ABC Uses Health Care Ruling Against Obama to Hit Romney from the Right, CBS and NBC Downplay
Published: 2/1/2011 1:20 PM ET
Rather than bring in a top White House official to respond to a federal judge declaring Obamacare unconstitutional, ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday used the occasion to attack possible presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Highlighting the individual mandate that was struck down, Monday, Stephanopoulos focused on Massachusetts' health care plan passed when Romney was governor: "You not going to apologize for the individual mandate?" Following up, the morning show host chided, "So, let me be specific: Are you apologizing for imposing that requirement that people buy health insurance?"
GMA should be given credit, however, for providing serious coverage. In addition to the Romney interview, there was also a news brief. CBS's Early Show virtually ignored the decision, offering only a short news read by anchor Jeff Glor.
Glor briefly informed, "A second federal judge has ruled this nation's health care overhaul law is illegal. Unlike the first ruling against the law, a Florida judge ruled yesterday the entire law should be invalidated. At issue, the requirement for mandatory coverage."
NBC's Today allocated scant coverage. Justice correspondent Pete Williams read from the decision, but then observed, "The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by 26 states. All but two of them with Republican governors."
Stephanopoulos, despite using the occasion as an opportunity to grill Obama's opponents, provided the most context. Talking to Romney, he quoted:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Major court ruling. Federal judge down in Florida targeted individual mandates, said that the President Obama health care reform is unconstitutional and in doing that, he wrote this: He said "It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began as result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with power to force people to buy tea in the first place." Do you agree with that?
A transcript of the February 1 GMA segment, which aired at 7:13am EST, follows: