ABC Forecasts Doom for GOP Candidates: Can Cain 'Survive?' Is Romney 'on the Ropes?'
Co-anchor Robin Roberts gloated that Cain is "under a lot of pressure right now, facing so many questions after George [Stephanopoulos'] interview, Wednesday, with a woman who says she was his mistress for more than a decade."
On Wednesday, co-host Stephanopoulos touted his exclusive with accuser Ginger White, wondering, "Will our interview spell the end of the one-time front-runner's presidential bid?" On Thursday, an ABC graphic pushed, "Can Cain survive? Is he feeling the strain?" Reporter John Berman is known for his snark and a separate graphic featured a doctored Cain sign reading, "I'm getting off this train."
Berman, highlighting the latest scandal, prognosticated, "Is the Herman Cain train going off the rails for good? Signs pointing to yes."
It seems that ABC sees bad news for all the GOP contenders. After Berman noted that Mitt Romney is now publicly attacking Newt Gingrich, another ABC graphic blared, "Frontrunner fights back? Romney on the ropes?"
Romney may have been surpassed by Gingrich in the polls, but "on the ropes" seems rather hyperbolic.
Barack Obama, however, has an approval average of 43.2, according to Real Clear Politics. Wouldn't it make more sense for the network to focus more on the President's problems?
Berman also played a clip of Romney, struggling with Fox News' Bret Baier: "Romney also not loving some of the questions in his latest Fox interview about health care and flip-flops." Fox isn't often a favorite for network journalists to cite. Except, of course, when there's the opportunity to cite a struggling Republican.
A transcript of the December 1 segment, which aired at 7:09am EST, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: But, now, to politics and your voice, your vote. Herman Cain under a lot of pressure right now, facing so many questions after George's interview, Wednesday, with a woman who says she was his mistress for more than a decade. ABC's John Berman is here with more.— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.
ABC GRAPHIC: Can Cain survive? Is he feeling the strain?
JOHN BERMAN: Good morning, Robin. You know, there's signs this is a much different race than a week ago. Even a day ago. Overnight, signs that Herman Cain might be getting out. Signs he might be staying in. Signs Newt Gingrich is getting his groove on. And signs Mitt Romney is going all-in Iowa. Is the Herman Cain train going off the rails for good? Signs pointing to yes. A heated exchange with reporters overnight about what he's said to his wife about the latest allegations of infidelity.
HERMAN CAIN: Are you going to be contentious or do you want me to answer your questions? I have talked to my wife many times since Monday about this situation. I have not talked to her face-to-face.
BERMAN: He says he will do so Friday before he decides whether to drop out. Meanwhile, signs pointing to no drop-out, listen to his words on the stump.
CAIN: As president- when I'm president- we're going to get it right in the White House. The American people are going to raise some Cain.
BERMAN: What's more, Cain and supporters are launching two ads in Iowa, including one with testimony from a lie-detector expert.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In my exam, he is being truthful.
BERMAN: A sign that a different candidate is relishing this moment in the campaign. Listen to newt Gingrich's assessment of the race.
ABC GRAPHIC: Frontrunner fights back? Romney on the ropes?
NEWT GINGRICH: Originally, it was going to be Mitt and not Mitt. I think- it may turn out to be Newt and not Newt.
BERMAN: While Newt says the race is about me, me, me. Signs on the radio, Mitt Romney isn't loving him, him, him.
MITT ROMNEY: The biggest difference between us is probably our life experience. He has spent his- I don't know- last 30, 40 years in Washington and is a career politician.
BERMAN: Romney also not loving some of the questions in his latest Fox interview about health care and flip-flops.
BRET BAIER: Do you think a mandate- mandating people to buy insurance is the right tool?
ROMNEY: [Montage of clips.] Bret, I don't know how many hundred times I've said this, too. This is an unusual interview. Well, Brett, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we're going to have to be better-informed about my views on issues.
BERMAN: Bret Baier, who was asking the questions, says that after the interview, Romney told that the questions were over-aggressive and uncalled for. Meanwhile, some breaking news this morning, the Romney campaign has released its first ad in Iowa. They have been flirting whether to run there for real for some months now. But this first ad going up this morning, signs he's going all-in this crucial first caucus state.
ROBERTS: Now's the time to do it.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: That is a big, new move for Romney. He was afraid of going back there after what happened to him four years ago.
BERMAN: Big deal.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Big deal. Okay. How many times have we said this race changes, has a completely new dynamic?