Despite a running time of four hours, NBC's Today show on Tuesday skipped a blistering poll for Barack Obama and the latest news about the disastrous rollout of the President's health care law. Yet, the morning show managed five minutes for discussing the new TV special from singer John Rich and three minutes on table etiquette for Thanksgiving. Not exactly pressing topics. In contrast, both ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning covered the current wave of bad news.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey found Obama's approval rating at just 42 percent, what Jon Karl referred to as "the lowest job approval we have ever seen" for his presidency. GMA's George Stephanopoulos conceded that these are "brutal numbers." Karl even relayed this result: "We asked voters if they can have a mulligan on the 2012 presidential election, who they would vote for? A plurality now say they would vote for Romney over Obama." [MP3 audio here.] The journalists also focused on what the administration knew in advance of the impending ObamaCare collapse.
Citing the McKinsey consulting firm, Karl revealed, "They found in a March report that was presented to White House officials in April, there were real problems. They thought the website would not be ready."
Over on CBS This Morning, Major Garrett explained the findings:
MAJOR GARRETT: It raised three potential problems. Too much dependency with too many outside contractors, not enough time to fully test the federal health care website and a lack of communication between the federal government and those contractors. Now these flaws again, first flagged in April, crippled the website's launch in October and left hundreds of thousands of potential consumers on the sideline. That is, of course, why the administration felt 80 percent short of its projections for enrollment in ObamaCare's first month, the month of October.
Garrett also highlighted the bad poll numbers: "All of this has taken a toll on President Obama's approval rating. The latest poll out in the Washington Post has the President's approval rating at 42 percent.
A transcript of the November 19 GMA segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We also have some real headlines from our brand-new ABC News/Washington Post poll out this morning. Some real bad news for President Obama. His approval numbers at an all-time low. We're also learning this morning that the White House was warned as early as March about problems with that health care website.
ABC GRAPHIC: President's Approval Rating Hits New Low: Hammered By ObamaCare Rollout
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to Washington now and our new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which shows President Obama at the lowest point of his presidency. Those troubles with ObamaCare hitting hard across the board. Seven out of ten Americans now think the country's on the wrong track. And this comes amid new revelations that the administration was warned about the problems in the website as early as March. ABC's Jon Karl is at the White House. And Jon, these are brutal numbers for the White House.
JON KARL: They sure are, George. The lowest job approval we have ever seen in the ABC news/Washington Post poll. Take a look at this. Only 42 percent approving of the President's job performance. Fifty five percent disapproving. And on the health care law, a record high 57 percent oppose the law. Only 40 percent supporting it. And George, look at this number: We asked voters if they can have a mulligan on the 2012 presidential election, who they would vote for? A plurality now say they would vote for Romney over Obama. But, of course, that is now one thing President Obama does not have to worry about.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That can't happen. What a difference a year makes. Meantime, Jon, real signs that there are some red flashing lights back in March about the rollout of the website.
KARL: That's right. It turns out we learned from the congressional committees investigating this that they asked a consulting firm to look at whether or not they would be ready, the McKinsey consulting firm. And they found in a March report that was presented to White House officials in April, there were real problems. They thought the website would not be ready. Their biggest concern, George, there was not enough time to do end-to-end testing. And of course, George, we know that was the case.