On today's Morning Joe, asked by substitute host Willie Geist how much of the tough talk by Republicans and Dems over the fiscal cliff was posturing, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that 80% was posturing, then added "a lot of it is, let's see how big yours is versus mine."
Steele was careful to suggest he was simply talking about the size of the two parties' respective . . . plans. But between the smirks, raised eyebrows—and an immediate intervention from Geist—it seemed obvious that Steele was making a macho allusion to something else. View the video after the jump.
Throughout his tenure as Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has chosen to maintain a surprisingly low profile. Think quick: how much footage have you seen of him in the Hurricane Sandy aftermath compared to his cross-George Washington Bridge buddy, Chris Christie?
But has Cuomo finally decided the time has come to make himself more visible? A PSA for Hurricane Sandy relief, aired on Morning Joe today featuring a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Whoopi Goldberg, Edie Falco, Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Nathan Lane. One panel, devoid of reference to the relief organization, starkly read "Join Governor Cuomo and New York." View the video after the jump.
At the end of Joe Klein's stupefying defense of Susan Rice and the Obama admin's misinformation campaign on the Benghazi outrage on today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asked Time's Klein whether President Obama had invited him to play golf, "because you are just gobbling up the talking points like Thanksgiving turkey." H/t NB reader Carmel.
Here were some of Klein's astounding assertions: There are no unanswered questions about Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens had all the security he wanted. Rice's talking points were "absolutely accurate"--it was a spontaneous demonstration by extremists. Al qaeda was not involved in the attack. Not clear that reports from Stevens asking for more security exist. View the video after the jump.
It's enough to make an MSMer nostalgic for the good old days of the Soviet Union, when the masses didn't stampede into stores because there was little of interest to buy and little money to buy it with, and the good stuff was reserved for the ruling elites at special shops.
Here's how ABC's Dan Harris opened today's Good Morning America: "This morning, Black and Blue Friday. America's annual orgy of capitalism gets dicey." Capitalism? Really? Is that the problem? View the video after the jump.
As I wrote this morning to the NewsBusters editor who alerted me to the Washington Post's editorial, "The GOP’s bizarre attack on Susan Rice," I don't read WaPo much, but somehow assume they're not quite as extreme as the New York Times." Silly me, judging by WaPo's ugly, over-the-top opinion item.
Here's the ugly last paragraph from today's editorial: "Could it be, as members of the Congressional Black Caucus are charging, that the signatories of the letter are targeting Ms. Rice because she is an African American woman? The signatories deny that, and we can’t know their hearts. What we do know is that more than 80 of the signatories are white males, and nearly half are from states of the former Confederacy." More after the jump.
Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for Americans to come together, be grateful for their blessings—and tell people with different politics to stuff it?
That's apparently Ed Schultz's take on the holiday. On his MSNBC show this evening, gloating over his presumption that taxes will be going up on the top 2%, Schultz sent this warm 'n fuzzy message to John Boehner: "think about it over your turkey and stuffing Speaker Boehner. And by the way, you can put some gravy on that--and you know the rest of the sentence." View the video after the jump.
Hector Camacho might be in tough shape in hospital, but someone is out there bobbing and weaving like a champ. Meet Karen Mills, President Obama's head of the Small Business Administration.
When Joe Scarborough asked her straight-up to state the cost per worker of Obamacare, Mills ducked like a pro, switched the subject, and wound up describing . . . how last year, she bought blueberry jam at a Maine farmers market as gifts for her friends! Not a joke—just a world-class non sequitur from an Obama administration that would rather talk about anything other than the cost of its big-government plans. View the video after the jump.
From Joe Scarborough to John Heilemann, Katty Kay to Mark Halperin to Willie Geist, it was unanimous on today's Morning Joe. Whatever the substance, whatever the policy, Republicans would be making a massive political mistake by opposing the possible nomination of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.
Summed up Scarborough the MJ zeitgeist: "do a bunch of old white guys want to make their first big battle, post-election, a battle going up against a younger woman of color?" View the video after the jump. H/t reader cobokat.
For a second there, it sounded like David Gregory was onto something. But just as fast, he reverted to liberal form . . .
On today's Morning Joe, the Meet The Press host first argued that Republicans don't have to become more moderate—they just need to change their "tone." But within seconds, Stretch was singing Mitt Romney's praises for having favored, prior to the primaries, "massive [read: liberal] immigration reform." Gregory then bemoaned the fact that during the primaries, Romney "had to keep moving to the right." View the video after the jump.
For adman Donny Deutsch, there's really no difference between pushing a political party or a bag of potato chips: it's all about the branding. S.E. Cupp, in contrast, is a conservative with bedrock principles.
Seated next to each other on today's Morning Joe set during a discussion on GOP strategy going forward, a blow-up was clearly in the cards. And clash they did, with Cupp arguing that the GOP doesn't need to re-brand itself, but rather to "spend more time explaining why their policies work for everyone." Deutsch, repeatedly trying to cut Cupp off, exclaimed that she "couldn't be more wrong" and that her anti-re-branding argument was "absurd." View the animated video after the jump.
Note to Chris Matthews: when seeking to slam Republicans for their supposed ignorance of science, try not to expose your own. On Tuesday's Hardball, Matthews—mocking the Republican congressmen vying for the chairmanship of the House Science Committee— committed this whopper: "As we all learned in grammar school—young people watching—trees absorb carbon monoxide."
As even an MSNBC host might know, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas produced when there is insufficient oxygen to permit complete oxidation. Think running car in closed garage. The greenhouse gas to which Matthews was presumably referring—and which trees are famous for absorbing—is carbon dioxide. Perhaps it was just a slip of the overworked Matthews' tongue, but when it comes to a guy who likes to jump down any available Republican throat, turnabout is fair play. View the video after the jump.
Politico is peddling a misleading liberal-media attack on Dick Morris. Item from Politico's "Morning Score" today [emphasis added]: "DICK MORRIS, who has not been taken seriously by serious people for a very long time, confessed on Fox News yesterday that he deliberately misled viewers: 'I think that there was a period of time when the Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said.'
There's just one problem. As Professor William Jacobson has pointed out at Legal Insurrection, Politico--and Taegan Goddard at Political Wire whom Politico cites for its quote-- conveniently omitted the final part of Morris's statement, in which he said "And at the time that I said it, I believe I was right." In other words, Morris had not, contrary to Politico's claim, "deliberately misled" viewers. He believed what he was saying. More after the jump.
Should Debbie Wasserman Schultz lose her DNC job, there's always a stand-up gig waiting at the Laff Shack . . .
On Morning Joe today, DSW managed to maintain a straight face while claiming that if women ruled Washington, they'd be able to fix the fiscal cliff because they "build consensus" and "put aside petty differences." The litany of Wasserman Schultz's hyper-partisanship is long, exemplified by her allegation back in March that by adopting voter ID laws, Republicans want to "literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws." Oh, then claiming not to have said it. View the chuckle-worthy clip from today's Morning Joe after the jump.
Andrea Mitchell was willing to peddle the Obama party line regarding the Petraeus matter . . . but Joe Scarborough wasn't buying. On today's Morning Joe, Mitchell dutifully reported that "according to all the officials involved," President Obama was not informed about Petraeus until the Thursday after the election.
Scarborough dropped something of a bombshell, saying he "heard about something like this coming several weeks ago." Said Scarborough emphatically: "don't tell me the White House didn't know. That is not true." View the video after the jump.
Didn't anyone ever tell Rachel Maddow that revenge is a dish best eaten cold?
Using the thinnest of pretexts, Rachel went on a Republican-taunting rampage on her MSNBC show last night. The supposed subject was the decision of Senate Republicans to elevate John Cornyn to the #2 leadership spot, despite the disappointing results for the GOP's senatorial campaign committee that he led. That gave Maddow an excuse to variously refer no fewer than a dozen times to Republican "failure", "catastrophe" and "disaster." View the video after the jump.
David Frum blames the media for Mitt Romney's loss. Not the liberal media, of course--we are talking David Frum, after all. No, Frum blames the conservative media, or as he calls it, "the conservative entertainment complex."
Frum touted his upside-down take on the media during a Morning Joe appearance today while promoting his instant e-book, "Why Romney Lost." Joe Scarborough liked the line so much he asked Frum to repeat it. Frum refused to name names, saying he does so in his book, but do we doubt whom he was targeting? View the video after the jump.
Should Republicans unilaterally disarm in the media-bias wars? Joe Scarborough seems to think so. Arguing that it distracts Republicans from performing the political blocking-and-tackling needed to win elections, Scarborough has called on Republicans to "stop blaming the media."
Saying "let's makes this personal," Scarborough cited as an example of the supposed distractions to which he was referring the controversy over the tape Morning Joe aired in September from a Romney campaign stop. Readers will recall that the clip seemed to show Romney asking the crowd, which had been chanting "Romney!", to change to "Romney/Ryan." But Scarborough suggested just the opposite: that the crowd had been chanting "Ryan!" and that Romney asked them to change to "Romney/Ryan." View the video after the jump.
Four years ago, David Axelrod was exuberantly riding the Obama wave. Today, the poor guy sounds decidedly down in the dumps. Check out this line from an email he sent to people on the Obama campaign list: "I don't know how this is going to end. But no matter what, I know each of us will have given this campaign everything we've got."
Yikes! Take two Prozac and call me in the morning if you're still down by five in the Gallup poll! More after the jump.
Back in 2009, Brian Williams literally bowed to Barack Obama. Today, he's telling like it is from the Obama campaign trail: the size of the crowds is way down from last time around, and the candidate is not the same man he was in '08.
This is a stunning admission from a man seen as deeply in the Obama tank. Williams made his admission to Chuck Todd on today's Daily Rundown. Takeaway line: "palpably obvious to you: this is not '08. These are not the crowds, this is not the candidate." View the shocking video after the jump.
Q. When is the Obama lead in Ohio a "mountain not a molehill" for Romney to overcome, and when is the race actually much tighter? A. When you first ask Joe Scarborough and then Chuck Todd.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough, focusing on a Time poll showing Obama with a five-percentage point lead in the Buckeye State, saw an electoral Everest for Romney to climb. Appearing later, NBC political director Todd reported that the Democrats themselves have acknowledged to him that the race has gotten "a lot tighter" in the last week. View the video after the jump.
Player, please . . . Does liberal pundit Bob Beckel care about his credibility? Apparently not. Beckel has admitted that the pool of network anchors is "overwhelmingly Democrat," but somehow argues that "it doesn't make a difference at all." Riiight.
Beckel appeared on this evening's O'Reilly Factor after host Bill had documented chapter and verse that every leading network anchor with the possible exception of Scott Pelley is a confirmed liberal or Democrat. But Beckel refused to admit the undeniable--that this affects the nature of their coverage. "I don't think it matters. I don't think it sends the news one way or another." This despite also admitting that if the tables were turned and virtually all the anchors were Republican, he'd be complaining about it "all the time." View the video after the jump.
Some serious fur flew on the Morning Joe set today, as Joe Scarborough clashed with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. Setting Scarborough off was the magazine's endorsement of Barack Obama that lauded the president for relieving the "national shame inflicted by the Bush administration."
Scarborough saracastically asked Remnick "who got paid the bonus for being able to squeeze in, quote, 'the shame of the Bush years?'" Scarborough went on to scald Remnick for the left's hypocrisy in giving President Obama a pass for pursuing many of the same policies that it had accused Bush-Cheney of undermining the Constitution for establishing. Remnick feigned ignorance of what Scarborough meant by "the left," and accused Joe of having "within two seconds, leapt down my throat" about the endorsement. View the video after the jump.
Everybody knows what a humble, self-effacing guy Barack Obama is. So not that we needed any proof, but just check out what President Obama let us members of his campaign email list know in a message he just sent out:
"I don't want to lose this election. Not because of what losing would mean for me -- Michelle and I will be fine no matter what happens. But because of what it would mean for our country and middle-class families."
