CNN's Jake Tapper has his moments. He was maligned on Twitter by the left for daring to retweet a column from Salena Zito about the Pennsylvania Senate race. He has also called out Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) for the DCCC selectively editing a clip of Tapper. That all went out the window on Sunday's edition of "State of the Union," though, when Tapper had Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) on as a guest, who, as Tapper emphasized throughout the interview, is likely to be the leader for the Democrats in the next Congress.
During his interview, Jeffries had warned of "Republican overreach" and "Republican extremism," saying the Democrats "will fiercely and vigorously oppose any attempts at" it.
Tapper picked up on that and went on to use a term that Jeffries, as well as other leading Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media, have used when it comes to how they portray their political opponents.
Speaking about how Republicans did not fare as well in the midterm elections as they had expected, Tapper claimed, "Because of the narrow majority of that House Republicans are going to have, the far right-wing, the MAGA caucus, is going to be empowered and emboldened."
Just as Jeffries has done in the past, he used Sunday's interview as an attempt to go after those "MAGA Republicans." This was after Tapper, who had a glimmer of being a fair journalist, pointed out that there may be a point to the oversight investigations House Republicans want to conduct.
"Well, we will absolutely defend the Biden administration and his track record of success if it comes under assault by people attempting to politicize our governmental responsibilities, without question," Jeffries began before condemning Republicans for issues that Democrats are responsible for. "And I expect that we will strongly and vigorously be involved in pushing back against any effort at overreach by the extreme MAGA Republican wing of the House Republican Conference," he added.
As another way of evading the question, Jeffries offered, "We're going to continue to try to find common ground legislatively whenever possible. I think that the time for politics ends in the immediate aftermath of a campaign, and there has to be some space to govern." He went on to claim that this is what the American people want and what Democrats will provide.
"That's what the American people, Democrats, Republicans, independents, people in the North, the South, the East, the West, the Midwest, want to see happen. Democrats are willing to lean into that regard. I'm hopeful that my Republican colleagues will join us," he said, putting it on his Republican colleagues, who are the ones who will have a majority in the next Congress, albeit a narrow one.
Incoming House Democrat leader (and election denier) Hakeem Jeffries says Democrats "will absolutely defend the Biden administration and his track record of success" when asked about Republican oversight into the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, COVID origins, etc. pic.twitter.com/nPTD8nF9VT— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2022
Jeffries is extreme in his own right, besides his comments during the interview, as Julio highlighted last week when his leadership plans were made official. There had been whispers for months, as a POLITICO report revealed earlier in November. Guy similarly covered his extremism, which includes election denying, on Tuesday.
Tellingly, Jeffries tried to downplay any discussion of Democrats in disarray, which has come to the forefront thanks to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The likely future Democratic leader touted his friendship with AOC and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who is more of a moderate, and tried to portray his party as a big tent.
"The majesty of the House Democratic Caucus is that we are so incredibly diverse, in terms of race, and gender, and religion, and sexual orientation, region, life experience, and even ideology, from the left, to progressives, New Dems, Blue Dogs, moderate and centrist Democrats, all points in between," Jeffries declared.