CNN Ignores Poll Results Showing Strong Support for 'Cut, Cap, and Balance'
CNN touted results from its newly-released poll Thursday showing 64 percent of Americans favor a balance of spending cuts and tax increases in the debt ceiling debate, as well as raising the debt ceiling. What the network failed to mention in its on-air reports was that their poll also demonstrated how Americans strongly favor two conservative positions - passage of a balanced budget amendment (74 percent), along with spending cuts and future spending caps ("Cut, Cap and Balance").
CNN's pollsters summarized the House GOP's "Cut, Cap and Balance" proposal:
In another proposal, Congress would raise the debt ceiling only if a balanced budget amendment were passed by both houses of Congress and substantial spending cuts and caps on future spending were approved. Would you favor or oppose this proposal?
66 percent answered in favor.
In a report shortly before 2pm ET, CNN's deputy political director Paul Steinhauser emphasized that the poll results favored Democrats over Republicans. He insisted that "the headline here is Americans want compromise," and pointed out that 64 percent of respondents favored including both spending cuts and tax increases, "kind of like what the president is suggesting, what the Gang of Six is suggesting."
Then he reported that President Obama and the Democrats will receive less blame than congressional Republicans if no deal is reached by the deadline, August 2.
During its news coverage from the end of the 1 p.m. EDT hour into the 6 p.m. EDT hour, CNN mentioned at least three times that 62 percent of those polled favored raising the debt ceiling with or without debt reduction. At least twice, the network reported that 64 percent of those polled wanted a plan with both spending cuts and tax increases.
And CNN made sure to report that if no deal is made before the deadline, August 2, only 30 percent would blame President Obama while 51 percent would blame Republicans. They also mentioned the poll result showing that only 33 percent of respondents see the Republicans as acting responsibly in the debt ceiling debate, compared with 51 percent for Obama.
Adhering to the standard Democratic talking points, Time managing editor Rick Stengel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer during the 6 p.m. EDT hour of The Situation Room that if tax rates go up in 2013, it's "not a tax hike," demanding that "this is something that Republicans have to get used to."
Stengel was reacting to a clip of Paul Ryan saying that if the Bush tax cuts are permitted to lapse in 2013, that's a "massive tax increase." Stengel ridiculed that as "Washington-speak."
RICK STENGEL: Well, it's funny. I mean, Wolf, Washington-speak is a language of its own. I mean, the expiration of tax cuts is not a tax hike. Remember, in Washington people always say "the reduction in the rate of increase is a cut." It's not. This is something that Republicans have to get used to, and we as Americans have to get used to. I mean, to reduce the debt ceiling, it has to be a combination of revenue enhancement and reducing the debt. You know, these negotiations are not a suicide pact. I think both parties will realize that eventually they have to come to some sort of agreement, and somebody's gonna swallow something that they don't like. That's just inevitable, that's politics.
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.