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Gleeful ABC Hawks ‘Feistier’ Biden Going ‘On Offense,’ ‘Not Sitting on a Lead’



Unsurprisingly, ABC journalists followed the markers on Thursday they laid down following the first 2020 presidential debate and vice presidential debate, going all out to boost the Joe Biden ticket. For this debate, ABC personalities gushed over the “feistier” Biden going “on offense” and putting President Trump “on the defensive repeatedly” to prove that calling so many lids “paid off.”

Chief anchor and former Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos led off as the debate ended, boasting how “the first 40 minutes…seemed like a normal debate” before getting “heated…when Joe Biden unexpectedly went on offense over Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.”

 

 

Stephanopoulos then bemoaned Trump replying with the Hunter Biden allegations, calling them “a series of unverified and misleading and false charges about Joe Biden and his business dealings and the business dealings of his son.”

Even though he was supposed to give the Trump team’s reaction (with senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce shilling for Biden), chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl had to brag about how, while Trump was on message, “Joe Biden had, I believe, the best debate that he has had in 2020.”

“Joe Biden went on the offense. Joe Biden had Donald Trump on the defensive repeatedly. Even when it got into Hunter Biden, Joe Biden turned it around and put Donald Trump on the defensive about his taxes…It was a much feistier and more focused Joe Biden, as well,” he added.

Tossing to Bruce, Stephanopoulos boasted that perhaps Biden staying locked in his basement “paid off” with Biden’s handlers “put[ting] him down for several days to prep.”

Having long established herself as an unofficial Biden flack, Bruce again delivered with an enthusiastic recap for not only herself, but Team Biden (but I repeat myself) (click “expand”):

It certainly seems that way and you know, George, going into this debate, we were talking about how, in many ways, Joe Biden just needed to stay the course. This was anything but trying to run out the clock here tonight. Joe Biden was surprisingly aggressive, it was, I think I agree with Jon Karl, his strongest debate performance, much stronger certainly than the face-off that we saw him have during the primary. He did go on offense. He went after Trump really hard on his taxes, on his lack of a health care plan, on foreign influence, on immigration and child separation policies and his team tonight feels that he did a very strong job here. 

They say, you know, yes, the President may have had a softer tone, that there weren’t the constant interruptions that we saw at the last debate, but Biden’s team says, that simply doesn’t cut it. They say Trump needed a win here, he needed a big win here and he didn’t do that. That’s according to the Biden team. They also feel that, you know, that Trump came in trying to drive specific attacks. They say that he repeated lies and that Biden proved that he can flip the script and the President and put him on defense. 

After Stephanopoulos proclaimed that Biden “was not sitting on a lead,” World News Tonight anchor David Muir concurred and focused on the coronavirus pandemic with Biden coming “right out of the gate” warning Americans of how horrible life would be to close out 2020. 

And in his infinite wisdom, Muir called out Trump for having worn a mask on stage while Biden did. Of course, the President already had the virus and thus can’t contract it again. 

Going last to national correspondent Linsey Davis before a break, Stephanopoulos boasted that, when Biden was hit with Trump talking about his family’s alleged corruption, he “came back and — and sort of embraced that debate, saying, character, yeah, character is on the ballot.”

Davis replied in approval: “Right and looked right at the American public at that moment and said, you know who we are, right? And now you make that decision. I thought that that was a really strong and compelling moment that Joe Biden had.”

ABC returned from break and, after having heard from two panelists each on the left (Rahm Emanuel and Yvette Simpson) and the right (Chris Christie and Sara Fagen), Stephanopoulos went to fake moderate Matthew Dowd, anti-Trump senior White House correspondent Cecilia Vega, and chief legal analyst Dan Abrams to juice Biden and beat down the President on the race going forward, immigration, and Hunter Biden, respectively.

Here were some of those highlights (click “expand”):

DOWD: I think when this is all said and done, Joe Biden won this debate, because he raised his performance. Donald Trump raised his a bit. It wasn’t as much of a food fight and free for all and so that means that’s to Joe Biden’s benefit, when he’s going into this ten points up with 50 million people who have already voted. Donald Trump did nothing to lower Joe Biden’s favorability, so, this is a net win for Joe Biden. 

(….)

VEGA: [T]hese 545 children, the reality is, are still, today separated from their families — their parents despite repeated efforts to locate their parents. And the reality is, this is a direct result of what many believe to be that failed policy by the Trump administration to separate families at the border. This is a — nothing short of a travesty. That’s the fact on that. These families cannot be located right now. The President was asked specifically, what is your plan to locate and reunite these families. He then started talking about the smugglers who he believes are bringing the children to the border. He said he will have a plan. But I don’t know how you go about reuniting these families when for a long time they’ve been running ads in places like Mexico and Central America, trying to locate people to no success and the issue right now, George, is that there are 32 — a record 32 million eligible Latinos to vote — a historic number — in this upcoming and it is this issue could tilt the tables in favor of one candidate or the other in some swing states like Arizona and Florida. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Cecilia Vega, thanks so much. Let’s bring in Dan Abrams. Dan, we heard charges from the President, I think for a lot of people, they wouldn’t know what he was talking about when he was talking about the Biden’s personal corruption, a little bit about Hunter Biden. Several — most of those charges, unverified. Several misleading or untrue. 

ABRAMS: Right. So, you’ve got the billion dollars plus from China, you got the $3.5 million from Russia. The key question there is, what’s the link to Joe Biden, right? You’re talking about Hunter Biden’s business in China. Yes, Hunter Biden was involved in a fund that raised a lot of money that did invest in Chinese companies. Hunter Biden says he resigned from the company, says he didn’t make a penny. Regardless, there’s no evidence that Joe Biden got any of that money. Also, on Russia, that came from the Senate Intel report, right? This idea that $3.5 million came from the ex-wife of the mayor of Moscow, et cetera. Again, the sourcing on that is a little tricky, because Hunter Biden’s lawyer suggests they’ve confused one company with another and Hunter Biden wasn’t actually involved in that company. Regardless, again, no evidence that Joe Biden was getting any of that and because Joe Biden has released his tax returns, you can look and you can see whether he would have had any income coming from places like that.

Notice how Stephanopoulos stated that the Hunter Biden claims were a topic “a lot of people…wouldn’t know what [Trump] was talking about.” And why would that be?

Perhaps it’s ABC has been the worst in refusing to cover the story, treating it like a fringe conspiracy theory. Like NBC, ABC showed its bias and insularity in expressing bewilderment at the idea of even covering Hunter Biden. Sadly, that won’t be changing anytime soon.

ABC previewing how they’d cease being journalists under a Biden administration was sponsored by advertisers such as Amazon, Liberty Mutual, and T-Mobile. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant ABC transcript from October 22, click “expand.”

The Final Presidential Debate — Your Voice Your Vote 2020: An ABC News Special
October 22, 2020
10:36 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: There you have it. Second and final debate of this 2020 election. Donald Trump, Joe Biden, two white men in their 70s, two very different candidates. What we heard tonight over the course of the 90 minutes, as we see Melania Trump come on the stage with her mask on tonight. Two very different visions on how to handle the COVID crisis, how the COVID crisis was handled. For the first 40 minutes, it seemed like a normal debate, as the candidates laid out their positions on the COVID crisis. Got heated about 40 minutes in when Joe Biden unexpectedly went on offense over Donald Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. President Trump responding with a series of unverified and misleading and false charges about Joe Biden and his business dealings and the business dealings of his son. And then some harsh clashes. We didn’t have the kind of interruptions we saw in the first debate. The mute — the mic mute did appear to work, at least for a time, but there were harsh clashes on health care, the minimum wage, children separated at the border under the Trump administration policy and — and the big issue of character and race. Joe Biden memorably saying that — saying sarcastically Abraham Lincoln talking about Donald Trump as one of the racist Presidents of modern times. The big question, Jon Karl, in the debate hall tonight, for the President and his team, did they do enough to change the dynamic of this race? 

