CBS Presses Krauthammer to Diagnose GOP: 'Do You Think The Party Needs Some Psychiatry?'
Obama donor Gayle King and Charlie Rose strongly hinted that conservatives/Republicans needed psychiatric help during a segment with Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. King asked the licensed psychiatrist, "You talk in your book about your medical training in psychiatry and about...how powerful denial can be. Do you think that the GOP – Tea Party Republicans are in denial?"
King's question prompted laughter from Rose and co-anchor Norah O'Donnell. The PBS host then rephrased his colleague's question in a more explicit way: "But do you think the party needs some psychiatry?" [MP3 audio available here; video below]
The three morning show hosts brought on Krauthammer to discuss the recent partial government shutdown, as well as his new book, "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics". Rose led with a leading question: "You said that you were an early critic of ObamaCare, but you also said the efforts to defund it was (sic) nuts. Do you think you've been proven right?"
When the columnist answered, in part, that "unfortunately, yes, I think, because it damaged the Republicans", the CBS anchor followed up by asking, "Senator [Ted] Cruz and Senator [Marco] Rubio this morning said they're still in favor of defunding ObamaCare. And it still has the same potential, does it not, to do damage to what you think is the best future for the Republican Party in its efforts against ObamaCare?"
King then asked her thinly-veiled attack on Tea Party Republicans. Rose, clearly amused by her question, interjected, "That's a good question." Krauthammer replied that "denial is what you do for yourself, as a way to get through life. I'm not sure it's the way a party ought to get through politics. And the Republicans, right now, ought to get out of that mode and look at the reality."
King has regularly inserted her liberalism into interviews. Back in September 2013, during a segment with former Obama chief of staff William Daley, she wondered if the gun industry's pursuit of profits was "more important than human lives". Four months earlier, the CBS anchor asked Republican Senator Tom Coburn, "You voted against relief plans for Hurricane Sandy, and it sounds that you would do the same if it was raised in Oklahoma. Do you worry about alienating your constituents?"
The full transcript of the Charles Krauthammer segment from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:
CHARLIE ROSE: Syndicated political columnist Charles Krauthammer is here in Studio 57. His new book is called 'Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics'. It's good to have you here. Welcome.
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Pleasure to be with you.
[CBS News Graphic: "Politics Matter: Columnist On The Necessary Messiness in DC"]
ROSE: You said that you were an early critic of ObamaCare, but you also said the efforts to defund it was (sic) nuts. Do you think you've been proven right?
KRAUTHAMMER: Unfortunately, yes, I think, because it damaged the Republicans. And for those who oppose ObamaCare, who think it is going to be a train wreck and who do think it will undermine American health care – here, we had an occasion when ObamaCare was launched on October 1 where that would have been the focus of the country-
KRAUTHAMMER: And instead, all we were looking at was the shutdown – a distraction from the real issue. So, if you really were an opponent of ObamaCare, you stepped on the story.
ROSE: But now, Senator [Ted] Cruz and Senator [Marco] Rubio this morning said they're still in favor of defunding ObamaCare. And it still has the same potential, does it not, to do damage to what you think is the best future for the Republican Party in its efforts against ObamaCare?
KRAUTHAMMER: Exactly, and it still has no chance whatsoever of being enacted into law, as long as we have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate. It's a pipe dream, and you don't conduct politics on a pipe dream. And the fact is, that if ObamaCare is going to fail and if it is going to be repealed, it will be as a result of the kinds of calamities that we're now seeing – that are intrinsic to ObamaCare – that it collapses on its own weight, rather than pushed from the outside.
I just think it's a bad strategy. I don't disagree with the aim. I just think it's absolutely the very wrong way to go about it.
[CBS News Graphic: "Uninsured Americans: How Familiar With Health Care Exchanges? Familiar, 28%; Not familiar, 71%; Source: Gallup Poll: Margin of Error: +/- 5% Pts."]
GAYLE KING: You talk in your book about your medical training in psychiatry and about the powerful – how powerful it can be – how powerful denial can be. Do you think that the GOP – Tea Party Republicans are in denial? (Rose and O'Donnell laugh)
ROSE: That's a good question.
KRAUTHAMMER: I try not to practice psychiatry-
KRAUTHAMMER: On a party- (O'Donnell laughs)
KING: Oh, okay-
KRAUTHAMMER: I used to do it on individuals, and that was hard enough.
ROSE: (laughs) But do you think the party needs some psychiatry? (laughs)
KRAUTHAMMER: Use some psychiatry – but I'm actually a psychiatrist in remission right now, and I haven't had a relapse in 25 years. (Rose, O'Donnell, and King laugh) – still licensed, but I'm out of the business. Yeah – and I think denial is what you do for yourself, as a way to get through life. I'm not sure it's the way a party ought to get through politics. And the Republicans, right now, ought to get out of that mode and look at the reality.
[CBS News Graphic: "Tea Party Reflects Views Of Most Americans: Yes, 28%; No, 60%; Source: CBS News Poll; Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]
NORAH O'DONNELL: Do you think that – you know, the front page of USA Today says Republicans may risk control of Congress over – over this fight. The poll numbers – we've got a new CBS News poll that show Republicans' disapproval rating has jumped since the shutdown. Do you think that's hyperbole, or do you think Republicans risk losing the House?
[CBS News Graphic: "Republicans in Congress: Approve, 18%; No, 78%; Source: CBS News Poll; Margin of Error: +/- 3% Pts."]
KRAUTHAMMER: I think it's almost impossible for Republicans to lose the House, because there's so many secure seats. I think what might be the consequence, is that Republicans, who had an excellent chance of winning the Senate – there are five very vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection next year – and that may be forfeit. So, the idea that Republicans might be able to recapture control of the Congress – and, in fact, with that after 2014 – to put pressure on ObamaCare and try to bring it down – that, again, ironically, might have dissolved as a result of the negative effects.
ROSE: Is there one Republican candidate that you think would be the best person to turn to in 2016?
KRAUTHAMMER: I wouldn't say one, but I would say this: the governors are the ones who – will be the ones who derive the most benefit from the general disgust that people have with Washington. So, you start with a [Chris] Christie; a [Bobby] Jindal in Louisiana; a Scott Walker in Wisconsin. If you come to any primary election or general election, and you say, I'm not from Washington, you're already a leg up on the opposition.
O'DONNELL: Charles Krauthammer, good to see you.
— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.