Monday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” host Anderson Cooper tried to pin Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador down on several issues regarding the Republican shutdown of the federal government. When Labrador accused the journalist of sandbagging him, Cooper was quick to remind the congressman that he wasn’t on a partisan network that would lob softball questions at him all day.
“Congressman, you and many House Republicans have been saying that the Democrats have refused to negotiate,” said Cooper. “But the Democrats did back and the Senate passed a clean continuing resolution with the levels of funding for government agencies that Republicans wanted — not that Democrats wanted, $988 billion.”
“Harry Reid,” he continued, “said that [Speaker of the House Rep. John] Boehner (R-OH) promised he wouldn’t attach demands to the Senate funding bill if it was brought in at the Republican level. Wasn’t that a negotiation?”
Labrador said that $988 billion is not actually an accurate number, that this was the sequester level of 2013, whereas his caucus is now discussing funding for 2014.
“Did Harry Reid lie?” asked Cooper.
Labrador ignored the question at first, then said that he wasn’t present at the negotiations between Reid and Boehner, which he said may or may not have happened.
Cooper argued that Obamacare has been passed, it’s the law of the land, ratified by Congress and the Supreme Court and two presidential elections. Labrador countered that he and other tea partiers were not yet elected when the law was passed.
“So you’re nullifying two presidential elections and you’re nullifying the vote of Congress because you don’t like it,” Cooper said, “and I get that and your district is placed well.”
“Your argument is that the House of Representatives doesn’t matter,” said Labrador. He accused Cooper of siding with the Democrats, saying that “just because you don’t like that the House of Representatives is Republican,” you can’t tell us when to vote on continuing resolutions.
“Look, I don’t have a stake in this,” Cooper said. “This is the way it works in journalism. When you’re not on Fox News, you get contentious interviews. When you’re not on MSNBC and a liberal, you get contentious interviews.”
“My job is to ask you questions,” he went on. “Just as my next guest who is a Democrat, I’m going to ask the same kind of questions and push back on their positions. That’s what a journalist does.”
Watch the video, embedded below via YouTube: