ABC Helps Obama Get the Word Out About 'Nefarious' Romney

In Thursday's campaign report by ABC's Jake Tapper, the Obama campaign received four soundbites as opposed to just one for Romney surrogates. The sharp imbalance was capitalized by Tapper choosing the word "nefarious" to describe the Obama campaign's caricature of Romney.

"Others in the Obama campaign discussing wealth Romney has invested overseas in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda painted an even more nefarious picture of the presumptive Republican nominee," Tapper relayed the Obama campaign's message to viewers of ABC World News.

And Tapper's slanted story made sure to put the Obama campaign's attacks in the spotlight and Romney on the defensive. Tapper quoted the Obama campaign three times hitting Romney versus just one defensive response from the Romney campaign.

"On the air waves...and throughout Democratic strongholds on his bus tour of battleground state Ohio, Maumee and Sandusky, and tonight in Parma, the President is accusing Mitt Romney of not caring about working Americans and the middle class," Tapper touted.

ABC's report was more slanted than the take by the NBC Nightly News, which included a fair number of quotes from both sides although it did color rather normal attacks by the Romney campaign as "blistering."  

And at  the end of his report Tapper threw in conservative criticisms of Romney's "clumsy" messaging, as did other networks in their campaign reports. Would the media be quoting liberal magazines hitting President Obama from the left? Not likely.

"And these new Obama attacks come at the same time that Mitt Romney is being assailed by Republicans, with many prominent conservatives saying that they're worried the Romney campaign is not aggressive or agile enough to defeat President Obama, exhibit A being Romney's clumsy response to the Supreme Court ObamaCare ruling," Tapper rounded out his story.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on July 5 on ABC World News at 6:42 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

DAVID MUIR: We're going to turn now to the race for president here in this country, it's "Your Voice Your Vote." And to new photos tonight, straight from the family scrapbook of Republican Mitt Romney. The governor spotted lugging a cooler there to the family boat. All five sons, his wife Ann and so many of the grandchildren on board for a spin around Lake Winnipesaukee. President Obama on a spin of his own tonight, cris-crossing two battleground states with a tough message of his own. Here now, ABC's Jake Tapper.

(Video Clip)

President BARACK OBAMA: Unless you have been hiding out in the woods somewhere, you are aware of the fact that it's campaign season.

JAKE TAPPER, ABC News White House correspondent: (voice-over) On the air waves –

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Outsourcing versus in-sourcing. It matters.

TAPPER: –  and throughout Democratic strongholds on his bus tour of battleground state Ohio, Maumee and Sandusky, and tonight in Parma, the President is accusing Mitt Romney of not caring about working Americans and the middle class.

OBAMA: You know, Governor Romney's experience has been in owning companies that were called pioneers of outsourcing.

TAPPER: Others in the Obama campaign discussing wealth Romney has invested overseas in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda painted an even more nefarious picture of the presumptive Republican nominee.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He somehow chose to find the tax haven Switzerland where he opened up a bank account. Doesn't it make you wonder what Mitt Romney is trying to hide from the American people?

TAPPER: Romney's campaign calls these charges false, denying that he outsourced jobs in the private sector and denying that any of his foreign investments were made to avoid taxes. And even though Romney was on vacation today, his campaign sent two vice presidential possibilities, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to shadow the President in Ohio.

Former Minnesota Governor TIM PAWLENTY (R): Barack Obama's basic slogan for this campaign is, hey it could be worse. Mitt Romney's slogan is it will be better.

(End Video Clip)

TAPPER: And these new Obama attacks come at the same time that Mitt Romney is being assailed by Republicans, with many prominent conservatives saying that they're worried the Romney campaign is not aggressive or agile enough to defeat President Obama, exhibit A being Romney's clumsy response to the Supreme Court ObamaCare ruling. David.

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