JONATHAN KARL: Well — well, look, George, this was a much better debate, and kudos to Kristen Welker in the moderating here. And certainly the Trump camp, Republicans generally who have heard from over the course of the debate, were relieved that Donald Trump was much more disciplined. He wasn’t doing all the interruptions. He actually had a theme, at times. The theme that Joe Biden is a politician, when Biden would come up with something, why didn’t you do it when you were in power, 47 years, why didn’t you do it. So, much more disciplined Donald Trump. But George, your question, did it do enough to change the race? I don’t think so and one factor here is that Joe Biden had, I believe, the best debate that he has had in 2020. Joe Biden went on the offense. Joe Biden had Donald Trump on the defensive repeatedly. Even when it got into Hunter Biden, Joe Biden turned it around and put Donald Trump on the defensive about his taxes. I released my taxes, why haven’t you released your taxes? How much did you pay in taxes? What about your bank account in China? It was a much feistier and more focused Joe Biden, as well. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mary Bruce, the Biden camp had made this debate a priority. They put him down for several days to prep. Perhaps it paid off. 

MARY BRUCE: It certainly seems that way and you know, George, going into this debate, we were talking about how, in many ways, Joe Biden just needed to stay the course. This was anything but trying to run out the clock here tonight. Joe Biden was surprisingly aggressive, it was, I think I agree with Jon Karl, his strongest debate performance, much stronger certainly than the face-off that we saw him have during the primary. He did go on offense. He went after Trump really hard on his taxes, on his lack of a health care plan, on foreign influence, on immigration and child separation policies and his team tonight feels that he did a very strong job here. They say, you know, yes, the President may have had a softer tone, that there weren’t the constant interruptions that we saw at the last debate, but Biden’s team says, that simply doesn’t cut it. They say Trump needed a win here, he needed a big win here and he didn’t do that. That’s according to the Biden team. They also feel that, you know, that Trump came in trying to drive specific attacks. They say that he repeated lies and that Biden proved that he can flip the script and the President and put him on defense. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: David Muir, he was not sitting on a lead. 

DAVID MUIR: No, it wasn’t and right out of the gate — right out of the gate we saw that very difference between the two of them on how they would handle the pandemic. You know, we saw the Vice President come out with the black mask on. The President did not have a mask. They differed on where we’ve been as a country with the pandemic, where we are and where we’re going. The President talked about him having COVID, he said, I’m immune, said not sure how long that lasts, but I’m immune, said a vaccine was ready, it’ll be distributed quickly although we know regulators have said emergency authorization won’t come for a few more weeks, at least until Thanksgiving. From Vice President Biden, we heard something very different. 220,000 Americans are dead. Any President who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States. He used the word responsible, which is a strong word for Vice President Biden to use. He said, we’re about to go through a very dark winter, in stark contrast to what we heard from Donald Trump, not only on the campaign trail, he said we are rounding the corner, despite the surge, three of us have been reporting on it in this country. And it’s really — no part of this country is immune to the spike we’re seeing right now and where they really did battle is how do you move forward? Vice President Joe Biden made the argument that we’ve got to get money to small business, we’ve got to open carefully, that might mean social distancing within these businesses. The President continued to try to hammer him, saying, you’ve got to open things up. We’re stifling the economy here in this country, but it was very stark, the difference on every single point when it comes to the pandemic.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Definitely on the pandemic and Linsey, one of the other things we saw, we saw the President trying to make headway with his attacks against Joe Biden, his personal corruption, he said, it seemed like Joe Biden came back and — and sort of embraced that debate, saying, character, yeah, character is on the ballot. 

LINSEY DAVIS: Right and looked right at the American public at that moment and said, you know who we are, right? And now you make that decision. I thought that that was a really strong and compelling moment that Joe Biden had. I think he really had one job to do tonight, and that was do no harm and I think he accomplished that. Chris Christie said that right off the top that Donald Trump’s job was to say, what is he going to do in the next four years. Instead, he really gave what you’re going to get in Joe Biden is to get elected. You’re going to have a depression the likes of which nobody has ever seen. The stock market is going to crash. Fracking will go away. You’re going to have socialized medicine. Small businesses will have to fire employees and went on and on and on

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even when he was asked what he would be saying in his inauguration, which presumably, would have been after he defeated Joe Biden.

