CNN's Blitzer: Delaware's Chris Coons a 'Moderate Liberal' Like Biden
CNN's Wolf Blitzer downplayed the straight liberal record of Vice
President Joe Biden on Wednesday's Newsroom, as he compared the former
senator to Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons: "I think
we'll find out that he's [Coons] very much in line with the policies of a
Joe Biden...sort of a relatively moderate liberal Democrat who's traditionally got a little bit of an independent streak" [audio available here].
Blitzer appeared with anchor Tony Harris at the bottom of the 11 am Eastern hour for a preview of the debate between Coons and Republican Christine O'Donnell, in which he is serving as co-moderator. Harris asked The Situation Room host, "As you mentioned a couple of times, he [Coons] is leading this race, and- you know, it has been suggested that he would go to Washington as a rubber stamp to the policies of the Obama administration. What do we know- what do you think we'll find out about Chris Coons tonight?"
The anchor, who was on-location across the street from the debate venue at the University of Delaware, immediately launched into his "moderate liberal" answer:
BLITZER: I think we'll find out that he's very much in line with the policies of a Joe Biden, who was the longtime senator from Delaware- you know, sort of a relatively moderate liberal Democrat who's traditionally got a little bit of an independent streak in this state of Delaware. But- you know, he's a politician. He's had to deal with local issues as a local county official here, and he's had to deal with issues of property taxes, other taxes- so he knows a lot about the local issues- the statewide issues. And presumably, if we don't- if he doesn't know a lot about the national issues- the national security issues- that will be quickly evident later tonight. But I suspect we'll learn a lot more about him in the course of this debate.
Biden was indeed the "longtime senator" of Delaware, as he served between 1973 and 2009. According to a September 11, 2005 USA Today report, the Democrat had a lifetime ADA score of 72 (the newspaper labeled him a "centrist," even with that score), and a lifetime ACU score of 12.67 as of 2008, his last full year in the Senate. In 2007, the National Journal ranked Biden the third most liberal senator behind Obama and Sheldon Whitehouse, and ahead such liberal notables as Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, and Barbara Boxer.
Blitzer himself actually admitted during a September 18, 2008 interview of Donald Trump that he hadn't heard of Biden's self-admitted plagiarism during his time in law school. He also had no problem labeling Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Senator Ted Kennedy, and former President Carter as some of the "most liberal members" of the Democratic Party as he covered the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. But since then, the CNN anchor downplayed the arrest of disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich by claiming that "most of the political scandals...in recent years have involved Republicans" during the December 9, 2008 edition of The Situation Room. He also spouted a left-wing talking point just over 10 months later in September 2009 during a brief about a pro-Obamacare ad produced by comedian Will Ferrell and other celebrities: "One of the most famous comedians joins some of your favorite actors to promote health care reform. So why are they defending health care...executives making billions of dollars at your expense?"
Earlier in 2010, Blitzer offered Senator Scott Brown the same question from the left twice in succession: "What's wrong with giving 30 million-plus more Americans access to health insurance?...What's wrong with spending money...if it's going to give access to 30 million Americans?"
- Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.