CNN’s Berman Pushes for McConnell to Show ‘Human Decency’

On Tuesday’s New Day show, CNN co-host John Berman called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to show “human decency” and do “a human thing” in congratulating Democrat Joe Biden even while President Donald Trump is still contesting the election.

For his part, liberal CNN contributor Bakari Sellers repeated the myth that McConnell immediately promised to make Barack Obama a “one-term President” at the beginning of his first term.

Addressing conservative CNN contributor Rick Santorum, Berman posed:

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, still hasn’t called President-elect Joe Biden, still hasn’t made any public statement congratulating him. I get that Mitch McConnell wants the Georgia Senate races — I get that — but he’s a guy who knows Joe Biden. I mean, they have a relationship. At what point isn’t it just a matter of human decency not to mention bringing America together — at least a little bit — call him and say you’re going to do everything you can to defeat every proposal he makes to America, but congratulations? Why not, at a minimum, do that at this point?

After Santorum argued that there is no need for McConnell to hurriedly congratulate Biden while the election is still being contested, while he is still having to work with Trump as President, Berman again pressed the point as he followed up: “You don’t think a phone call would be a human thing to do at this point? ‘Hey, congratulations. I know it’s not certified yet, but nice job’?”

Berman then went to Sellers who dismissed concerns about whether McConnell should reach out to Biden: “I am not as concerned with Mitch McConnell calling and congratulating Joe Biden. We remember Mitch McConnell even told Barack Obama he was going to make him a one-term President, or that was his goal…”

This debunked claim has previously aired on New Day, although McConnell actually made his pledge to help defeat President Obama right before the 2010 midterm elections, not when Obama first became President.

This episode of CNN’s New Day was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

Read the transcript below:

CNN

New Day

November 25, 2020

8:31 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, still hasn’t called President-elect Joe Biden, still hasn’t made any public statement congratulating him. I get that Mitch McConnell wants the Georgia Senate races — I get that — but he’s a guy who knows Joe Biden. I mean, they have a relationship. At what point isn’t it just a matter of human decency not to mention bringing America together — at least a little bit — call him and say you’re going to do everything you can to defeat every proposal he makes to America, but congratulations? Why not, at a minimum, do that at this point?

RICK SANTORUM, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, again, you know, this election has not been certified, and the President is still contesting it, and I think Senator McConnell is giving the President the leeway that he deserves to contest this election until — until it is certified. And I think he’s going to — he’s going to play — he’s not out there cheerleading for Donald Trump and going out there accusing states of election irregularities. He’s taking a measured approach and allowing this process to work. And I think that’s the appropriate thing to do.

BERMAN: You don’t think a phone call would be a human thing to do at this point? “Hey, congratulations. I know it’s not certified yet, but nice job”?

SANTORUM: Well, no, I think, you know, there’s plenty of time. I mean, you know, if Biden is successful — it looks likely he will be — there will be plenty of time for conversations. I think this is a time for diplomacy in the case of Mitch McConnell in managing the current affairs, which is Donald Trump is still President, and there’s still things they’d like to do, you know, with this administration as well as transitioning to the next.

BERMAN: I think the “if” game is over frankly, Senator, at this point now that Pennsylvania and Michigan have certified — no, no, no, I’m going to go to Bakari on this. I mean, at this point, it’s all but done. The President is going to the commonwealth today, I guess, with a continued effort to overturn the election results there, but it’s not going to work. And there’s a Politico article today by Tim Alberta which includes a quote which I think gets to the President’s failure of imagination perhaps on this. 

Tim delves into Michigan and talks about the fact that if not for Aaron van Langevelde — this one state canvasser — you know, we’d have a constitutional crisis, so thank you for him, thank you to Brad Raffensperger in Georgia. But he quotes the President inside a meeting talking about his loss. He says, quote, “I don’t get it,” the President said, venting confusion and frustration, “All these other Republicans all over the country — they all win their races, and I’m the only guy that loses.” Bakari, that’s quite a statement, and I think it’s pretty revealing.

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, it is revealing and this was a referendum on Donald Trump. I mean, this was a flawed strategy on his part. I even think that Senator Santorum would agree with that. I mean, he had to make this about him versus Joe Biden not a referendum election on Donald Trump which is what it was. And to get to your point about the Michigan board of canvassers and the secretary of state in Georgia, I am not as concerned with Mitch McConnell calling and congratulating Joe Biden. We remember Mitch McConnell even told Barack Obama he was going to make him a one-term President, or that was his goal, although he failed at that.

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