The discovery that an antagonistic female questioner, Ms. Lauren Batchelder, (during a “No Labels” event yesterday) is actually a campaign worker for Jeb Bush, has created a rather embarrassing political situation for candidate Bush.
The Washington Post reports another Bush campaign spokesperson is also seeking to distance the campaign from the profoundly odd, seemingly planted, remarks made during the event:
(WaPo) […] Allie Brandenburger, a spokeswoman for Bush’s campaign, said Batchelder is not a paid staff member and attended the convention on her own.
“While this question was not sanctioned by the campaign,” Brandenburger said in an e-mail Tuesday morning, “we can’t help but notice Mr. Trump does seem to be very sensitive about being challenged by women.” (link)
WAS SHE A PLANT ? – Many people are specifically questioning why she would frame questions about abortion rights and women’s health issues while working for two republican candidates, Senator Kelly Ayotte and Governor Jeb Bush, who hold identical pro-life positions as candidate Trump.
It would appear the line of questioning chosen by Batchelder required her to act “as if” she was presenting herself on the opposite side of her own beliefs, taunting and challenging candidate Donald Trump. Indeed, from that perspective and accepting the goal was of taunting Trump, it would appear Batchelder held an ulterior motive beyond asking an honest question as an audience participant.
While it may well be that Bush campaign worker Lauren Batchelder took it upon herself to try and elevate her boss, Jeb Bush, by taunting candidate Trump, it looks entirely pathetic for the Bush team to now attempt to distance themselves from their own campaign intern.
Talk-show-host Rush Limbaugh discussed the issue on his radio broadcast today, and the story has also been noted in international publications such as the Daily Mail and dozens of other U.S. media entities.
In addition to the photographs of Ms. Lauren Batchelder with candidate Jeb Bush, both are also pictured together at rallies and marches as she worked earnestly on behalf of the Jeb Bush 2016 campaign:
It seems more than a little disingenuous for the Jeb campaign -and various spokespeople- to be attempting distance between themselves and one of their own campaign staff, workers, interns or whatever title would customarily assigned to a political operative working on the candidate’s behalf.
The issue was also discussed today during a Fox News Broadcast (@3:34 video):
Beyond the controversy, whether or not Batchelder was planted by the Bush campaign, or whether on her own she just thought it would be cute to try and create an antagonistic moment for Trump (to the benefit the Bush campaign), is a larger part of the storyline.
The bigger, perhaps more concerning, aspect to the entire matter is how quickly CNN was willing to produce a narrative using the Batchelder controversy.
Did CNN even make any inquiry into who the lady within their story was? Or did CNN producers just inherently jump at the opportunity to create a narrative that fits their own desires and yet needs a particular willful blindness in production?
It took CNN less than two hours (from the time of the questioning) for CNN to broadcast a Jeanne Moos segment amid all of their network media. It can only be reasonably assumed that the majority of the following production was canned, cued and ready for an opportunity to use it.
Here’s what CNN did with the assembled product: