An “Andrea Mitchell Reports” panel consisting of the host Mitchell, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes and Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza characterized Republican and Democrat criticisms of President Barack Obama’s Ebola policies as “fearmongering,” “alarmism” and driven entirely by politics.
MITCHELL: A little bit of alarmism out there, Chris Cillizza… “It liquefies your organs,” “let’s get scared of Ebola”?
CILLIZZA: Andrea, look. This is a midterm election, so getting people out to vote is the key, typically motivating party partisans is the key to voting. What motivates people? We like to think its policies they support and that sort of thing, but fear and anxiety are very powerful emotions and things that do tend to get people to act in one way, shape or form.
That’s why I think you see in North Carolina Tom Tillis, the Republican, talking a lot about [how] we need a travel ban. Kay Hagan, the incumbent Democrat is not in favor of such a thing. She is now, she wasn’t. Fear, tying it to President Obama, the idea this that this administration may not be competent; that’s the long narrative arc Republicans are trying to draw. Ebola, and to a lesser extent ISIS as well, plays into that narrative.
CALMES: You have Kay Hagan in North Carolina, as well as Senator Pryor in Arkansas and Michelle Nunn in Georgia. Three Senate candidates in the South who have tried to distance themselves from the Obama administration, and they have all come out for the travel ban, a couple of them after staying away from it. It is election season politics…
I think it’s an unanimous opinion, and I haven’t found anyone in the heath field who thinks a travel ban is a good idea or anything but a counterproductive idea… It could make things worse. It’s election season and like Chris said, people told me that fear is the number one motivator when it comes to getting people out in the elections and we are certainly seeing fearmongering now.