A rude surprise perhaps for Jon Ossoff. A pleasant one for those of us unaccustomed to CNN hosts calling out Democrats who don’t tell the truth.
On his State of the Union show this morning, Jake Tapper flatly called out Ossoff, one of the Democrat candidates in the Georgia Senate run-offs, for falsely accusing Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of “campaigning with a Klansman.”
Tapper didn’t mince words with his opening:
“That’s not true. I mean, it is true that a former member of the Klan took a photo with Senator Loeffler at a campaign event. Her campaign says she didn’t know who he was at the time and she has condemned him. I’m sure you’ve taken photos with thousands of strangers.
“Isn’t it important for candidates to tell the truth?”
Ossoff went off on a sanctimonious spiel, never directly addressing Tapper’s challenge to his veracity. When Ossoff finally ran out of wind, Tapper delivered his parting shot:
“All right. But just to be clear, she was not campaigning with a Klansman. That wasn’t true what you said.”
Our NewsBusters colleagues have documented Tapper’s liberal-leaning commentary, as here and here.
But credit where it’s due. This morning, Tapper displayed how journalists can fact-check both sides, which would lead to greater credibility for CNN.
Note it wasn’t just Tapper’s words that were skeptical. Check the screencap for the expression on Jake’s face as he took Ossoff to task.
Jake Tapper calling on Ossoff on his false claim that Kelly Loeffler campaigned with a Klansman was sponsored in part by Ensure and Progressive.
Here’s the transcript.
State of the Union
9:36 am ET
JAKE TAPPER: You attacked Senator Loeffler this week, Loeffler, who’s running against Raphael Warnock. You said that, quote, Kelly Loeffler has been campaigning with a Klansman, unquote.
That’s not true. I mean, it is true that a former member of the Klan took a photo with Senator Loeffler at a campaign event. Her campaign says she didn’t know who he was at the time and she has condemned him. I’m sure you’ve taken photos with thousands of strangers.
Isn’t it important for candidates to tell the truth?
JON OSSOFF: It is. And it’s even more distressing that this isn’t an isolated incident. Kelly Loeffler has repeatedly posed for photographs and been seen campaigning alongside radical white supremacists. And I believe they are drawn to her campaign because her campaign was consisted almost entirely of racist attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement and on the black church. And so the fact that these elements continue to be drawn to her, to support her, to campaign alongside her, to appear in photos next to her, is deeply distressing.
And it’s happening at the same time that Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue and Georgia Republicans are launching a vicious assault on voting rights in Georgia. Lawsuit after lawsuit to disenfranchise black voters, purge the rolls, remove ballot drop boxes. And I believe that one of the reasons we’re seeing such record-shattering turnout in Georgia right now is that Georgians are defying those efforts to rip away their voting rights, and standing up and saying, we’re goint to make our voices heard.
TAPPER: All right. But just to be clear, she was not campaigning with a Klansman. That wasn’t true what you said.