Does CNN favor class warfare? They played the part on Tuesday, hyping the negative image Mitt Romney's overseas wealth and low tax rate would present to the average American voter while ignoring his charitable (and tax-deductible) contributions.
Host Kyra Phillips warned that Romney's just-released tax records would not sit well with voters earning less income but paying a higher tax rate. "It's a bad economy, people are out of work. This doesn't look so good from the average American's standpoint," she argued.
CNN contributor Clyde Anderson added that the "general voting public" would be at odds with Romney's offshore wealth. "People are hurting," he insisted. "And so when you see things like this, and people maneuvering with savvy investments, is this the guy that we want running the country?" he asked.
What CNN failed to discuss were the tax-deductible charitable donations Romney made in 2010 and 2011 – $3 million in 2010, according to his returns, and $4 million in 2011, according to his campaign estimate.
Later, when Anderson was dissecting Romney's "savvy" accounting method of carrying interest, he posed "it's not illegal, but is it fair?"
A brief transcript of the segment, which aired on January 24 at 9:32 a.m. EST, is as follows:
KYRA PHILLIPS: Now as Shannon mentioned, after so much pressure from his competition, Mitt Romney releases his tax forms. And it's no surprise – Mitt's a rich guy. Here's just how rich. He made over $21 million a year, or actually made $21 million in 2010. And almost all of that came from investments, not wages. He paid $3 million in taxes that year, or 13.9 percent. He also has – or had – offshore funds in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, and Bermuda.
Let's talk more about this with Clyde Anderson, he's a finance expert and author. And let's just start with the simple optics of this, okay? It's a bad economy, people are out of work. This doesn't look so good from the average American's standpoint.
CLYDE ANDERSON, finance expert, author: It doesn't look good at all, and you think about the average American, it's who's voting, you know? With things like the Occupy movement going on, this is the percentage of people that are worried about this type of thing, and then you see something like this where a man's paying less taxes than my elderly aunt, it's rough.