ESPN's LZ Granderson labeled Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as "crazy" Monday, and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips seemed to credit his judgment.
Granderson, a CNN contributor, said of a Bachmann candidacy that "the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she [Bachmann] still registers as crazy with a lot of independents." Phillips immediately responded that "If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys."
It seems that the running commentary on CNN is that conservative candidates like Bachmann or Texas governor Rick Perry are not only weak candidates but are repellent to independent voters. CNN contributors John Avlon, Will Cain, and Granderson all believe that the choice of Bachmann or Texas governor Rick Perry would prove fatal for the GOP in 2012.
Will Cain, who writes for National Review and who also criticized the Tea Party last week, surmised Monday that Obama would be happy with facing the current Republican field.
"We're messing around with the likes of Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry and even Mitt Romney," Cain said, criticizing the Republicans. "Until a Chris Christie or a Paul Ryan comes around, I think the Obama administration remains a winner and remains pretty happy."
John Avlon ripped the Republican field in his latest CNN.com op-ed. "Bachmann makes Sarah Palin look like an eminently qualified statesman," Avlon wrote. "George W. Bush looks like Abraham Lincoln compared with this crowd."
"The thinking seems to be that they [the Republicans] can throw almost any base-pleasing, pledge-signing, ideological purist up and still win the presidency. But to win the White House, you need independent voters – and they are not only the largest but the least religious segment of the electorate."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on August 15 at 9:30 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
KYRA PHILLIPS: Meanwhile, the two of you agree on one thing, a mutual winner. And that is the President Barack Obama. L.Z., give us the 15-second why. I'll let Will do the same thing.
LZ GRANDERSON: Well, it's obvious, right? I mean, Michele Bachmann does not appear to be someone who can be a true candidate in a general election. So, as horrible as his numbers have been, his approval rating is, as horrible as what we saw on Wall Street was, he wins because if Michele Bachmann actually comes out ahead in this, the people aren't going to vote for crazy. And she still registers as crazy with a lot of independents.
PHILLIPS: Oh, I don't know. If you could go back decades, there's a lot of people who vote for crazy, guys. That seems to be part of the political norm. And, Will, you agree, President Obama coming out a winner as well?
WILL CAIN: Yeah. Look, I think if you were asking the Obama administration to lay out their probability chart, right now the Republican field is pretty high on the good side of their probability chart. I don't think they're excited about Rick Perry. But, look, here's the deal - President Obama is an extremely talented politician. It's a liberal ideologue in my book. But he is so good at selling it, he's put forth a transformative health care bill. He's made this country transform in two years.
And what are we as conservatives doing? We're messing around with the likes of Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry and even Mitt Romney. Until a Chris Christie or a Paul Ryan comes around, I think the Obama administration remains a winner and remains pretty happy.
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center