Former Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords retired from office a year after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, and CNN is already goading her husband to replace her in Congress. Since Democrats wanted him to run for Giffords' seat, CNN was basically asking a Democrat to run for office.
On Friday's Starting Point, host Soledad O'Brien told Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, that historically "often spouses will jump in and take over their spouse's Congressional seat." She strongly insinuated that would be him, and that he should run.
When he answered in the negative, she followed up asking why wouldn't he run. "Hypothetically, it could be me, but I'm not running for her Congressional seat," Kelly told her about candidates running for their spouses' seats.
"Why not?" O'Brien replied. Apparently, Soledad had not taken into account that Kelly will be caring for his wife who is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.
[Video below. Click here  for audio.]
Kelly answered as much. "I need to focus on her and be available to her and, you know, help her, make sure she has everything she needs," he replied. "Running for Congress is really, really hard work. It takes a lot of time, and the job takes a lot of time."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on January 27 at 8:19 a.m. EST, is as follows:
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: Last question for you. You know, I don't have to tell you, that in history often spouses will jump in and take over their spouse's Congressional seat.
MARK KELLY, husband of Gabrielle Giffords: Yes.
O'BRIEN: That would be you, you know?
KELLY: That would not be me.
O'BRIEN: No? I guess hypothetically, that could be you. Yes, that's her spouse.
KELLY: Yeah. Hypothetically, it could be me, but I'm not running for her Congressional seat.
O'BRIEN: No. Why not?
KELLY: No. Why? Well, my job right now is to make sure Gabby has everything she needs so where she could get back to public service some day. So, it's not - you know, it's not my time to do that. I need to focus on her and be available to her and, you know, help her, make sure she has everything she needs.
Running for Congress is really, really hard work. It takes a lot of time, and the job takes a lot of time. And, you know, right now, that's not – you know, that's not what I should be doing. I need to focus on Gabby.
- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center