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CBS: Republicans Have 'Really Dug In Their Heels,' Won't Compromise

At the top of Wednesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric worried: "Can the President and the new speaker find common ground or are we headed for gridlock?" Moments later, she made it clear who would be to blame: "And while the President spoke of seeking common ground with the new majority, presumptive Speaker John Boehner said the GOP victory is a rejection of the Obama agenda."

Later, Couric continued to preemptively blame Republicans for any government stalemate: "We were initially hearing a lot of talk about cooperation and bipartisanship, but it seemed as if, at least the Republicans, in particular, really dug in their heels today and we were hearing a very different tone." She turned to political correspondent Jeff Greenfield and wondered: "Is compromise unlikely at this point?"

Greenfield agreed with Couric's assessment of the GOP: "There are a whole group of Republicans coming to Washington with a different mindset, to stop what they see as over-arching government.... So the whole kind of Sesame Street 'let's all cooperate,' that's not where these Republicans are at. They think they're there to stop something they regard as dangerous, and I think that portends some conflict, even within that party."

Here are excerpts from the November 3 broadcast that hit the same theme:

6:30PM ET TEASE:

KATIE COURIC: Can the President and the new speaker find common ground or are we headed for gridlock? We're about to find out.

6:31PM ET TEASE:

COURIC: And while the President spoke of seeking common ground with the new majority, presumptive Speaker John Boehner said the GOP victory is a rejection of the Obama agenda. He called the President's signature achievement, the health reform law, 'a monstrosity.'

6:36PM ET EXCERPT:

NANCY CORDES: In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, who barely survived his own re-election bid, was calling for compromise today.

HARRY REID: I think the main message that we should have received last night - I know that I did - is that people in Nevada, and the American people, want us to work together.

CORDES: But after an election where even the President's former Senate seat went to the GOP, Republicans aren't in a mood to make deals.

MARK KIRK: Let's join together to move the country back to right of center.

6:44PM ET EXCERPT:

COURIC: And, Jeff, you know, we were initially hearing a lot of talk about cooperation and bipartisanship, but it seemed as if, at least the Republicans, in particular, really dug in their heels today and we were hearing a very different tone. Is compromise unlikely at this point?

JEFF GREENFIELD: The quote from Jim DeMint that we had earlier about warning the new folks not to be co-opted, he's not the only one saying that. There are a whole group of Republicans coming to Washington with a different mindset, to stop what they see as over-arching government. Rand Paul, the incoming senator from Kentucky, saying, 'it's not my aim to pass bills but to repeal them.' And you have Mike Pence, one of the leading Republicans in the House, saying, 'I don't think the American people are electing a new generation in the hopes that Congress and the White House can get along better.' So the whole kind of Sesame Street 'let's all cooperate,' that's not where these Republicans are at. They think they're there to stop something they regard as dangerous, and I think that portends some conflict, even within that party.


-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.