ABC Touts the Official Word on Weiner: Bill and Hillary Clinton's 'Patience Has Run Out'
Tuesday's Good Morning America, just as NBC did on Monday, offered concern about how the Weiner scandal would impact Bill and Hillary Clinton. Reporter Linsey Davis breathlessly explained that for the power couple, "...Patience has run out." An ABC graphic worried, "Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at 'Comparisons' With Weiner."
Davis informed viewers that, pending a possible 2016 run by Mrs. Clinton, "...Several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability." [MP3 audio here.]
She added that "the Clintons are bristling at the comparisons between Hillary and Huma and between Bill and Weiner. "
On Monday's Today, Andrea Mitchell promoted the idea that "This is terribly painful....Because it's almost unavoidable that people are making comparisons to the way Hillary Clinton handled Bill Clinton's difficulties in the 1992 campaign."
On Tuesday's CBS This Morning, reporter Don Dahler was more restrained on the link between the Weiners and Clintons, but did note: "The former congressman dodged a question about whether Bill and Hillary Clinton could sway him.
A transcript of the July 30 segment is below:
ABC GRAPHIC: Clintons Put Pressure on Candidate: Upset at "Comparisons" With Weiner
ROBIN ROBERTS: Now to the latest on the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal. The defiant politician backing down slightly in new comments Sunday night. But still showing no sign of slowing down his campaign for New York mayor, even with that drop in the polls. And I know Linsey Davis, you've been following this for us. Good morning.
LINSEY DAVIS: Good morning, Robin. There is no stopping him. In a new interview with the Daily News, Weiner calls this the most surreal experience of his life. And says he believes he can rebound. And he also thinks his wife will continue to campaign for him. In the meantime, a new poll suggests more than half of New Yorkers say Weiner should drop out of the race. But Weiner say – Weiner says the voters should decide.
ANTHONY WEINER: There are a lot of people who are saying a lot of things about this campaign.
DAVIS: Overnight, reporters asked Anthony Weiner how he felt about his mentors, the Clintons, pushing for him to drop out of his race. He changed his tune a bit from earlier in the day, saying --
WEINER: I'm interested in what pundits say. I'm interested in what other politicians say, but not that much.
DAVIS: Bill and Hillary Clinton haven't come out and told him to quit, but several former Clinton aides and advisers tell ABC News the Clintons increasingly see Weiner's mayoral campaign as an embarrassment and potential liability, should Hillary, who had lunch with the president on Monday, run for office in 2016. One Clinton associate said the Clintons are bristling at the comparisons between Hillary and Huma and between Bill and Weiner. The Clintons aren't the only ones whose patience has run out. A new Quinnipiac poll shows Weiner plummeting from first place with 26 percent of the vote a week ago to fourth place with 16 percent after his admission that his lewd online behavior continued even after he resigned from Congress. Meanwhile, his wife, Huma Abedin was spotted in Washington D.C. dining with Hillary Clinton's long-time spokesman and her former colleague. Between the polls, pundits and politicians, the pressure for Anthony Weiner to exit the race for New York City mayor is mounting. But Weiner isn't backing down.
[Montage of pundits all talking at once.]
DAVIS: Earlier Monday, while campaigning, he had taken an even stronger stance.
WEINER (mayoral candidate, New York City) I don't take my cues on policy from the Sunday talk shows, listening to pundits. I never have. I don't take my cues from the headline writers in the newspapers. I never have.
DAVIS: He is asking for money. Still e-mailing supporters as he did on Monday when he wrote, I waged this campaign on a bet, that the citizens of my citizen would be more interested in a vision for improving their lives, rather than in old stories about mine. Stories like this have certainly played out on TV before. And overnight, CBS actress Julianna Margulies, who has played a scorned political wife in The Good Wife said that she has empathy for Abedin because she's played a similar scene to Huma's support for Weiner last week. She also said that a story like this is a gift for their show.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Somebody's going to benefit from this, right?
ROBERTS: The Good Wife is, right?
DAVIS: But, again, he has a new campaign ad coming out today. And also three campaign events. So, e's continuing business as usual.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But the problem is, and you see in that same poll you cited, half the voters, Democrats say he should get out of the race. All people know about this campaign right now is this story. This is it.
DAVIS: That's what people are talk about.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.