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On the October 18 edition of MSNBC News Live, MSNBC chief Washington correspondent Norah O'Donnell asked Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) to go "on the record" with a "promise" that Democrats "will not issue tens or hundreds of subpoenas to the White House when it comes to Katrina, Iraq, and a number of issues" that would "make the president's final two years in office a living hell." O'Donnell also baselessly suggested that such oversight would "mean that nothing gets done in Washington." Her comments were first noted by the weblog Firedoglake.
Earlier in the segment, which also included a discussion with Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), O'Donnell suggested that reviewing Democratic voting records on wiretapping and detainee abuse "helps [the White House] make a compelling argument" that "Democrats are weak when it comes [to] defense." O'Donnell made the remark while citing an article in The Washington Times in which White House senior adviser Karl Rove said that "it is useful to remind Democrats of what they said and what they do," and that "[s]omething is fundamentally flawed" in the Democrats' voting records.
This is not the first time O'Donnell has repeated Republican Party talking points unchallenged. As Media Matters for America noted, on the August 31 edition of Hardball, O'Donnell asked Democratic strategist Bob Shrum if "part of the problem that the Democrats have is they don't have a message to respond to the president" on the Iraq war. The following day, O'Donnell asked MSNBC political analyst Ron Reagan if withdrawing from Iraq would "essentially hand a victory to the terrorists," an exchange that was also noted by Media Matters.
From the October 18 edition of MSNBC News Live at 11am:
O'DONNELL: We now have Karl Rove indicating that he is confident of a Republican victory in November, and let me show you what he told The Washington Times and what the theme is. They say that "it is useful to remind Democrats of what they said and what they do." We have this in a full screen, quote, "You have 90 percent of House Democrats voting against the terrorist surveillance program. Nearly three-quarters of Senate Democrats and 80 percent of House Democrats voting against the terrorist interrogation. Something is fundamentally flawed," says Karl Rove. Let me ask you about that, congresswoman: This White House makes the point that Democrats are weak when it comes on defense. When he cites those statistics, it helps them make a compelling argument, does it not?
O'DONNELL: Let me put you on record here, because we see Bill Clinton talking about the politics of common good and the need for that to take place. You say the Democrats have a positive agenda. Can you promise, then, that when Democrats, if they re-take the House of Representatives and the Senate, will not issue tens or hundreds of subpoenas to the White House when it comes to Katrina, Iraq, and a number of issues and essentially make the president's final two years in office a living hell, if you will, and mean that nothing gets done in Washington.