CNN Accuses Perry of Using Patriotism as 'Political Tool'

On Thursday's American Morning, CNN regarded Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's newest web-ad as using "patriotism as a political tool." Co-host Carol Costello lumped his ad in with the 2004 Swift Boat campaign, as an unfair accusation to make of his opponent's patriotism.

Perry's newest web-ad attacks Obama's jobs record and his "apology tour" for America, and trumpets Perry's own patriotism. Costello then lumped that in with the Swift Boat campaign of 2004 which questioned the war heroism of candidate John Kerry. Although it was a legitimate story, it has been regarded by the liberal media as a smear.

"It's a tactic that's been proved quite effective," Costello said of Perry's remark that "We don't need a president who apologizes for America."

"Remember the infamous swift boat ads by a pro-Bush group questioning Vietnam veteran John Kerry's heroism?" Costello asked. "President Bush eventually denounced the ads, but the damage was done. Kerry lost the election."

The Swift Boat campaign included over 250 Vietnam veterans who questioned presidential candidate John Kerry's military accomplishments and post-bellum accounts of Vietnam where he accused his fellow soldiers of ghastly atrocities. The story was ignored by the media for a time and was eventually regarded as a smear.

That CNN would sloppily link the two is quite odd, since Perry's claims are quite valid on the surface that no net jobs were added in the month of August. He emphasizes this in the ad, calling Obama "President Zero."

The media regarded the Swift Boat story as illegitimate, but Perry's ad includes no sloppy accusations or conspiracy theories against Obama, simply an argument that the President has failed to create jobs and has repeatedly apologized for America overseas.

 



A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 22 at 6:19 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

[6:19]

CAROL COSTELLO: Now is your chance to talk back on one of the big stories of the day. The question for you this morning, should patriotism be a political tool? I ask you this because of Texas Governor Rick Perry's brand-new web ad. It's compelling.

(Video Clip)

President BARACK OBAMA: No more manufactured crises. No more games. We are headed in the right direction.

I love these folks who say well this is Obama's economy. That's fine. Give it to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Zero jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not a single job has been added.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No jobs created. Zero.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are demoralized. What has happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Zero new jobs.

OBAMA: Change has come to America.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Zero.

(END VIDEO CLIP)


COSTELLO: So you get that part of it, right? President Obama's hopey-changey thing is destroying America. But at about one minute into the ad, the ad is all about patriotism right when Perry says we don't need a president who apologizes for America. The ad emphatically states Rick Perry is an American.

(Video Clip)

Gov. RICK PERRY (R-Tex.), presidential candidate: The United States of America really is the last great hope of mankind. It's time to get America working again. We don't need a president who apologizes for America.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: It's a tactic that's been proved quite effective. Remember the infamous swift boat ads by a pro-Bush group questioning Vietnam veteran John Kerry's heroism?

(Video Clip)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Crimes committed on a day-to-day basis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He betrayed us in the past. How could we be loyal to him now?

Sen. JOHN KERRY (D-Mass.), former presidential candidate: – ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He dishonored his country and more importantly the people he served with. He just sold them out.

(End Video Clip)

COSTELLO: President Bush eventually denounced the ads, but the damage was done. Kerry lost the election.

Patriotism has worked for Democrats, too, during the 2008 campaign. Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden said wealthy Americans should pay more taxes because it's time to be patriotic. Doesn't that sound familiar?

So the "Talk Back" question today - should patriotism be a political tool?

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014