Williams Touts Powell Endorsement to Obama, Pushes Him to Further Denounce Republicans on Abortion

A night after NBC’s Brian Williams used a series of interview sessions with President Barack Obama to express bewilderment Obama is not running away with the presidential race, the anchor touted Colin Powell’s endorsement, pressed Obama from the left to go further in denouncing Republicans on abortion and cued up the President to decry the high level of campaign spending.

It was Williams’ “third interview with him in the past 24 hours” leading up to multiple segment on tonight’s (Thursday) Rock Center at 10 PM EDT/PDT, 9 PM CDT.

Two nights and a morning of excerpts and nothing yet about Benghazi – nor anything tough for Obama.

Williams began with a clip of Powell from CBS This Morning before he noted “Powell started off his endorsement, you saw there, with praise on the economy and health care.”

Following a response from Obama, Williams delivered a Democratic talking point about how “the subject of rape has been in the public discourse this campaign year unlike any time I can remember,” and “you’ve inserted a line in your speech...about women’s health.” But, he wanted to know in pushing for more: “Is that as far as you’re comfortable going for now?”

Then, without any recognition that it was Obama in 2008, before the Citizens United decision, who blew out the campaign spending limits adhered to by candidate from both parties since the 1970s, Williams presumed the electoral college and campaign spending need a “fix,” as he asked: “Which would you do most urgently if you had unlimited powers?”

In an excerpt run on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News, as blogged (with video) by the MRC’s Kyle Drennen (NBC's Williams Can’t Understand Why Obama Isn't Winning by a Landslide),a baffled Williams wondered: “How is it that with – what, 13 days to go, you're fighting for your life in a 47/47 race?... So after the excitement of ‘08, given the power of incumbency, you got Bin Laden, you did not expect to be sitting on a more substantial race than we are as we sit here today?”

From the Thursday, October 25 NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Earlier this morning we were in Tampa, Florida we were with President Obama in the middle of 24 hours worth of non-stop travel from one end of this country to the other. When the news arrived the President had received a sudden endorsement from a big name in public life who had endorsed him last time around, retired General, former Secretary of State, Colin Powell. And he did it on live morning television.

COLIN POWELL, ON CBS THIS MORNING: I also saw the President get us out of one war, start to get us out of the second war and did not get us into any new wars. And finally, I think that the actions he has taken with respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid, and so I think we ought to keep on the track we are on.

WILLIAMS: General Powell started off his endorsement, you saw there, with praise on the economy and health care. The President’s day was a fog of flights, motorcades, rallies and appearances. It goes on, in fact, until 11:00 eastern time tonight when he returns home.

In the middle of his first and second of four landings today on Air Force One, as we approached Richmond, Virginia where he was met by big and enthusiastic crowds, we sat down in his in-flight office for our third interview with him in the past 24 hours, beginning with the topic of this morning’s endorsement.

....

WILLIAMS: Mr. President, the subject of rape has been in the public discourse this campaign year unlike any time I can remember it in American public life. You were asked about it last night, you’ve inserted a line in your speech, I noted, about women’s health. Is that as far as you’re comfortable going for now?

....

WILLIAMS: If you could fix either the electoral college or the fact that we’re going to spend a billion dollars electing a President, and lord knows what cancer cure that might have started us down the road on, which would you do most urgently if you had unlimited powers?

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center