Michael Shapiro, director of strategic communications for the National Association of Manufacturers and former spokesman for former House Speaker Paul Ryan, called out the hypocrisy of word choice by CNN’s Chris Cillizza in describing action by Nancy Pelosi (positively) vs. President Trump (negatively) around the government shutdown debate.
Pelosi postponing State of the Union based on unsubstantiated security concerns="power move"
Trump postponing CODEL at the last minute="low road" pic.twitter.com/c1MAnvQSTh
— Michael Shapiro (@mis2127) January 17, 2019
Cillizza described Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s actions in a positive light after she wrote a letter to Trump calling for the State of the Union address to be postponed due to security concerns related to the government shutdown–e.g. Pelosi said there might not be sufficient security personnel to protect the Capitol during the address. However, the Secret Service later reportedly said it was prepared to offer proper security and were never contacted by Pelosi’s office.
As Marc A. Thiessen writes, “Pelosi isn’t worried about security. She invited the president to deliver the State of the Union on Jan. 3, 13 days after the partial government shutdown began. She did not ask the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service before writing the president whether they had concerns about their ability to provide security. Indeed, Politico reports that a planning meeting with the Secret Service was scheduled for the day after Pelosi sent her letter, and subsequently canceled. If Pelosi had bothered to ask, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen would have told her exactly what she said Wednesday on Twitter: ‘The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union.’”
Regardless of Pelosi’s intentions, their outcome impressed CNN’s Cillizza.
“Nancy Pelosi just pulled a major power move on Donald Trump’s State of the Union,” Cillizza tweeted, giving a nod to the Democrat.
Yet the next day, when Trump announced he was canceling the military transportation for Pelosi and a coalition of Democrats to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan — he said they could always fly commercial if they desired — to encourage them to stay in Washington and hash out a deal, Cillizza showed his bias.
“Taking the low road. Always,” Cillizza tweeted, with a link to coverage of Trump’s own power move.