Stick a fork in Romney, he's done! The election's over! According to hard-left MSNBC contributors anyway. It's just a matter of time before Chris Matthews demands a prime slot on the president's inaugural ball dance card.
Speaking on Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch ridiculously proclaimed the race over and asked regarding the first presidential debate, “What do you think's going to happen October 3rd that we haven't seen already?” The segment focused on a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which found President Obama with a 5-point lead in their poll. Of course, the most recent AP/Gallup poll has the race within 1 point, but that doesn't seem to faze Deutsch. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
To their credit, the rest of the panel, which included Howard Fineman of the liberal Huffington Post, and NBC’s Chuck Todd both disagreed that the election was in the bag for the president.
This isn't the first time that an MSNBC has declared the Romney campaign destined to fail. Last week Martin Bashir began to push the ridiculous notion that the election is over. Speaking to Ken Vogel of Politico, Bashir asked on his eponymous September 13 program:
Ken does that explain why Ryan is now running two campaigns, one for Vice President and the other to hold on to his seat in Congress? I mean do you think he's hedging his bets and seriously considering the idea that most likely he and Mitt Romney will lose in November?
Perhaps Bashir doesn’t realize that Congressman Ryan was required to file for his reelection in Congress far in advance of his selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate. And of course then-Sen. Joe Biden also ran for reelection to the U.S. Senate even as he ran on the Obama ticket in 2008, meaning that if Ryan is "hedging his bets" that the vice president did the exact same thing. And of course, Bashir offered no real evidence to his statement, as most indicators show the race a dead heat.
Bashir and Deutsch have been in the tank for Obama for months so their statements should come as no surprise, but we can only sit back and watch as the likely list of MSNBC contributors declaring this race over continues to grow.
See relevant transcripts below:
SEPTEMBER 19, 2012
7:32 a.m. EDT
CHUCK TODD: No, what other way to sort of looked to me but where you think the race would be, look at the president's approval rating, and look at this split between approve/disapprove. You know, a president running for re-election and his actual ballot position, they converge. And notice he's at 50 in the matchup with Romney, 50 on approval. Look at the missing here three points. If you will for mitt Romney, the 45 to the 48% disapprove, you sit there, and Romney's sitting at 45%. I think that missing ingredient there is sort of that he's not closed the sale. Those are those last -- you know, that's just to catch up to where it should be on election day, right? That's where it would be if the election were held today, the election would be 50-48%, Obama would win by a narrow two points. We'd say it was a very close election, but what's missing? He's got to shave off a point or two from the president to win this thing, and it's these wayward independents. And at this point when does Romney do it? You know, I think, is he really going to put it all in the first debate? At this point that's what they think. That's the theory of the Romney case.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: This is the first time -- and chuck knows this very well, we all do -- this is the first time in a long time Barack Obama's been at 50%. Timing's everything. We kept saying how this is a president who's been there for 3 1/2 years, not reached 50%. He did.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So, then, back to the question of how to turn this around, is there any example, any precedent of barring outside circumstances that could dramatically change things against Obama? I guess, in some way. Where have we seen a candidate have to undergo a complete personality overhaul? Which is what he needs.
HOWARD FINEMAN: I can't remember any time in recent memory when that's happened.
BRZEZINSKI: Isn't that the kind of take?
FINEMAN: The problem with waiting for –
SCARBOROUGH: Why is '88 an exact analogy? Because a lot of people like to talk about '88.
FINEMAN: Well because in '88, you had George H.W. Bush essentially and eventually reconnecting with the power of Ronald Reagan. He turned it into the third term of the Reagan presidency. And because Ronald Reagan was popular, that ended up carrying him. And also Mike Dukakis ended up –
DONNY DEUTCHE: No Barack Obama.
FINEMAN: No Barack Obama on the likability front. A couple things have happened here. One is that in some places and in some ways the economy has improved. If you look carefully at the numbers from the second and third quarter in terms of real household personal income growth, which sounds like a dry number, but it's very important, it was like 3%, 3.5% growth over the second and third quarter. And the people who study that kind of thing say that was very important in terms of determining the outcome of the election. So with some people, the economy is better. The other thing is, it's a choice. An election is a choice. And right now Mitt Romney is just not a viable alternative for enough people. It's not over, but you can hear the door –
DEUTCHE: It is over. What do you think's going to happen October 3rd that we haven't seen already?
SCARBOROUGH: Chuck, it's not over. It's far from over.
TODD: Not only that, but I have two more recent examples. Number one is, with this point in time, John Kerry looked like George Bush was solidifying his lead. He hit 50. I'm not kidding. You look at the '04, September 2004 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll and the one we just released last night, it is almost identical, Bush and Obama's number is identical, the direction of the country, job approval rating, Kerry's unfavorable rating, Romney's unfavorable rating, and guess what? Kerry came within one one football stadium's worth of voters from becoming President of the United States.
