On the February 12 World News Saturday, ABC correspondent David Kerley highlighted claims by Bob Greenstein of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy that the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama would block Tea Party-backed cuts from this year's federal budget, thus protecting Republicans from their "less than responsible actions."
After Kerley began his piece by recounting that Tea Party Republicans in the House had pressured House Speaker John Boehner to support a plan cutting $100 billion in spending from the current fiscal year, calling the cuts "broad and very deep," the ABC correspondent included a clip of Greenstein asserting that "they're bigger than people think" without informing viewers of the liberal lean of his organization.
After a second clip of Greenstein in which the former Carter administration member contended that Republicans are "protected from the consequences of their own, I think, less than responsible actions here," Kerley continued: "Protected from the consequences, he says, because the Democratic Senate and the President will not go along."
The ABC correspondent then concluded his report by uncritically passing on President Obama's plans to supposedly "freeze federal spending." Kerley: "Then the President gave us a little more indication today about what he plans in his budget. He wants to spend more on education and new economy jobs and pay for that with cuts of his own - which he says, David, will freeze federal spending for the next five years."
Below is a complete transcript of Kerley's report from the February 12 World News Saturday on ABC:
DAVID MUIR: At that same conference, conservatives proud of the muscle they're flexing against members of their own party, forcing Republicans on the Hill to come up with all of those promised cuts in spending: $100 billion worth. Here's David Kerley tonight.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN IN CPAC SPEECH: Stop, enough, we're not going to go down this road anymore.
DAVID KERLEY: Conservative Republicans meeting in Washington are celebrating tonight. While most of the nation concentrated on Egypt, Tea Party Republicans were forcing House leadership to blink.
DEAN CLANCY, FREEDOMWORKS: 100 billion means 100 billion, and we insist on it, and we're getting it.
KERLEY: Freshman Republicans - more than 80 of them - said no to their leader's first offer to cut $35 billion for the rest of the year. The Speaker bent to their will, changing his tune, tripling the proposal.
JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We're going to cut more than $100 billion in discretionary spending on this year's account.
KERLEY: So a campaign promise to cut $100 billion would be jammed into the last seven months of the budget year. The cuts would be broad and very deep.
BOB GREENSTEIN, CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY: Contrary to the view they're smaller than people think, they're bigger than people think.
KERLEY: Money for the EPA, clean water, food safety, the weather service, and funds for states and cities would be cut.
GREENSTEIN: It's as though they're checking a box: We said 100 billion, here's 100 billion, and they're protected from the consequences of their own, I think, less than responsible actions here.
KERLEY: Protected from the consequences, he says, because the Democratic Senate and the President will not go along. Then the President gave us a little more indication today about what he plans in his budget. He wants to spend more on education and new economy jobs and pay for that with cuts of his own - which he says, David, will freeze federal spending for the next five years.
- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center