Hillary Clinton's seemingly abusive relationship with the press has left reporters and commentators alike deeply irked, including Democratic strategist Paul Begala.
It was particularly "horrible" how the former secretary of state's campaign team literally roped in a group of reporters over the July Fourth weekend, the longtime Clinton surrogate said Tuesday on CNN.
Clinton advance aides create a rope line for the press, moving with the candidate pic.twitter.com/9S7CpVt7x4— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) July 4, 2015
Clinton's team claimed after photos of the lassoed photographers and journalists had gone viral that they were merely trying to avoid a "chaotic" scene at a Fourth of July parade. But the press has been mostly unimpressed with this explanation.
"Paul, help me understand something," CNN's Chris Cuomo said Tuesday. "You keep saying she wants to take it to grassroots, person by person. How do you square that with shutting out the media? I don't get how the two go together."
"Because you're not a person, Cuomo. You're the media," Begala jokingly said.
He added more seriously, "She is the most famous woman in America perhaps, one of the most famous women in the world. And yet what she wants to do is go person to person."
"That's why it was a terrible optic, and I'm glad they're correcting it — I hope they are — of roping off the press. That's horrible. That's horrible," he said.
On Sunday, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp said that the entire rope affair was "humiliating."
"This is humiliating. This is humiliating for reporters who have to abide by Hillary Clinton's rules of journalism," she said in a CNN panel discussion. "And it's not just this. I mean, the entire campaign, she has, you know, kept them at a distance. She barely answers questions. There's all these rules. And actually I don't blame her. I blame reporters who put up with this."
"And I predict that like the Michael Dukakis tank moment which was so sort of visually emblematic of his failing campaign, this will actually be a lasting image that she will have to combat going forward," Cupp added.
Clinton will sit down Tuesday evening for an exclusive interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar. This will be the first serious media interview that Clinton has given since she launched her White House bid earlier this year.