Sunday, April 22, 2012

CNN 'Reliable Sources' Transcript (4-22-12)

Full transcript. Excerpt below:

KURTZ: Jennifer Rubin, Romney has been doing a lot of interviews with local television stations.


KURTZ: But, can you run in a general election as opposed to Republican primary mainly by dealing with the conservative media?

RUBIN: No. I don't think so. And actually, he hasn't been very friendly to the conservative media either. He's -- as you have written and I have written, he had a rather hostile relationship with them.

KURTZ: You interviewed him once.

RUBIN: I interviewed him once. Many on the conservative side, "National Review" has interviewed him. Many others have not.

I think this is a mistake. It has been a mistake. I have written him throughout that he should be more accessible.

He's a pretty good spokesman for his own cause.

KURTZ: So, why is he so wary of the press in general and even the conservative media in particular?

RUBIN: I think this goes to the overall caution of the campaign, the desire not to make any mistakes. But I think by restricting him, it highlights each and every incident so that if he makes a small mistake in one, it really stands out. If he did more of these, it would sort of blend into the background.

KURTZ: I think you're right. When you do so few, then everyone becomes more of a tension-filled event.

And, Bill Press, reporters shouldn't treat Romney any differently even though they're spending all their employer's money to fly with him around the country, and he barely does any press availability, but inevitably, this is kind of an undercurrent of resentment, is there not?

BILL PRESS, CURRENT TV: Well, there is. But I have to tell you -- you know what? I am just sick and tired of all these politicians, all of them, whining about the media. Give me a break.

You know? Look,, first of all, I also want to say that Romney has been treated poorly by the conservative media. I mean, Joe Scarborough says he doesn't know one Republican that he talks to that thinks Romney is going to win.

Now, that's not like helping his case. So -- I mean, Santorum and Gingrich complain about FOX. Not so long ago, they were on FOX's payroll, and now Mitt Romney -- I think the truth is they all have gotten pretty fair treatment. Better than they deserve in most cases.

RUBIN: Well, I would like to second that, and I have made that rant on this program as well that conservatives -- at least candidates, whine about this way too much. And they sound like victims. Voters aren't interested in this. It's fine for all of us to critique and the media should be held to a standard.

KURTZ: Right.

RUBIN: But for candidates themselves, I think it comes across as kind of whiney.

PRESS: And can I just point out? It wasn't a reporter who said the trees are just the right size in Michigan.

KURTZ: Here we go --

PRESS: I mean, all of those things, they say them.

KURTZ: He says some things that he'd probably wish he hadn't said.

Let me turn now to something that's been kind of below the radar. Maybe it's now coming above the radar, and that is a focus on Mitt Romney's religion.

I want to play for you a couple of clips, including an interview that he did do this week with a member of the mainstream media, ABC's Diane Sawyer.

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