ABC Grills Trump With Tough Questions, Provided Softballs for Democrats in 2007
Published: 4/19/2011 12:02 PM ET
George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday lectured potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, indignantly telling him that he was only after "the facts." Four years ago, however, Good Morning America had few tough questions for the 2008 Democratic contenders.
At one point during the nine minute interview, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump 16 straight times on the so-called birther issue. The host demanded, "You said that you sent investigators to Hawaii and you said quote, 'They cannot believe what they're finding.' What have they found?" The ABC journalist repeated this particular question four times.
Stephanopoulos did hit Trump from the right a number of times, pushing, "Today, the head of the Club for Growth, a major group inside the Republican Party, has said you're just another liberal..." However, by March 26,2007, GMA had already devoted a 26 minute infomercial to then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Host Robin Roberts allowed Clinton to speak for 18 of those 26 minutes.
Rather than allowing Trump to talk unimpeded, as Mrs. Clinton experienced, Stephanopoulos constantly interrupted. At one point, during a discussion of the birth certificate, the businessman complained, "George, they have co-opted you." He then defined "they" as "Obama and his minions."
Much of Trump's critique of journalists did not make the on-air interview. But a transcript on ABCNews.com shows that Trump also reminded, "Did you look at Tony Rezko? Did you look at [former Obama business associate] Tony Rezko?...I don't think you look at [Obama] properly."
So, while conservatives may have appreciated Stephanopoulos' probing on Trump and abortion, the morning show certainly didn't provide the same scrutiny to Democrats in 2007. (Another GMA town hall, on July 16, 2007, donated an additional 38 minutes to then-candidate John Edwards.)
A partial transcript of the April 19 segment, which aired at 7:04am EDT, follows: