CNN Republican Lauds Buttigieg's 'Brilliant' Slam on 'Hypocrites' Limbaugh, Trump

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Cross posted to the MRC's NewsBusters blog

On Wednesday afternoon, as CNN host Brooke Baldwin devoted part of a segment to Pete Buttigieg responding to Rush Limbaugh's comments about him being a gay presidential candidate, CNN Republican contributor and never Trumper Tara Setmayer took the lead in bashing Limbaugh and President Donald Trump as she lauded Buttigieg's reaction as "brilliant."

During a discussion of the Democratic presidential race, Baldwin brought up the issue: "Pete Buttigieg town hall last night. He's up there, and he responds now to Rush Limbaugh's homophobic assault about his marriage. Here he was."

Then played a clip of Buttigieg from Tuesday night's CNN town hall in which the Democratic candidate was critical of both Limbaugh and Trump: "The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values. I mean, sorry, but one thing about my marriage is it's never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star after cheating on my spouse with him or her."

After Baldwin joined her two guests in smiling approvingly at the gay presidential candidate's hit on Limbaugh and Trump, the CNN host then read a transcript of Limbaugh from his radio show recounting that President Trump phoned him as he was about to have a medical procedure and advised him not to apologize for the comments he recently made about how Trump would look more masculine than the gay Buttigieg in a general election.

Baldwin first went to Setmayer for her response, and the Republican guest took the lead in attacking Limbaugh, Trump, and social conservatives over the issue. At one point she declared:

TARA SETMAYER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And the two of them are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to that. Pete Buttigieg had a brilliant answer to it, and I think it just furthers this sensationalism that's coming from the right-wing media and right-wing talk radio to gin people up to go, you know, try to make these kinds of issues, especially about Pete Buttigieg being married to a man. They've telegraphed that that will be something they will go after because they know the social conservatives that listen to them intently will find this as something that is fodder for them. And I think it's not right. I mean, it's disrespectful to gay families in this country, but it's not surprising to debase themselves this way on talk right-wing radio for many years now with this.

Host Baldwin then injected her own disapproval of the President calling Limbaugh: "We got to go, but I think also my point bringing that up -- and you made part of the point -- it just doesn't -- the President's governing the country, and instead this is what he's choosing to spend some of his time on."

Liberal contributor Hilary Rosen -- who is herself homosexual -- ironically only made a short comment after alleged conservative Setmayer had already taken the lead in attacking conservatives. Rosen injected: "And he's getting away with hypocrisy on the gay rights issue forever, I mean."

Setmayer and Baldwin both agreed, "Yup," as the segment ended.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, February 19, CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

BROOKE BALDWIN: Pete Buttigieg town hall last night. He's up there, and he responds now to Rush Limbaugh's homophobic assault about his marriage. Here he was.

PETE BUTTIGIEG, DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The idea of the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Donald Trump lecturing anybody on family values. I mean, sorry, but one thing about my marriage is it's never involved me having to send hush money to a porn star after cheating on my spouse with him or her.

BALDWIN: This comes after Rush Limbaugh said on Monday that he is not apologizing because the President called him and told him not to.

(Reads quote of Rush Limbaugh recalling that President Donald Trump phoned him just as he was about to have a medical procedure.)

There's obviously the piece of what Pete Buttigieg said last night, but also knowing that the President took the time to pick up the phone and call Rush Limbaugh to say, "Don't apologize," and then he had a medical procedure, he was like, "Okay, I'll call you back, but don't apologize." You know, Tara, how do you see that?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I mean, the whole thing is ridiculous. First of all, it's melodramatic because that's what Rush does. So the whole thing about "Oh, the President called me back and I was having a medical procedure," I mean, the whole thing is so reality show dramatic that it's hard to take any of this seriously. And the fact that the President did that, if he actually did do that, I wonder, but if he did, it just goes to show you the things that this President is obsessing over, like this is what they're worrying about.

And the two of them are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to that. Pete Buttigieg had a brilliant answer to it, and I think it just furthers this sensationalism that's coming from the right-wing media and right-wing talk radio to gin people up to go, you know, try to make these kinds of issues, especially about Pete Buttigieg being married to a man. They've telegraphed that that will be something they will go after because they know the social conservatives that listen to them intently will find this as something that is fodder for them. And I think it's not right. I mean, it's disrespectful to gay families in this country, but it's not surprising to debase themselves this way on talk right-wing radio for many years now with this.

BALDWIN: We got to go, but I think also my point bringing that up -- and you made part of the point -- it just doesn't -- the President's governing the country, and instead this is what he's choosing to spend some of his time on.

HILARY ROSEN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: And he's getting away with hypocrisy on the gay rights issue forever, I mean.

SETMAYER: Yup.

BALDWIN: Yup. Hilary Rosen, Tara Setmayer thank you both very much.

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