FINEMAN: It's hard to reverse –
TODD: And Al Gore did go through a personality change in the last 90 days of that campaign. No, he did, he connected for the first time in his political life.
FINEMAN: It's just really hard to reverse the whole narrative in a debate. Narrative -- debates generally reinforce the narrative, not turn them around.
September 13, 2012
4:46 pm. EDT
MARTIN BASHIR: Ken Vogel, is chief investigative reporter for Politico and Perry Bacon is an MSNBC contributor and the political editor for TheGrio.com. Welcome gentleman. Ken, after Mr. Ryan failed to explain his hypocrisy on the sequester, or how he can balance the budget but vastly increase military spending, will anyone other than say Speaker John Boehner be able to look at him with a straight face on Capitol Hill today?
KEN VOGEL: Well, the interesting thing Martin is that Paul Ryan for so many years was a real Capitol Hill, sort of a Congressman’s Congressman. He’s really well liked there. But you see from the personal tone, and some of this criticism, it's not just about the Ryan plan, or the sequester, or his requesting stimulus funds while criticizing it on the campaign trail, they're really going after him personally. They’re comparing some of what they call the Ryan math.
BASHIR: Well Ken, I think to be fair to Chuck Schumer, Senator Chuck Schumer, I think they’re all bored with the hypocrisy now aren’t they? I mean it’s pointless being polite about this, its just rank hypocrisy.
VOGEL: He definitely gives them a lot of targets because you often have where a member of Congress is running for president or vice president and they present this long track record of votes that you can ding them on. You know, saying one thing on the campaign trail, but voting a different way during their long congressional careers in some cases. But with Paul Ryan, it's different, because it's not just that he's cast these votes, it’s that he is a primary author of this plan, the Ryan plan. He was involved in the negotiations over the sequester. And so now for him to be taking a position that is in someways inconsistent with that which he took in Congress really presents the Democrats (sic). But what I was trying to say was the personal tone of it to hear them criticize his math on the Ryan plan and his math on how fast he ran a marathon and he misstated his marathon by about an hour to say this is all part of a greater problem here it’s a real personal level and personal tone that I’m a little bit surprised to hear from some of these members who for so long were his colleagues.
BASHIR: Well you say that Ken, I think it’s perfectly fair. Perry [Bacon], even Paul Ryan’s favorite television network, Fox News, drew attention to his budget hypocrisy last night. Watch this Perry.
PAUL RYAN: Get rid of tax shelters and special interest loopholes and lower tax rates for everybody. There are a lot of democrats who agree with this. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill last did this.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: But you voted against the Simpson-Bowles when they were trying to get rid of all that.
RYAN: You know what I did because I didn’t like the total Simpson-Bowles package, I put my own package out there, that's what leaders do.
BASHIR: So just so I understand it Perry, how exactly is Paul Ryan helping the Republican ticket?
PERRY BACON: At this point, I'm not sure he's helping the ticket, I'm also not sure he's helping himself. I think if you’d asked Republicans a few months ago before he was picked as V.P. who do they want to run in 2016, a lot of people would have said Paul Ryan, Republicans really liked him and saw him as someone who kind of stood for things and really believed in the agenda. And now he’s gotten on the Romney ticket he pretty much sounds like Mitt Romney. He's now against things he was for previously. I don’t know that this campaign is serving Paul Ryan’s ambitions well either. And it's definitely not at this point, no poll has shown Paul Ryan is really helping the ticket, except for in Wisconsin where they have moved up a little bit. But otherwise, Paul Ryan not really adding to the ticket, and the marathon thing was just plainly embarrassing to both of the ticket entirely.
BASHIR: Indeed. Ken does that explain why Ryan is now running two campaigns, one for Vice President and the other to hold on to his seat in Congress? I mean do you think he's hedging his bets and seriously considering the idea that most likely he and Mitt Romney will lose in November?
VOGEL: Well, I mean hedging his bets for sure, there’s no other way to read it. But I don't think it's necessarily an acknowledgement, tacit or otherwise, that he has no confidence in the ticket. I don't think he would have joined it were that to be the case. I do agree with Perry though, that if he were, if he harbored some hopes that regardless of the result here, that he would go back to Congress, with increased stature, I think that calculation might have to be reassessed. And maybe this is not going to help him necessarily, and that some of the primary things that made him so appealing as a vice presidential nominee, as a running mate for Mitt Romney. These bold ideas that he had. That he’s no being forced to kind of temper a little a little bit, dial back to sort of comport his ideas better with Romney’s. That really takes away what was seen as his strength.
BASHIR: Indeed. Be careful what you wish for. Ken Vogel and Perry Bacon, thank you gentleman.