Condescending Brian Williams: Paul Ryan Received 'Not So Warm Welcome to the Big Leagues'

Leading off Monday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams struck a patronizing tone as he noted "things get rough for the new guy on the trail" Paul Ryan, with "incoming fire on his own record and a not so warm welcome to the big leagues during his appearance today at the Iowa state fair."

In the report that followed, correspondent Peter Alexander seized on protestors showing up at a Ryan stump speech in the state: "Ryan campaigned on his first solo stop at the Iowa state fair, largely ignoring hecklers, several of whom rushed the stage."

Alexander went on to eagerly tout Obama campaign attacks on Ryan: "The President was also in Iowa, targeting Ryan on an issue personal to voters [passing the farm bill]. In a state hard hit by a punishing drought....In North Carolina, Vice President Joe Biden attacked Ryan's aggressive efforts as House budget chairman to slash trillions from the federal budget."

ABC and CBS also forwarded the agriculture funding attack, with only CBS making any mention of the fact that Ryan had already voted in favor of the legislation.

Alexander wrapped up his report by dismissing the Ryan pick as having no impact on the campaign: "But despite all the fanfare, the Ryan selection hasn't upset the balance of the race, with Americans almost equally divided on the pick and the race still locked in a near dead heat."

Introducing the next story, Williams again highlighted how, "Congressman Ryan's first solo day on the campaign trail was greeted by those hecklers over his plans to remake Medicare." In that report, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd touted how the issue had "become a campaign flash point. Not just with hecklers, but party leaders, too."

Todd proceeded to run defense for the Obama campaign by explaining the "nuance" of ObamaCare taking $700 million away from Medicare.


Here is a full transcript of Alexander's August 13 report:

7:00PM ET TEASE:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: On our broadcast tonight, on the attack. The new Republican ticket goes right at the President and the President hits back hard as the future of Medicare gets center stage. And things get rough for the new guy on the trail.

7:01PM ET SEGMENT:

WILLIAMS: Well, they're off. And now it's a fair fight, now that we know the GOP ticket, it's two-on-two from here on out and the campaign for president appeared to enter a new stage today, all four men in the race were out campaigning. And for the new man, Paul Ryan, incoming fire on his own record and a not so warm welcome to the big leagues during his appearance today at the Iowa state fair. We have all of it covered tonight beginning with NBC's Peter Alexander traveling with the Romney campaign in Florida. Peter, good evening.

PETER ALEXANDER: Brian, good evening to you. After what the Romney campaign says was a triumphant weekend vice presidential rollout, today the realities of this tight race have settled in with President Obama rejoining the campaign trail and both sides launching fierce new attacks.

A newly energized Mitt Romney returned to the campaign trail today in the key swing state of Florida, touting his new running mate, Paul Ryan.

MITT ROMNEY: Paul Ryan and I are going to get America to cut our spending and finally get us to a balanced budget.

ALEXANDER: Ryan campaigned on his first solo stop at the Iowa state fair, largely ignoring hecklers, several of whom rushed the stage.

PAUL RYAN: Mitt Romney and I have a plan for a stronger middle class to get this country back on track.

ALEXANDER: The President was also in Iowa, targeting Ryan on an issue personal to voters. In a state hard hit by a punishing drought.

BARACK OBAMA: So if you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities. We've got to put politics aside when it comes to doing the right thing.

ALEXANDER: In North Carolina, Vice President Joe Biden attacked Ryan's aggressive efforts as House budget chairman to slash trillions from the federal budget.

JOE BIDEN: What's gutsy about gutting Medicare, Medicaid, education?

ALEXANDER: Still, by adding Ryan to his ticket, the Romney campaign is hoping to fire up its conservative base.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN [ROMNEY SUPPORTER]: He's young. He's energetic. And he's working on the budget, and gosh knows we need that.

ALEXANDER: Romney also went on the offensive.

ROMNEY: I've got a promise for you guys. There are better days ahead when we get a better leader in Washington.

ALEXANDER: After kicking off their new partnership with a dramatic VP unveiling in Virginia, Romney and Ryan concluded a full weekend together with an emotional Wisconsin homecoming.

RYAN: Thank you, Wisconsin. It is good to be home. My veins run with cheese, bratwurst, and a little spotted Cow and some Millers.  

ALEXANDER: But despite all the fanfare, the Ryan selection hasn't upset the balance of the race, with Americans almost equally divided on the pick and the race still locked in a near dead heat. And tomorrow Mitt Romney will wrap up this four-day swing state bus tour, heading to the critical battleground, Brian, of Ohio.

WILLIAMS: Peter Alexander in Miami to start us off tonight on the trail. Peter, thanks.

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