Good Morning America's Jon Karl on Friday continued his efforts to assign blame for what he called the "Ted Cruz shutdown." This prompted the Texas senator to shoot back: "A lot of the media did" that. [MP3 audio here.] GMA co-host George Stephanopoulos touted the Republican's appearance as a "contentious and defiant interview."
Karl attacked, "People hated this shutdown. They hated this impasse. And this was seen as the Ted Cruz shutdown." He blamed, "You more than any single individual were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with."
Cruz attempted to explain how the Democrats and Barack Obama have some culpability as they rejected compromise efforts. But Karl maintained, "But there never would have been a shutdown if you hadn't gone with this strategy of saying we're not going to fund the government for six weeks unless we can defund ObamaCare."
Stephanopoulos closed the segment by condescendingly quoting "calmer voices" who are attempting to avoid a repeat of the shutdown.
On October 16, Karl offered a one-sided take, sneering that conservatives have "brought the economy to the brink" and "have nothing to show" for it.
On October 1, the journalist actually asked a tough question at a White House briefing. He quizzed Obama, "...If you won't negotiate, how can you get a solution? How can you bring an end to this if you won't talk to the congressional leaders?"
Yet, Karl and ABC ignored this question. It did not appear on that evening's World News or the next day's GMA.
A transcript of the October 18 segment is below:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We have news overnight from the top Tea Party leader who led the fight to kill ObamaCare. Senator Ted Cruz, you see him right there, in a contentious and very defiant interview with our Jon Karl.
2 minutes and 19 seconds
ABC GRAPHIC: Tea Party Senator Vows to Keep Fighting: Avoiding Repeat Crisis as Government Reopens
STEPHANOPOULOS: We're going to turn to Washington now, where the government is up and running again. Both President Obama and top Republicans are vowing it won't shut down again. But at least one Tea Party favorite is promising to keep the fight going. Senator Ted Cruz sat down with our Jonathan Karl. And Jon., a lot of defiance there.
JON KARL: That's for sure, George. Ted Cruz says the biggest problem in all this is that Republicans were divided and that they backed down too easily. So, you would do it again?
TED CRUZ: I would do anything and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is ObamaCare.
KARL: Will you rule out pushing to the brink of another shutdown?
CRUZ: Jon, I know – Jon I know–
KARL: Or will you say you're not going to do that?
CRUZ: Jon, I know you want to nail down all sorts of future tactical decisions. What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop ObamaCare because it isn't working. It's costing people jobs and it's taking away their health care.
KARL: People hated this shutdown. They hated this impasse. And this was seen as the Ted Cruz shutdown. You, more than any single individual, were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with.
CRUZ: I agree that a lot of D.C. politicians tried to call it that. And a lot of the media did, too.
KARL: I'm talking – I'm talking about public opinion nationally.
CRUZ: Look, let me be very clear, I said throughout this, we shouldn't have a shutdown. I don't want a shutdown. I repeatedly voted to open the government.
KARL: But there never would have been a shutdown if you hadn't gone with this strategy of saying we're not going to fund the government for six weeks unless we can defund ObamaCare.
CRUZ: And you know what, Jon? You know what? There never would have been a shutdown if Harry Reid and President Obama hadn't said we will not compromise. We will not negotiate. Shut the government down.
KARL: Now, Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, like the President, are saying emphatically, George, that there will be not be another shutdown.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what they're promising right now. Although we saw the fight there. Meantime, there are some calmer voices starting to get together right away to see if they can put together some kind of small-scale budget deal before the end of the year.
KARL: Yeah. Very important and very significant meeting over breakfast Thursday between Paul Ryan, the top Republican on budget matters and Patty Murray, the top Democrat. They're trying to get together. This would not be a big deal, George. But this would be something to ensure when the money runs out again on January 15th, they have another agreement in place to fund the government for the rest of the year.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Government stays open. Debt limit extended. Let's hope that happens. Jon. Karl, thanks very much.