‘Inviting the Blame’: CNN’s King and Bash Defend Biden for Trashing Abbott, DeSantis

Inside Politics host John King and his ex-wife, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash, teamed up to defend President Biden’s new vaccine mandate on Friday by praising him for going after Republican governors who allegedly are anti-science.

After a clip of Biden’s Thursday speech, declaring, King observed “It’s interesting challenge in the sense that on policy, he’s right. He’s right. You have Governor DeSantis in Florida, Governor Abbott in Texas, other Republican governors who are saying don’t wear masks, please don’t wear masks in schools, or don’t mandate masks in schools anyways, parents should make these decisions.”

King also observed that “Yet, he’s the president and he himself likes to say ‘I’m the president, like Harry Truman, the buck stops here.’ He’s trying to take responsibility, change his plan, but also blame others.”

Bash agreed, but said he is justified in doing so, “Well, and let’s be fair, he has a lot of leeway to blame others. They’re inviting the blame because they’re doing things. There was nothing he said that was fact check: wrong, that was fact check: false in that statement.

Of course, Bash is wrong. When we talk about mask mandates and freedom, it is not at all clear that science mandates kids wear masks nor is it clear that the CDC relied on science when it said otherwise.

According to Bash, “The challenge he has is as Margaret [Talev] so eloquently pointed out, doing what he feels and science says is right for Americans, but that he knows that his political opponents understand is a political — hope is a political win for them. Because they can use it against him, and they are using it against them despite the fact that they agree with him in their heart of hearts on the science and the public health aspect of this.”

Just because the vaccines are safe and effective does not give the government the power to mandate them, but that didn’t stop King from offering up a poor analogy to suggest that it does. After playing a montage of Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, former vice president Mike Pence, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem criticizing the mandate, King declared, “There are a number of Republicans are calling this un-American. Number one, George Washington, I guess he’s un-American, he had vaccine mandates back in the day.”

Of course, there is a massive difference between the military, which is a public institution with an unbendable chain of command, and private citizens. King also added that most Republicans need to just shut up about it, “Number two, a lot of Republicans who are saying that,  are continuing to supporting the storm on the Capitol on January 6, so forgive me, that takes away, in my book, takes away your license to say anything anyone else does is un-American.”

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Most people learn that at a very young age. Apparently CNN needs to re-learn it.  

This segment was sponsored by Liberty Mutual.

Here is a transcript from the September 10 show:

CNN

Inside Politics with John King

12:18 PM ET

JOHN KING: Now he’s almost naming names. He didn’t quite name names in his speech last night, but he took after Republican governors again today saying they’re getting in the way of protecting America’s school children. This is the president here. He doesn’t say the words Ron DeSantis. He didn’t need to. 

JOE BIDEN: Let me be blunt. My plan also takes on elected officials in states that are undermining you and these life-saving actions. Right now local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them. And even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools. 

KING: It’s interesting challenge in the sense that on policy, he’s right. He’s right. You have Governor DeSantis in Florida, Governor Abbott in Texas, other Republican governors who are saying don’t wear masks, please don’t wear masks in schools, or don’t mandate masks in schools anyways, parents should make these decisions. Yet, he’s the president and he himself likes to say “I’m the president, like Harry Truman, the buck stops here.” He’s trying to take responsibility, change his plan, but also blame others. 

DANA BASH: Well, and let’s be fair, he has a lot of leeway to blame others. They’re inviting the blame because they’re doing things. There was nothing he said that was fact check: wrong, that was fact check: false in that statement. The challenge he has is as Margaret so eloquently pointed out, doing what he feels and science says is right for Americans but that he knows that his political opponents understand is a political — hope is a political win for them. Because they can use it against him, and they are using it against them despite the fact that they agree with him in their heart of hearts on the science and the public health aspect of this. 

KING: Let’s listen. I want to listen to more of what you teed up. You have several different variations of the Republican opposition coming out. Here’s a sampling. 

DOUG DUCEY: What the Biden administration is doing is government overreach. Pure and simple. 

MIKE PENCE: To have the president of the United States say that he’s been patient but his patience is wearing thin, that’s not how the American people expect to be spoken to. 

KRISTI NOEM: My legal team is already working and we will defend and protect our people from this unlawful mandate. 

KING: We’re going to talk in a minute with somebody with a law degree. We’ll leave the legal challenges for that. A lot of these Republican governors are going to sue, we’ll see how this plays out. When you have a Republican governor say this is overreach, another saying we’ll get the lawyers ready. Okay. The president is going to make the case in a pandemic, “I won’t like to do this in a pandemic. Sometimes the government has to use extraordinary power.” But you teed up earlier the thing I want to talk about. There are a number of Republicans are calling this un-American. Number one, George Washington, I guess he’s un-American, he had vaccine mandates back in the day. Number two, a lot of Republicans who are saying that,  are continuing to supporting the storm on the Capitol on January 6, so forgive me, that takes away, in my book, takes away your license to say anything anyone else does is un-American. 

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