MUIR: Right.

DAVIS: Right, exactly.

(….)

10:49 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: Matthew Dowd, what changed? 

MATTHEW DOWD: Nothing changed. I mean, it’s funny that we’re saying that Donald Trump did better. I mean, last time, we described him as a bull in a China shop, so, he wasn’t a bull in the China shop. But that doesn’t mean he won the debate. I think when this is all said and done, Joe Biden won this debate, because he raised his performance. Donald Trump raised his a bit. It wasn’t as much of a food fight and free for all and so that means that’s to Joe Biden’s benefit, when he’s going into this ten points up with 50 million people who have already voted. Donald Trump did nothing to lower Joe Biden’s favorability, so, this is a net win for Joe Biden. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get some fact checks right now, as well. I want to bring in Cecilia Vega. Cecilia, there’s pretty impassioned debate over that whole family separation policy of the Trump administration, those children who are now separated from their parents, over 500 children. One of the things we saw from President Trump trying to continue to push it back on the Obama administration and their immigration policy. 

CECILIA VEGA: Yeah, that’s been a go-to move on his front, but these 545 children, the reality is, are still, today separated from their families — their parents despite repeated efforts to locate their parents. And the reality is, this is a direct result of what many believe to be that failed policy by the Trump administration to separate families at the border. This is a — nothing short of a travesty. That’s the fact on that. These families cannot be located right now. The President was asked specifically, what is your plan to locate and reunite these families. He then started talking about the smugglers who he believes are bringing the children to the border. He said he will have a plan. But I don’t know how you go about reuniting these families when for a long time they’ve been running ads in places like Mexico and Central America, trying to locate people to no success and the issue right now, George, is that there are 32 — a record 32 million eligible Latinos to vote — a historic number — in this upcoming and it is this issue could tilt the tables in favor of one candidate or the other in some swing states like Arizona and Florida. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Cecilia Vega, thanks so much. Let’s bring in Dan Abrams. Dan, we heard charges from the President, I think for a lot of people, they wouldn’t know what he was talking about when he was talking about the Biden’s personal corruption, a little bit about Hunter Biden. Several — most of those charges, unverified. Several misleading or untrue. 

DAN ABRAMS: Right. So, you’ve got the billion dollars plus from China, you got the $3.5 million from Russia. The key question there is, what’s the link to Joe Biden, right? You’re talking about Hunter Biden’s business in China. Yes, Hunter Biden was involved in a fund that raised a lot of money that did invest in Chinese companies. Hunter Biden says he resigned from the company, says he didn’t make a penny. Regardless, there’s no evidence that Joe Biden got any of that money. Also, on Russia, that came from the Senate Intel report, right? This idea that $3.5 million came from the ex-wife of the mayor of Moscow, et cetera. Again, the sourcing on that is a little tricky, because Hunter Biden’s lawyer suggests they’ve confused one company with another and Hunter Biden wasn’t actually involved in that company. Regardless, again, no evidence that Joe Biden was getting any of that and because Joe Biden has released his tax returns, you can look and you can see whether he would have had any income coming from places like that. The one thing Joe Biden attacked President Trump on, the Chinese bank account, of course, President Trump says he just opened it to explore opportunities there. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And the tax returns, as well. Martha Raddatz, you were in Pennsylvania today. You’ve talked with a lot of undecided voters. Think this changes any minds? 

MARTHA RADDATZ: I don’t think it did, George. And there’s so few undecided voters. I talked to a lot of Trump supporters. I said, what is it about President Trump, they said they like his strength, they like it when he tells it like it is. Now when he tells it like it is, it actually, all the time, isn’t like it is, but I think those Trump voters saw the man they want and those supporting Biden and several of the Trump voters I spoke to from 2016, have flipped to Biden and they said it’s all about character. So, they saw the man they wanted. George? 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And they have already been voting in Pennsylvania for about a week or more.



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