ABC Alone Features Obama Exhorting Latinos to 'Punish Our Enemies,' Stephanopoulos Downplays
Good Morning America on Wednesday was the only network morning show to highlight Barack Obama's exhortations that Latinos should help him "punish our enemies." Host George Stephanopoulos played the clip while discussing the issue with conservative Laura Ingraham.
At the same time, he attempted to downplay the President's comments, given during an interview to Univision. After the radio host lambasted Obama, Stephanopoulos defended, "You don't really mean to suggest that it's okay for one side to be hard line and not the other?"
Ingraham shot back: "I don't think it's presidential. And I know everybody's rough-and-tumble in this campaign. But he's still the President."
In the interview, Obama asserted, "If Latinos sit out the election, instead of saying we're going to punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us. If they don't see that upsurge in voting in this election, then, I think it going to be harder."
Anticipating the Republicans taking over the House, Stephanopoulos lobbied for GOP accommodation: "...What are the prospects that Republicans and Democrats can get together on the day after election day? And how would you counsel senator McConnell and, perhaps, Speaker Boehner, if the Republicans win?"
NBC's Today show and CBS's Early Show have yet to feature the "punish our enemies" clip.
A transcript of the October 27 segment, which aired at 7:11am EDT, follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: For more on this, let's bring in best-selling author and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham.
LAURA INGRAHAM: Good to see you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Great to have you in the studio this morning. And you have something in common with Carly Fiorina. You're not a candidate for anything. But you are a breast cancer survivor. You call it thriver. So, you have some sense of what she may be going through. What's your sense of the political impact here?
LAURA INGRAHAM: Well, it's hard to judge. First of all, we should know she's cancer-free. She's had a great recovery. And as many as 20 percent of women who get the reconstructive surgery, which I did not have, they get some type of infection. And it's usually treated with antibiotics. I was in touch with her chief of staff last night, welcoming and grateful for all of the prayers. And very confident she will be out on the campaign trail very soon. Obviously very soon is important because the election's next Tuesday.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And she's still in contention. You know, probably three to five points.
INGRAHAM: I mean, your reporter said it was- described it as kind of a big lead. I'm not sure that's accurate. Some polls show it two points. A couple show- polls show she was gaining ground against Boxer. So, I think it's pretty close, considering it's a pretty blue state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's the thing. Considering it's California, as well, which President Obama won by 24 points last time around. But Jerry Brown now appears to be pulling pretty well ahead of Meg Whitman.
INGRAHAM: It's 1973 again in California. Because that worked out well for California.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What happened there? What's happening in California?
INGRAHAM: Well, look. Back to Boxer, just quickly. Michelle Obama was there yesterday. She's out there for the woman's conference. She said that Barbara Boxer works day and night to bring good jobs, good paying jobs to California. Well, the San Francisco Chronicle couldn't bring itself to endorse Boxer because, basically, it said she didn't done anything for the state. The San Francisco Chronicle not endorsing one of the most liberal senators in the U.S. Senate today, I found that to be odd. And Meg Whitman's campaign, you can Monday morning quarterback it. We'll see what happens. But California is now struggling, George, under the weight of these public employee mention packages, health care packages, that Jerry Brown helped engineer as governor back in the 1970s. And they're going back to that. The state's broke. And they're going back to these policies. Good luck, California.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That may all be true, but despite sending $140 million, Meg Whitman, eight to ten points behind.
INGRAHAM: Well, she has to be her own candidate. And she has to bring herself across the finish line.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's pick up on something that jake brought up in his piece. These dueling interviews in The National Journal between the President and Mitch McConnell. Where Mitch McConnell is saying, "The single-most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." You also pointed out, I wanted to play a little bit of this, in an interview President Obama gave to Univision earlier this week.
BARACK OBAMA: If Latinos sit out the election, instead of saying we're going to punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us. If they don't see that upsurge in voting in this election, then, I think it going to be harder.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you key in on the word enemies. My question is, you're seeing both sides maneuver, as we head in-
INGRAHAM: But, he's the President, George. He's the President of all the people. For the President of the United States to say, punish our enemies, and that was kind of entreaty to the Latino vote. If you sit on the sidelines and don't punish your enemies.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don't really mean to suggest that it's okay for one side to be hard line and not the other?
INGRAHAM: No, no, no. I don't think it's presidential. And I know everybody's rough-and-tumble in this campaign. But he's still the President. And the fact of the matter is, there's a national revolt going on against many of the policies he and Nancy Pelosi pushed through against the will of the people. Number one, health care reform. That's not an enemy of the country. That's the people of the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Given all this, what are the prospects that Republicans and Democrats can get together on the day after election day? And how would you counsel senator McConnell and, perhaps, Speaker Boehner, if the Republicans win?
INGRAHAM: I think be true to the people of the country. I think what's happened with President Obama is he's forgotten the people. He's been happy with the power. And they've done a lot of cool parties at the White House. They've had a lot of fun. And Michelle is beautiful and all that. But the people want something different. When they thought change, they thought jobs. That's what they have to focus on.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, that could mean accommodations from both sides?
INGRAHAM: I think you're going to see the Republicans try to move forward, humbly, but also understanding where they went wrong on the past. I don't think this is a mandate for more government spending. I think it's a mandate for change away from what's happened the last 21 months or so. That's what I think you should look forward to.
- Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter