Asserting that Dems "like their earmarks," CNN's King, Bash ignored own reporting on GOP-sponsored earmarks

››› ››› LILY YAN

On State of the Union, Dana Bash remarked that the Obama administration has "got a big problem on their hands because if they -- if the president really thinks he's gonna stand up and say, 'No earmarks,' the Senate majority leader and other Democrats said, 'Uh-uh. That's the way we do business, and that's the way it's gonna stay.' " King replied, "They like their earmarks." But while Bash and King have both previously noted that Republicans requested many of the earmarks in the bill, neither gave any indication during the discussion that they did so.

On the March 1 edition of CNN's State of the Union, host John King asserted that "Republicans are saying hypocrisy" because President Obama "said he doesn't like earmarks," but intends to sign the omnibus appropriations bill "even though it has 8,000 or 9,000 of those earmarks." Moments later, senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash remarked that the Obama administration has "got a big problem on their hands because if they -- if the president really thinks he's gonna stand up and say, 'No earmarks,' the Senate majority leader and other Democrats said, 'Uh-uh. That's the way we do business, and that's the way it's gonna stay.' " King replied, "They like their earmarks." However, although Bash and King have both previously noted that Republicans requested many of the earmarks in the bill, neither gave any indication during the discussion that Republicans sponsored many of the earmarks, as Media Matters for America has noted. Indeed, King noted the Republican sponsorship of earmarks in the bill earlier in the program when he told Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), "[M]any of your leaders, the Republican side in Congress, have loaded their share of earmarks in this, too."

Bash has also previously noted that Republicans have sponsored earmarks in the bill. During the February 23 edition of The Situation Room, Bash reported that the legislation "has an increase in spending and also a hefty amount of earmarks, pet projects, from Democrats and Republicans." On February 24, Bash stated that "it's important to emphasize, it is Democrats and Republicans who are asking for these pet projects to be sent back home." From CNN Newsroom:

BASH: And there you heard Congressman Jeff Flake [R-AZ]. And he and other members of Congress are going through, and we are certainly also going through, finding some examples of things that, you know, particularly in this day and age of crisis, economic crisis, and members of both parties saying that everybody needs to be careful about what they're spending, things that some people may be questioning whether or not it's the right thing to do. But again, I think it's important to emphasize, it is Democrats and Republicans who are asking for these pet projects to be sent back home, and it is from last year's budget, but still in there.

Likewise, during a report aired on the February 25 editions of CNN Newsroom and Anderson Cooper 360, as well as the previous day's Situation Room, Bash remarked, "[B]ringing home that bacon is bipartisan. Even Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who campaigned alongside John McCain as he railed against earmarks, is getting $950,000 for a convention center in Myrtle Beach in his home state of South Carolina." Additionally, on the February 25 edition of The Situation Room, Bash reported, "I can tell you, Wolf, and it is important to note that Republicans are asking for about 40 percent of the 8,500 earmarks that are in this bill. So, it is certainly bipartisan." Later that night on Lou Dobbs Tonight, Bash again noted, "[I]t is important to note that nearly half of the -- about 8,500 earmarks in this bill are actually coming from Republicans."

A handout distributed on February 24 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) titled "You can't spell 'earmark' without an 'R' " asserted that "40% of the earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill are Republican earmarks." The handout also stated that "[t]he earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill total less than 1% of the budget" and that they "were reduced by 43% last year, and the omnibus appropriations bill reduces earmarks by another 5%."

From the March 1 edition of CNN's State of the Union with John King:

KING: Let's talk -- we only have about a minute left, so you each get about 20 seconds on this point.

This omnibus spending bill, which everybody at home is saying, "What is that?" The big bill that essentially pays the bills for the year. That's all under way. It's going to come the president's way, Suzanne. He said he doesn't like earmarks. He wants to change the way Washington does business. But his team says, "We're gonna sign this one, even though it has 8,000 or 9,000 of those earmarks, because we need to move on and focus on our agenda, not the carryover from the Bush days." Republicans are saying hypocrisy.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX (White House correspondent): Yeah. I mean, obviously, that's a point that they're making here. The Obama administration -- aides say that they believe that they can kind of move forward here. You put up the budget. It talks about a new era of responsibility, so that they're turning the corner. They believe that if you look forward on the stimulus plan and what they've put forward in the budget, that they're going to be able to convince the American people to look beyond that.

KING: You get 10 seconds.

BASH: Well, on this issue of earmarks, the Obama administration, they've got a big problem on their hands because if they -- if the president really thinks he's gonna stand up and say, "No earmarks," the Senate majority leader and other Democrats said, "Uh-uh. That's the way we do business, and that's the way it's gonna stay."

KING: They like their earmarks.

Dana Bash, Suzanne Malveaux, thank you very much.

Posted In
Economy, Budget
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
John King, Suzanne Malveaux, Dana Bash
Show/Publication
State Of The Union
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