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Democratic Obstruction of Obama's Jobs Bill Elicits Yawns from the Networks

The network newscasts on Wednesday downplayed Democratic obstruction of Barack Obama's jobs bill, offering only minor coverage. Good Morning America and Early Show allowed brief mentions. In an otherwise unrelated segment, GMA's Jon Karl admitted that the President "has a problem with [congressional] Democrats."

Karl added, "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, he does not plan to have a vote on the jobs bill in its entirety, rather he's gonna try to pass bits and pieces of it."

CBS's Early Show highlighted the President's complaints about Republicans. Reporter Bill Plante explained, "...[Obama] attacked Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor by name for not passing his jobs bill and bringing it to the floor."

Yet, not until the very end of the segment did Plante acknowledge, "But meantime, over in the Senate, Democrats have admitted they don't yet have the votes to pass the bill."

When prospects for the legislation were brighter, on September 12, Early Show devoted three segments to the jobs bill, all of them from the Democratic perspective. No Republicans were featured.

On that day, Plante played up how "the corrosively nasty debate over raising the debt ceiling soured the public, and they let members of Congress know that when they were back home."

The Daily Caller explained the latest developments:

For all of President Obama's insistence that Congress must 'pass this bill now,' and Democrats' assurances that they have the votes necessary to pass it, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was in no mood to vote on the president's jobs-creation bill Tuesday afternoon.

Reid blocked a vote on Obama's jobs bill after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a motion to add it as an amendment to a bill being heard on the floor.

Network mentions of Democrats holding up the jobs bill follow:

GMA
10/05/11
7:14

JON KARL: As for President Obama, he took his campaign to pass his jobs bill to the heart of Rick Perry territory, in Mesquite, Texas. And he used the opportunity to blast Congress for not getting the job done.

BARACK OBAMA: Some folks are living day to day. They need action on jobs, and they need it now. They want Congress to do what they were elected to do. They want Congress to do their job.

JON KARL: The President had been beating up on Republicans for not passing that jobs bill, but he also has a problem with Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, he does not plan to have a vote on the jobs bill in its entirety, rather he's gonna try to pass bits and pieces of it. Elizabeth?

8:02

JOSH ELLIOTT: The holdup on the President's jobs bill right now is from Senate Democrats. They want to include a tax increase for millionaires.

CBS

10/05/2011
07:07 am EDT
CBS - The Early Show

CHRIS WRAGGE: We now go to Washington, DC, where President Obama's jobs bill is going nowhere in Congress, and the President is blaming one key Republican leader. CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante has the latest on the jobs fight for us this morning. Bill, good morning.

BILL PLANTE: Good morning to you, Chris. Well, the President was in his new campaign mode- aggressive and confrontational- and he attacked Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor by name for not passing his jobs bill and bringing it to the floor.

[CBS News Graphic: "Calling Out Cantor: President Gets Tough On GOP Leader"]

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Eric Cantor said that, right now, he won't even let this jobs bill have a vote in the House of Representatives. Think about that. I mean, what's the problem? Do they not have the time? (audience laughs) They just had a week off. Is it inconvenient?

PLANTE (voice-over): The President was just getting warmed up. He then went after unnamed members of Congress for saying they shouldn't pass the bill because it would give him a win.

OBAMA: Give me a win? Give me a break! (audience laughs and applauds) That's why folks are fed up with Washington. This isn't about giving me a win. This is about giving people who are hurting a win.

PLANTE: The White House says the American Jobs Act is a mix of spending measures and tax breaks, to help bring down the unemployment rate. On 'The Early Show' less than a month ago, Cantor sounded ready to deal.

REP. ERIC CANTOR, HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER (from September 9 interview on CBS's "The Early Show"): And I think now the country's really ready for us to set aside those differences, and try and build consensus, reach commonality, and see if we can produce a bill that does help job creation.

PLANTE: But earlier this week, Cantor rebelled against the President's demand to pass his entire jobs bill, saying, effectively, it's dead. The Republicans oppose the bill mainly because there would be new taxes in it. They're also against any proposed stimulus spending.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE (from press conference): Nobody gets everything they want. I don't get everything I want. And I think the President understands the legislative process.

PLANTE (on-camera): Well, the President is going to keep up that drum beat, though, urging the House to take up the bill. But meantime, over in the Senate, Democrats have admitted they don't yet have the votes to pass the bill. Chris?

WRAGGE: CBS's Bill Plante at the White House for us this morning- Bill, thank you.

— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.