As Noel Sheppard writes at Newsbusters, CBS’s Bob Schieffer “Scolds McConnell for Claiming Obama Isn’t Serious About Budget Two Weeks After Saying Same Thing:”
BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: Well, all we know, of course, is about what is being said in public. We hear the back-and-forth that’s being going on in public. But you and the other leaders have been meeting behind closed doors with Vice President Biden. I guess I would ask you this question. What is your take on the administration right now? Do you believe that President Obama is, in fact, serious about trying to get something done here?
SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KENTUCKY): No, I don’t.
MCCONNELL: I have now had a number of private conversations with the President and the Vice President. I was hopeful that we would step up to the plate here, if you will, and use this divided government opportunity to do something big about our long-term problems. I don’t have any more complaints about the conversations with them; I’ve had plenty of conversations with them. What I don’t see now is any willingness to do anything that’s difficult.
Look, this is the perfect time to do it. We control part of the government. They control part of the government. It could be done in a very, very effective way, and for those who are concerned about the 2012 elections survived politically because both sides will have embraced it. I haven’t given up hope but frankly I’m not optimistic.
SCHIEFFER: Well, you know, that really is a pretty serious charge at this stage to say that you don’t even think the President is serious. What is it that makes you say that?
While we can’t fault him for — like the rest of us — tuning out Face the Nation, it’s too bad McConnell didn’t immediately reply, “Gee Bob, because I heard you say it two weeks ago:”
SCHIEFFER: Congressman, let me ask you this. How can you really say that the president is serious about this when his budget does not mention Social Security or Medicare, the two biggest items in the budget? Aren’t you going to — Democrats eventually have to come to the table and say we’re really ready to talk about serious restructuring of those two programs, if you’re going to in fact get anything done
Or perhaps McConnell could have simply referenced this headline on CBS’s Website: “Forget the machete, or the scalpel: Obama takes a butter knife to the budget.”
I’d say that I was shocked, but I’d risk Bill Keller calling me cynical.