Talk about the law of unintended consequences . . . On today's Morning Joe, Willie Geist interviewed an audience member sporting a T-shirt reading "Mika Made Me Republican."
The good-natured fellow explained that his daughter had made the T-shirt for him, that he was an independent who had voted for Perot, and that he watches Morning Joe daily because he likes to hear what the other side has to say. Whatever it was that Mika has been saying, it has apparently driven him into the Romney camp. View the video after the jump.
Coming down the stretch of the presidential campaign, it looks like NBC political director Chuck Todd has put getting it right over any personal or network partisan leanings. On Morning Joe today, Todd declared that seven out of ten challengers in Mitt Romney's position in the polls win the election.
In an assessment sure to send shivers down Obama-camp spines, Todd added that "Romney appears to have the advantages going into the next couple of weeks." View the video after the jump.
Drifting around the dial this morning, I happened on MSNBC's Weekends With Alex Witt. Within minutes, I was stunned by two Witt whiffs, to wit:
1. Criticizing the Tea Party's lack of "diverse thinking," she asked Joe Scarborough "how much has the Tea Party damaged the Republican party?" Joe gently explained that far from damaging the GOP, the Tea Party propelled it to historic landslide victories in 2010. 2. Witt later cast the Salt Lake Tribune's recent endorsement of Barack Obama as a "surprise," ignoring the fact that in 2008, the Salt Lake Tribune endorsed . . . Barack Obama. View the video after the jump.
So THAT'S why President Obama and his spox have seemed so shifty on the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans including the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. There really is a perfectly good explanation for everything. It's just that--darn it!--state secrecy prevents the prez from telling us. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Such was the sorry excuse that Mika Brzezinski suggested on today's Morning Jones. When Josh Green of Bloomberg recommended that President Obama get his story in order before Monday's debate, Mika mysteriously said: "there may be some parts of this which they can't talk about, which makes it a very difficult situation." View the video after the jump.
Has the latest Gallup poll, showing Mitt Romney with a six-point national lead, panicked the Obama campaign and its MSM cohorts like Mika Brzezinski? Morning Joe's producer apparently wanted to lead today's show with a discussion of the latest bummer-for-Obama polls. But Brzezinski admitted to "fighting" with the Morning Joe executive producer Alex Korson, insisting instead on opening with a discussion of the "binder-gate" issue that President Obama was pushing out on the campaign trail yesterday.
Joe Scarborough laughed off Mika's binder obsession as "ridiculous," saying continued Dem focus on it would lead to a Romney landslide. Even Mark Halperin, whom no one would accuse of being in the Romney reservoir, dismissed the matter as trivial compared to the real issues in this campaign of the economy and jobs. View the video after the jump.
Something's happening here . . . Last week, Chuck Todd came in for criticism at NewsBusters for sniffing off a Rasmussen poll favorable to Mitt Romney as "slop." But has yesterday's slop become today's sirloin for the NBC political director? Sure looks like it.
In a remarkable shift, on today's Morning Joe Todd stated that in recent days he has seen a "structural shift" in the polling data in Romney's favor. With a strong performance at tomorrow's townhall-style debate in which he connects with average Americans, Todd declared that Romney could "win this election" and "close out" President Obama, putting him in a hole too deep to recover from in the final debate. View the video after the jump.
Remember Carole Simpson, the ABC "reporter" who got all verklempt when she had the chance to interview then President Bill Clinton in 1999? Simpson so embarrassed herself that she made MRC's "Worst Media Bias" list for that year.
Fast forward 13 years to this morning, when Melissa Harris-Perry had a Carole Simpson moment of her own. On her MSNBC show, revealing that she recently had the chance to interview President Obama for the current issue of Ebony magazine, Harris-Perry could not restrain her enthusiasm, actually letting go with a "woo-hoo-hoo!" among other expressions of excitement. View the video after the jump.