CBS Highlights ‘Fiery McCain Campaign Moments’ Against Obama

Jeff Glor, CBS During the 7AM half hour of Monday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Jeff Glor reported on a couple moments at recent McCain campaign events as evidence of harsh Republican attacks against Barack Obama: "...a few recent fiery McCain campaign moments...Including one where McCain had to take the mic away from a woman who incorrectly called Obama an Arab." Glor went on to explain: "All of it led Democrat and civil rights leader John Lewis to issue a controversial statement, charging the Republicans with cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of the days of segregation."

While referencing Lewis’s comments, Glor did not describe what made them particularly controversial: "George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights...Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama." It would seem that a Democratic member of Congress comparing John McCain to George Wallace would be a little more serious than one random woman at a campaign rally making an incorrect statement about Obama’s ethnicity.

During the report, Glor played a clip of his recent interview with Hillary Clinton, and asked: "Congressman Lewis, as you know, said that the McCain-Palin campaign is 'sowing the seeds of hatred' on the trail. What's your reaction to that and how do you think John McCain's running his campaign?" Clinton replied: "This election should be about the big issues facing America and the economy is front and center. It is about the economy. So if you have nothing to say about the economy, don't try to divert the American people." The only sound bite of McCain given in the report was him saying "No, ma’am" to the woman who referred to Obama as an "Arab."

During another report in the 8:30AM half hour of the show, correspondent Joel Brown followed the same theme laid out by Glor: "McCain has dialed back the personal attacks on Obama after a series of ugly campaign incidents. He and running mate Sarah Palin had been hitting Obama hard on character issues for more than a week, but polls show it hadn't made much difference with undecided votes." Brown also played the clip of the woman calling Obama Arab.

However, unlike Glor, Brown did manage to show some unflattering footage of Obama at a campaign event in Ohio, talking to a voter upset with his tax plan: "The reason why I ask you about the American dream, I mean, I've worked hard. I'm a plumber...You know, I work 10, 12 hours a day...And I'm, you know, buying this company. I'm going to continue to work that way. Now, if I buy another truck and add something else to it and, you know, build the company...You know, I'm getting taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream." Obama replied: "I'm going to cut back taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and will, for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well...I just want to make sure that they're paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts."

Brown concluded: "So Obama still has some convincing to do on the economy." One wonders why this exchange could not have been included in the report at the top of the show, when most viewers were watching.

Here is the full transcript of Glor’s 7AM report:

7:00AM TEASE:

JULIE CHEN: Not over yet. With three weeks until election day, the polls narrow and the race heats up.

HILLARY CLINTON: We cannot afford four more years of the last eight years and that's all the Republicans offer.

CHEN: Our interview with Hillary Clinton.

7:08AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Election day is now just about three weeks away. A new Gallup poll shows John McCain trailing Barack Obama by seven points. The candidates campaigned over the weekend in key states and Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor sat down for a one-on-one with Senator Hillary Clinton, who campaigned for Obama along with President Clinton. Jeff is in Scranton, Pennsylvania this morning with more. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF GLOR: Hey, good morning to you, Harry. Polls show that Barack Obama has opened up a double-digit lead here in Pennsylvania but both candidates are still fighting hard for this state. Sarah Palin will be here tomorrow. Joe Biden was here yesterday. And as you mentioned, he had help. Bill and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail stumping for, but not with, Barack Obama. This one with Joe Biden.

JOE BIDEN: This is the most important election in your life. That is not hyperbole.

GLOR: The appearance comes after a few recent fiery McCain campaign moments.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's the socialists taking over our country.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He's an Arab. He is not-

JOHN MCCAIN: No, no, ma'am.

WOMAN: No?

MCCAIN: No, ma'am, no, ma'am.

GLOR: Including one where McCain had to take the mic away from a woman who incorrectly called Obama an Arab. All of it led Democrat and civil rights leader John Lewis to issue a controversial statement, charging the Republicans with cultivating an atmosphere reminiscent of the days of segregation. Congressman Lewis, as you know, said that the McCain-Palin campaign is 'sowing the seeds of hatred' on the trail. What's your reaction to that and how do you think John McCain's running his campaign?

HILLARY CLINTON: This election should be about the big issues facing America and the economy is front and center. It is about the economy. So if you have nothing to say about the economy, don't try to divert the American people. I don't know what they're doing in their campaign. I think that the Obama-Biden campaign has been focused on talking about what people are talking about, what's happening to my 401(k), am I going to be able to retire? You know? How am I going to be able to afford to send my kid to college. That's what's on people's minds.

GLOR: Clinton continued turning the attention back to the economy. The same strategy the Obama campaign has employed, effectively, according to recent polls. But Obama could still face challenges courting working class voters, in rust belt cities like Scranton. You won this area, Lackawanna County, overwhelmingly 3-1. People in this county did not vote for Barack Obama. They did vote for you. Why do you think it'll be different in the general election?

CLINTON: The Democrats have better answers for the problems that are affecting the people of northeastern Pennsylvania and the entire country.

GLOR: We did ask Clinton, now that we've seen her and her husband on the stage with Joe Biden, if we'd see both of them on the stage with Barack Obama. She said 'you'll have to ask the Obama campaign.' As for the Obama campaign, they say today, they'll unveil a major economic rescue plan this afternoon. Harry.

SMITH: Jeff Glor in Scranton this morning, thanks very much.

 

Here is the full transcript of Brown’s 8:30AM SEGMENT:

8:34AM SEGMENT:

RUSS MITCHELL: 22 days until the election and Wednesday night, John McCain and Barack Obama meet for their third and final debate. CBS News correspondent Joel Brown is in Washington this morning. Good morning, Joel.

JOEL BROWN: Russ, good morning to you. It's been said that John McCain works best as the underdog. And he will campaign from that role starting today, portraying himself as the scrappy fighter and Barack Obama as the over confident front-runner who's already measuring the drapes for the White House. John McCain vows the comeback starts now.

JOHN MCCAIN: And after I whip his you know what in this debate, we're going to be going out 24/7.

BROWN: Wednesday's final presidential debate is a major opportunity and maybe one of the last for McCain to reverse his recent slide in the polls with election day just over three weeks away, the latest Gallup tracking survey shows McCain trailing Barack Obama by 7 points. Only Ronald Reagan in 1980 has overcome a deficit that large and this late to win the White House. McCain has dialed back the personal attacks on Obama after a series of ugly campaign incidents. He and running mate Sarah Palin had been hitting Obama hard on character issues for more than a week, but polls show it hadn't made much difference with undecided votes.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I can't trust Obama. He's an Arab.

MCCAIN: No, ma'am, no, ma'am. He's a -- he's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.

BROWN: And, yesterday, at his headquarters, McCain again emphasized he wants to change the tone of the race.

MCCAIN: I respect Senator Obama. We will conduct a respectful race.

BROWN: For his part, Obama went door-to-door for votes in Ohio yesterday and ended up defending his tax plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The reason why I ask you about the American dream, I mean, I've worked hard. I'm a plumber.

OBAMA: Appreciate that.

MAN: You know, I work 10, 12 hours a day.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

MAN: And I'm, you know, buying this company. I'm going to continue to work that way. Now, if I buy another truck and add something else to it and, you know, build the company.

OBAMA: Right.

MAN: You know, I'm getting taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream.

OBAMA: I'm going to cut back taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and will, for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well, even though they've been working hard and I understand that, I appreciate that. I just want to make sure that they're paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement, but I just want you to be clear, it's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance at success, too.

BROWN: So Obama still has some convincing to do on the economy. This afternoon, he'll give what his campaign is calling a major speech outlining his economic rescue plan for the middle class. Russ.

MITCHELL: Joel Brown in Washington, thank you very much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC