CNN Insists Evan Bayh is 'No Liberal;' GOP 'Should Be Sad to See Him Go'

On Monday's Rick's List, CNN's Rick Sanchez and Jessica Yellin both tried to portray liberal Indiana Democrat Evan Bayh as a centrist. Yellin insisted, "Republicans should be sad to see Evan Bayh go because he is one of the centrists who worked very hard to work with Republicans." Sanchez replied, "Evan Bayh is no liberal!"

Before the CNN anchor raised Bayh's retirement with his colleague 18 minutes into the 3 pm Eastern hour, he brought up Congressman Joe Wilson's response on Twitter to his Democratic colleague's decision. Wilson wrote, "Great news of Senator Bayh's retirement, good prospects of change in Indiana has now become much brighter! I am happy for Hoosiers." Sanchez all but condemned the Republican's Tweet: "It's not like he's dancing on his grave because the guy's not dead. He's...just retiring. But wouldn't you think, just from the standpoint of being collegial, that, most of the time, somebody would say something like- 'boy, I hate to see Jessica Yellin leaving CNN. She really was good'- as opposed to- 'boy, am I glad Jessica Yellin's leaving. Now, we can get a competent reporter in there.'"

Yellin responded by repeating the Indiana Democrat's talking points on his retirement and labeling him a centrist:

YELLIN: Rick, this is exactly why Evan Bayh says he is going. So the basics here are that Evan Bayh was poised to win re-election. This is not a case of a guy dropping out because he thought he was going to lose anyway. And he says he is bowing out after a long career because he's just basically fed up with the gridlock in Congress. And in some ways, Republicans should be sad to see Evan Bayh go because he is one of the centrists who worked very hard to work with Republicans.

Sanchez agreed wholeheartedly with his colleague's label and went further by bringing up how Bayh has received criticism from the left on health care "reform:"

SANCHEZ: Evan Bayh is no liberal! I mean, he's- as a matter of fact, Evan Bayh has had some questionable issues when it comes to both his wife- the boards that she's been appointed to, like United and other health care companies- and his voting record on the health care issue. So that's may be why I'm taken aback. If we had been talking about somebody who was a- I mean, a left- a super-lefty, I'd say, well, okay- those guys on the far right and far left really hate each other. But man, if this guy is going after Evan Bayh-

Actually, Bayh has a liberal voting record during his time in Senate. His lifetime ACU rating is 20.70, and his 2009 ADA score is 70%. That must be what CNN considers to be "centrist."

-Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.