ABC and NBC Cheer 'Bill Clinton to the Rescue' on ObamaCare

While ObamaCare remains widely unpopular with the American people, on Tuesday's ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer touted how "the President is bringing out the big gun to argue it will lead to a healthier and cheaper medical cost for Americans." In the report that followed, correspondent Bob Woodruff gushed: "Call it Bill Clinton to the rescue....the President turns to the man he calls his secretary of explaining stuff." [Listen to the audio]

On NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd declared: "...the White House thought, hey, this is a great opportunity to tap Bill Clinton to help them do what Bill Clinton did in 2012, demystify a little bit of some of the issues around the economy. This time on health care there was a lot of theatrics as well."

Woodruff reminisced over Clinton's attempt to push health care legislation during his presidency: "For Bill and Hillary, a familiar fight. Twenty years ago, their push failed, but now in order to fund the changes Obama won, most of the uninsured must sign on or face a penalty."

While the networks fawned over the President turning to Clinton to sell ObamaCare to a very skeptical public, they dismissed Republican Senator Ted Cruz voicing his opposition to the law as a "bizarre" "long-winded protest."

On Wednesday's NBC Today, Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell heralded: "Countering Cruz's one-man show in D.C., New York brought together Hillary Clinton and two presidents....Together to pitch the health care law's benefits and encourage enrollment, which starts next week."

Here is a full transcript of Woodruff's September 24 World News report:

6:36PM ET

DIANE SAWYER: We are exactly one week away from a giant change in America's health care system. Mark the date, a milestone for ObamaCare. And tonight, the President is bringing out the big gun to argue it will lead to a healthier and cheaper medical cost for Americans, even as its critics make one more stand against it. ABC's Bob Woodruff now.

BOB WOODRUFF: Tonight two presidents introduced by a possible future one.

HILLARY CLINTON: The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much they have in common.

WOODRUFF: Call it Bill Clinton to the rescue. With just one week before people start lining up for ObamaCare, the President turns to the man he calls his secretary of explaining stuff.

BILL CLINTON: When you have universal enrollment you can manage your costs better and cut your costs down. I just want you to know one thing: Inflation and health care has dropped to four percent for the first time in 50 years.

WOODRUFF: For Bill and Hillary, a familiar fight. Twenty years ago, their push failed, but now in order to fund the changes Obama won most of the uninsured must sign on or face a penalty.

BILL CLINTON: The most important thing, obviously, is just to get people enrolled in this.

WOODRUFF: Today's push comes as Republicans are fighting to defund the law. Senator Ted Cruz today staged a protest speech on the floor of the Senate, one that could last until the morning.

TED CRUZ: I intend to speak in opposition.

WOODRUFF: But it's a losing battle and already elements are in effect. Children can remain on their parents' insurance until they are 26. Some seniors paying less for prescriptions and those with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed coverage.

BILL CLINTON: But first, we got to get everybody to sign up.

WOODRUFF: Still many Americans are not sold. And it's unclear what a last minute push from even Bill Clinton will do to change that. Bob Woodruff, ABC news, New York.

Here is a full transcript of Todd's Nightly News report the same night:

7:11PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And now we turn to the big fight over health care. One week from tonight marks a major moment for the President's new health care law. Open enrollment begins for these new health insurance exchanges, it comes as Republicans are pushing to take away the funding for it.

A lot of folks say they don't know what's in the law still. That's why the President chose to sit down tonight to discuss it with a former president, the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, as we saw earlier. Our chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd here in New York covering for us. Chuck, good evening.  

CHUCK TODD: Good evening, Brian. Look, the Clinton Global Initiative held always simultaneously with the United Nations, so they always get the President to show up. But this time, the White House thought, hey, this is a great opportunity to tap Bill Clinton to help them do what Bill Clinton did in 2012, demystify a little bit of some of the issues around the economy. This time on health care there was a lot of theatrics as well. Hillary Clinton introduced the two presidents, a lot of fun people will have with that. But take a listen to Bill Clinton explaining exchanges.

BILL CLINTON: What I was terrified of was, you know, we'd open these things and there'd only be one company show up and bid and this whole thing, we'd be having an academic conversation. Instead, it's actually led to the establishment of more companies doing more bidding, and I think part of it is they have greater confidence that they can deliver health care at a more modest cost. So, so far it's good. But I think it's important for you to tell the people why we're doing all of this outreach. Because this only works, for example, if young people show up.

TODD: Brian, they spoke for more than an hour on this. But of course, the policy's complicated, the politics even more so. It hasn't stopped. And you know what's going on in Washington, it's rough business down there on this issue of health care.

WILLIAMS: Well, I'm glad you mentioned that. We're about to get to that. Chuck Todd, thanks.

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.