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A tale of two interviews: Sen. Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton

by | Oct 6, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

LauerRubio55It could have been any of the many pro-life Republican candidates running for their party’s presidential nomination. It just happened to be pro-life Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) who was the one deflecting TODAY host’s Matt Lauer’s barbed comments that I saw on the monitor above the treadmill on which I was laboring away. What also made it of particular interest was the senator’s appearance came a day after a pro-abortion Democratic candidate also appeared. (See below.)

Lauer’s too cute by half introduction and the reason Sen. Rubio was on the program was because of a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that found Sen. Rubio tied for third in a nationwide poll. Polls, of course, come every few days, but obviously Sen. Rubio was happy to be moving up. (He is tied with Carly Fiorina behind Ben Carson and frontrunner Donald Trump.)

It took exactly 29 seconds for Lauer to attempt to put Sen. Rubio on the defensive. Lauer trotted out some innocuous comments from a couple of his rivals and a typically embittered observation from the loopy chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

It was easy to be impressed with Sen. Rubio’s smiling and calm refusal to take the bait by either defensively responding (“when people are running for office they’re looking for something that gives them a competitive advantage and if they think talking about someone is going to give them that, that is what they’re going to do”) or answer questions that he rightly said were not for him to comment on (about who should be the new Republican Speaker of the House, for example).

Since that didn’t work, Lauer asked, “So you don’t think you are putting your ambitions above the people of Florida?”

“My ambitions aren’t for me, my ambitions are for the country and Florida and that’s why I am running for President,” Sen. Rubio responded without missing a beat.

And so on. Rubio responded succinctly and intelligently to a series of questions clearly intended (again) to put Sen. Rubio on the defensive.

hillaryclinton63reAs the 5:03 long interview ended, I could not help but smile as I thought about another setting in which a presidential candidate was on network television that I also saw while on the treadmill.

It took place Monday and the candidate was pro-abortion former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

And guess what? That was also on TODAY which aired Hillary Clinton’s town hall in Hollis, New Hampshire. The town hall was moderated by TODAY co-host Savannah Guthrie

You could not possibly toss her any softer softballs than did Guthrie. There were genuine questions from some of the people in the audience, but Clinton was also asked what was her favorite book ( “The Brothers Karamazov… It’s just an amazing story about faith”) and her favorite celebratory drink (“A martini. A vodka martini, in the James Bond way”).

If that wasn’t hard-hitting enough, I’m told there was a segment where she flipped pancakes.

Ah, yes, a tale of two interviews can tell you a lot about what to expect over the next 13 months.

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Categories: Media Bias