Appearance Alert!
Brent Bozell talks about MRC's "Worst of the Worst 2014" on FNC's Hannity, 10:30pm ET/PT

CBS's Erica Hill: 'Could Losing the House Ultimately Be Good for the President?'

While discussing President Obama's sinking approval ratings with Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Friday's CBS Early Show, fill-in co-host Erica Hill did her best to make lemonade out of lemons for the Democratic Party: "But in the end, could losing the House ultimately be good for the President? Because it certainly helped Bill Clinton."

Schieffer was the rare voice of wisdom, replying: "You know, Erica, I don't think it is ever good to lose. I think you're always better off when you win." Though he did try to downplay the potential Democratic losses by suggesting both parties were in danger: "I think this is just a symptom of the greater problem, and that is until this economy gets better, everybody in elected office better look out because they could be in trouble." Hill agreed: "Be very careful, no one is safe at this point."

The majority of the segment touted Obama's supposed policy achievements and wondered why he wasn't more popular with the American people. At the top of the broadcast, co-host Harry Smith declared: "Congress approves sweeping changes in financial regulations as President Obama takes on Wall Street and wins. So, why are his poll numbers so bad?" Hill later proclaimed: "It's another legislative victory for the President. His poll numbers, however, are worse than ever."

A baffled Hill went on to ask Schieffer about the President's political difficulties: "...financial reform, the stimulus package, and now health care reform. Something passed in all of those at this point, yet his numbers, as we mentioned, now at a 44% overall approval rating. Where is the disconnect there?" Schieffer responded by blaming the bad economy: "...every time the President gets something done that he promises to do during the campaign it seems to have the opposite effect. But I think that, again, it all is rooted in this economy..."

Neither Hill nor Schieffer could bring themselves to question whether the policies of the Obama administration were the source of public discontent. Hill tried to spin it as a messaging problem: "Does the White House need to work on its message that's it's getting out or does it need work on the message that the American people are sending and it's listening to that message?" Schieffer admitted: "...this is a matter of what's happening out there, more than it's a message - a problem with how their packaging what the President says. People have come to feel that the government can't get out of it's own way and that the government is unable to deal with these problems."

While Hill touted ObamaCare as one of the President's legislative victories, she failed to cite the latest CBS News poll that showed that only 13% of Americans believe the massive bill will actually help them. As NewsBusters' Tim Graham pointed out, CBS has been unwilling to mention that particular poll finding on air.

Here is a full transcript of the July 16 segment:

7:00AM TEASE

HARRY SMITH: New rules. Congress approves sweeping changes in financial regulations as President Obama takes on Wall Street and wins. So, why are his poll numbers so bad?

7:07AM SEGMENT

ERICA HILL: Turning now to politics, President Obama set to sign a sweeping package of financial reforms on Wednesday. By a 60-39 vote yesterday, the Senate passed that bill. It's another legislative victory for the President. His poll numbers, however, are worse than ever. Joining us now, CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer. Bob, good morning.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Good morning and can I report first that I'm safe, I made it to high ground, and rode out this quake.

[LAUGHTER]

HILL: That's good, then you saved me the first question, that gives us more time for politics, Bob. Glad to hear all is well after that 3.6 magnitude quake. Although-

SCHIEFFER: They actually did find - they did hear it here at our bureau downtown, Erica.

HILL: Really?

SCHIEFFER: Some of the fellows that got in here a little early. I'm so old, I don't feel anything anymore. But some people, they even said it was like the subway going by or something like that.

HILL: There you go, or as Dave Price said, maybe this will wake up some of the folks in Washington.

SCHIEFFER: Exactly.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Sweeping Changes; Obama to Sign Financial Reform Legislation]

HILL: Let's take a look this morning. The three major pillars, basically, of President Obama's platform here, we're talking financial reform, the stimulus package, and now health care reform. Something passed in all of those at this point, yet his numbers, as we mentioned, now at a 44% overall approval rating. Where is the disconnect there?

[ON-SCREEN GRAPHIC: CBS News Poll; President Obama's Overall Job Rating; Approve, 44%; Disapprove, 44%]

SCHIEFFER: Well, I think it all goes back to this economy, I mean, people are in just such a bad humor. When the economy is bad, when people are worried about jobs, when they're worried about making their house payments, it just colors they're thinking on everything. And you know, this happens - again, you're absolutely right, every time the President gets something done that he promises to do during the campaign it seems to have the opposite effect. But I think that, again, it all is rooted in this economy and until this economy starts to look better, and gets to the point where people actually feel like it's better, I think he's going to continue to have these problems.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Obama's Poll Problems; CBS News: President's Approval at Just 44%]

HILL: So then, does the White House need to work on its message that's it's getting out or does it need work on the message that the American people are sending and it's listening to that message?

SCHIEFFER: Well, there's no question that people are frustrated and upset, but I think this is - this is a matter of what's happening out there, more than it's a message - a problem with how their packaging what the President says. People have come to feel that the government can't get out of it's own way and that the government is unable to deal with these problems. I think the fact that you've had this thing going on down in the Gulf, which I don't think anybody can say that's the fault of the President, that this pipeline broke down there. But again, it's just something, they see it everyday on television, they say, 'can't anybody do anything about this stuff?' And I think the frustration that grows out of that, people tend to, you know, blame on people who are in office, if not directly, indirectly.

HILL: It definitely comes with the territory. Some Democrats have said after Press Secretary Robert Gibbs basically said, 'Look, it's possible that the GOP could take over - could take over the House,' they're saying, 'this is not the kind of support that we need right now as we're heading into this election season.' But in the end, could losing the House ultimately be good for the President? Because it certainly helped Bill Clinton.

SCHIEFFER: You know, Erica, I don't think it is ever good to lose. I think you're always better off when you win. But I tell you this, I think unless this economy begins to look a lot better - I mean, Robert Gibbs was just stating the obvious, that if things don't get better with all that anger and frustration out there, a lot of Democrats are going to lose their seats. A lot of Democrats, especially in the House, didn't like to hear that because the way they see it and the way they hear it, the President's kind of divorce - trying to divorce himself from them and sort of leaving them out there on their own. Where, you know, he can say, you know, 'it's their fault that they get beat, it doesn't have anything to do with me.' But again, I think this is just a symptom of the greater problem, and that is until this economy gets better, everybody in elected office better look out because they could be in trouble.

HILL: Be very careful, no one is safe at this point. Except for Bob Schieffer, who is safe in the Washington bureau this morning. Bob, thanks for coming in.

SCHIEFFER: Thank you, Erica.

HILL: And of course, you can see Bob this Sunday on Face the Nation. He'll take a look at Arizona's new immigration law and will be joined by Arizona U.S. Senate challenger J.D. Hayworth, also New Mexico Governor - former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

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