ABC's Tapper quoted Boehner's criticism of Emanuel, ignored Graham's praise

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On World News, Jake Tapper quoted House Minority Leader John Boehner's statement that Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who has agreed to be President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff, "is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center." However, Tapper did not note that Sen. Lindsey Graham praised Emanuel as "a wise choice," saying Emanuel "understands the need to work together."

During the November 6 broadcast of ABC's World News, senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper reported that the appointment of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) as President-elect Barack Obama's chief of staff "prompted criticism from some Republicans." Tapper then quoted House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-OH) statement that Emanuel "is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center." However, Tapper did not note that former McCain campaign co-chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) praised Emanuel as "a wise choice," saying Emanuel "understands the need to work together."

In a November 6 statement, Graham said of Emanuel's appointment:

"This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama.

"Rahm knows Capitol Hill and has great political skills. He can be a tough partisan but also understands the need to work together. He is well-suited for the position of White House Chief of Staff.

"I worked closely with him during the presidential debate negotiations which were completed in record time. When we hit a rough spot, he always looked for a path forward. I consider Rahm to be a friend and colleague. He's tough but fair. Honest, direct, and candid. These qualities will serve President-elect Obama well.

"Rahm understands the challenges facing our nation and will, consistent with the agenda set by President-elect Obama, work to find common ground where it exists. I look forward to working with him in his new position and will continue to do everything I can to help find a pathway forward on the difficult problems facing our nation."

In contrast to Tapper, during the November 6 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod reported both Boehner's and Graham's reactions.

From the November 6 broadcast of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON (anchor): Jake Tapper is again in Chicago tonight. Jake, good evening.

TAPPER: Good evening, Charlie. Well, President-elect Obama and Michelle Obama will head to the White House on Monday to visit with President and first lady Bush. But until then, President-elect Obama is focused on building his White House. And today, he made his first official hire: White House chief of staff.

[begin video clip]

TAPPER: This morning, Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel told President-elect Obama he would leave his successful career in the House to be in Obama's White House.

EMANUEL: My parents are alive to see their middle son have a choice in his career between being a congressman and being the chief of staff to a historic presidency at a historic time.

TAPPER: But the appointment of the sharp-tongued veteran of the Clinton White House has already prompted criticism from some Republicans. House Republican Leader John Boehner today charged Emanuel, quote, "is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington, make politics more civil, and govern from the center."

Also likely coming on board: senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary and political guru David Axelrod as a senior adviser.

From the November 6 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

AXELROD: Having once sent a dead fish to a political consultant he was angry with, Emanuel is comfortable as an enforcer. He'll also be counted on to reach out to Republicans.

While his appointment drew quick criticism from the top Republican in the House, John Boehner -- "This is an ironic choice for a president-elect who has promised to change Washington" -- the reaction of Republican senator and top McCain supporter Lindsey Graham -- "a wise choice. ... Emanuel understands the need to work together" -- is a hopeful sign for Obama.

And Emanuel sent his own message to Republicans today, saying, "We often disagree, but I respect their motives. Now is a time for unity. I will do everything in my power to help you stitch together the frayed fabric of our politics."

Posted In
Government, Nominations & Appointments, The Presidency & White House
Network/Outlet
ABC
Person
Jake Tapper
Show/Publication
ABC World News Tonight
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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