manchin to change the tax laws, immigration, climate, and voting rights. And that is another topic that I spoke with the Vice President about at length. She feels very passionately about trying to pass two voting rights laws at the federal level because of what’s happening in at least 17 – or 18 states – where they are changing how to cast votes.

So she emphasized that as really the biggest threat to our country on the national security front, Nate. And I thought that was very interesting. The integrity of our democracy itself. So I suspect you will hear about potential changes to how the Senate votes and their rules of engagement.

Apparently CBS believes that making sure Democrats win elections is now a matter of “national security.”

After witnessing Harris be treated with kid gloves by her colleague, co-host and reliable Democratic Party donor Gayle King gushed: “Well, she’s certainly being the grown-up in the room in saying this isn’t personal. Because I hear a lot of Democrats, when it comes to Joe Manchin, they’re very angry and I hear a lot of ‘Why I oughta’ with him.”

So simply by not directly attacking Manchin, which the White House already did, Harris gets the “grown-up” label.

This peek at the gift of softball treatment Harris will receive from CBS on the day after Christmas was brought to viewers by Subaru and Macy’s. You can fight back by letting these advertisers know what you think of them sponsoring such content.   

Here is a transcript of the December 21 segment:

7:30 AM ET

NATE BURLESON: Welcome back to CBS Mornings. We now turn to Margaret Brennan’s exclusive, wide-ranging CBS News interview with Vice President Kamala Harris. The Vice President spoke with Margaret one day after Senator Joe Manchin said he couldn’t vote for President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a major setback for the President’s domestic agenda. Listen to what the Vice President said about that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you feel that Senator Manchin is playing fair with you? I mean, he went on television and said “no” pretty definitively.

KAMALA HARRIS: I think the stakes are too high for this to be in anyway about any specific individual. We have to – you know, one of the things that –

BRENNAN: It’s a 50-50 Senate, though, so you need him.

HARRIS: It is, I’m the tie-breaker

BRENNAN: Exactly.

HARRIS: The stakes are so high. I refuse to get caught up in the what might be personal politics when the people who are waking up at 3:00 in the morning worried about how they’re going to get by could care less about the politics of D.C.

BRENNAN: So you don’t feel betrayed?

HARRIS: No, I don’t feel – I don’t have any personal feelings about this. This is about let’s get the job done. And talk with families who say, “I can’t afford to do the basic things that I need to do as a responsible adult, like care for my children, care for my older parents, or afford to get life-saving medication like insulin.” We have to extend it.  

BRENNAN: How do you that without Senator Manchin?

HARRIS: You don’t give up, that’s how we do it.

BURLESON: Margaret Brennan, who’s moderator of Face the Nation and CBS News chief foreign affairs correspondent, joins us right now. Good morning, Margaret. Now, the Vice President says they are not giving up on the President’s agenda. Do they need a backup plan to the Build Back Better plan?

BRENNAN: Or rebuild Build Back Better as Senator Joe Manchin said, Nate. Yes. Well, the Vice President, in our interview, was very clearly trying to lower the temperature because the reality of the situation is that they cannot afford to be angry for very long. Unless the White House can peel off the support of some Republicans, they need Senator Joe Manchin. They need his vote to get virtually anything done in a 50/50 evenly divided Senate. They need all Democrats. And it is not a good look, after eight months of infighting, for this to be front page news that they’re having problems wrangling their own party.

So they need Senator Manchin to change the tax laws, immigration, climate, and voting rights. And that is another topic that I spoke with the Vice President about at length. She feels very passionately about trying to pass two voting rights laws at the federal level because of what’s happening in at least 17 – or 18 states – where they are changing how to cast votes.

So she emphasized that as really the biggest threat to our country on the national security front, Nate. And I thought that was very interesting. The integrity of our democracy itself. So I suspect you will hear about potential changes to how the Senate votes and their rules of engagement.

GAYLE KING: Well, she’s certainly being the grown-up in the room in saying this isn’t personal. Because I hear a lot of Democrats, when it comes to Joe Manchin, they’re very angry and I hear a lot of “Why I oughta” with him. So it’s very interesting that they’re taking that tactic and it’s probably the best thing to do at this point.

(…)

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