After ignoring its own 2009 clip of Obama denying his health-care law was a tax increase, ABC finally played the snippet of the President on Sunday's This Week -- but bizarrely, they failed to mention that it was theirs. Host George Stephanopoulos highlighted an ad from Americans for Prosperity that included the clip, but omitted that he conducted the interview where the President made this denial.
Later in the program, Rep. Paul Ryan exposed what the ABC News host omitted, that "the President, on your show, said this is not a tax." [audio available here;
(video at link)]
Stephanopoulos brought on White House chief of staff Jack Lew to discuss the Supreme Court's decision upholding ObamaCare. He led the interview by noting how "the President's opponents have already seized on the ruling by Chief Justice Roberts that the health care survives because the payment it requires is considered a tax, not a penalty, and they are putting millions behind that message in key battleground states." The host then played the Americans for Prosperity spot.
Even though a graphic in the ad disclosed that the Obama clip came from an "ABC News interview, 9/20/09," Stephanopoulos glossed over this detail. He continued by asking Lew, "As you know, President Obama denied all along that this was a tax. Is he now prepared to defend it?"
Thirteen minutes later, during an interview of Paul Ryan, the ABC host pressed the Republican congressman about his budget plan, which includes Medicare reform. At one point, Ryan attacked the President's health care law: "We don't raid Medicare for Obamacare. We repeal Obamacare and extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund in our budget." Stephanopoulos followed up by asking, "So you reject the charge that this could open up to the charge of hypocrisy?" The House Budget Committee chairman replied by pointing out what the former Clinton administration official didn't earlier acknowledge:
RYAN: No. Look -- look at the hypocrisy. The President, on your show, said this is not a tax. Then, he sent his solicitor general to the Supreme Court to argue that it is a tax, in order to get this past the Supreme Court. The broken promises and the hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the President, who says one thing to get this past Congress, and then, another thing to get it past the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, on Monday's Today show, NBC's Chuck Todd played the Americans for Prosperity ad as well, and followed it with the clip of Ryan from This Week exposing Stephanopoulos's role in the 2009 Obama interview.