CBS Gushes Over 'Very Serious' Ben Affleck's Political Potential: 'He Sure Does Sound Like a Politician'
Norah O'Donnell helped Bob Schieffer hype his upcoming segment with actor/director Ben Affleck on Thursday's CBS This Morning. O'Donnell played a clip of the soon-to-be aired interview and remarked, "He sure does sound like a politician. He won't give you a straight answer!"
Schieffer ballyhooed Affleck's supposed credentials to be a possible replacement for Senator John Kerry, who could be named the next Secretary of State [audio available here; video below]:
BOB SCHIEFFER: He has this organization called Eastern Congo Initiative....He appeared yesterday before the House Armed Services Committee to talk about some way to make things better over there...there has been more killing there than any other single place - more than even that happened during World War II. He's a very committed – a very serious person. You know, he went to Harvard and majored in Middle Eastern studies....
The morning show host mentioned the Affleck interview near the end of a
segment on President Obama's Wednesday press conference. After
O'Donnell's "sounds like a politician" remark about Affleck, the veteran
CBS host replied, "I tell you, he's a master at one part of the craft." Schieffer's segment with the movie star is set to air on the December 23 edition of Face the Nation.
Earlier in the segment, the CBS chief Washington correspondent slanted towards the gun control cause as he discussed President's Obama's Wednesday press conference with O'Donnell and co-anchor Charlie Rose. Rose himself revealed his liberal bias on the controversial issue:
CHARLIE ROSE: Bob, you heard the President say there is a new reality about guns coming out of the massacre in Newtown. How powerful is this new reality to get something done?
SCHIEFFER: Well, I guess I would ask, how bad does it have to be to cause Congress and the American people to focus on a way to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't have to happen again? I mean, I cannot imagine that we are willing to accept this as sort of the new normal, that this is the way it's going to be from here on. But this is a very, very difficult issue.
I think one of the things, Charlie, that this hinges on and – what tact the National Rifle Association will take tomorrow when it holds its news conference. You know, somehow or another, it seems to me this debate has to focus on putting common sense back into all of this. I mean, we don't ban cars. We have speed limits, you know? There's a reason you can drive 75 miles an hour in the open desert, and a reason we drive 25 miles an hour when we're in a school zone. It seems to me if we could approach this in that way, we could do something to, at least, make it harder for deranged people to get their hands on these weapons that have such killing power.
The transcript of the relevant portion of the Bob Schieffer segment on Thursday's CBS This Morning:
NORAH O'DONNELL: Bob, I want to turn now to what may be an open Senate seat in Massachusetts, as Senator John Kerry becomes the Secretary of State. I know you spoke with the actor Ben Affleck. Let's listen to part of that from your interview.
BEN AFFLECK, ACTOR (from CBS's "Face the Nation"): Well, one never knows. I'm not one to get into conjecture. I – I do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country. It's a big deal for me to come down here and be on your show that I've watched so much. But I'm not going to – to get into speculation about my – my political future. I like to be involved. Right now, I'm really happy being involved from the outside in government - advocating for the Congolese; taking this – this movie that I made, 'Argo', and it's really become a springboard for dialogue about our relationship with Iran; which is, you know, probably – as Hillary Clinton said, the most pressing foreign policy issue today. So, I've got a lot on my plate.
[CBS News Graphic: "Senator Affleck? Schieffer On Actor's Possible Plans"]
O'DONNELL: Well, Bob, he sure does sound like a politician. He won't give you a straight answer! (laughs)
SCHIEFFER: (laughs) I tell you, he's a master at one part of the craft. You know, he was here to talk about – he has this organization called Eastern Congo Initiative, where he – he's trying to do something. He appeared yesterday before the House Armed Services Committee to talk about some way to – to make things better over there. This is a country that is now – there has been more killing there than any other single place - more than even that happened during World War II.
He's a very committed – a very serious person. You know, he went to Harvard and majored in Middle Eastern studies-
O'DONNELL: Yeah. We'll be watching-
ROSE: (laughs) Interesting guy-
SCHIEFFER: So, I don't know. But I think you have to think about that. I think people of Massachusetts will be hearing more in the days to come.