Romney Adviser Whacks Soledad O'Brien: 'I Know You Have Your Talking Points'

A Romney campaign senior adviser blistered CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Wednesday morning, quipping that "I know you have your talking points" before citing an independent study to attack Obama's jobs record. O'Brien later retorted that "Only one person who is spinning at this moment, and that would be you."

Romney advisers and supporters could make a habit of mocking Soledad O'Brien's bias on CNN. Romney surrogate John Sununu has twice gone after O'Brien in such fashion, telling her she should be ashamed to be parroting Obama talking points and that she should put an Obama sticker on her forehead.

O'Brien went after Romney adviser Barbara Comstock early and often on Wednesday, claiming that "many people" have debunked Romney's tax plan – without actually citing specific studies.  "Well you're certainly throwing out a lot of numbers and lot of statistics that are many people who would completely disagree with you," O'Brien reacted.

"Soledad, I know you have your talking points, but the 700,000 comes from an independent study that says the President's tax increases will kill 700,000 jobs. He's already killed them," Comstock shot back.

The study was released by accounting firm Ernst and Young this past summer. It claimed that President Obama's tax proposals would cause a job loss of 700,000.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 3 on Starting Point at 8:36 p.m. EDT, is as follows:

BARBARA COMSTOCK, senior adviser, Romney campaign: He's going to be talking about how he's going to turn around the economy and that he's going to have an across the board tax cut for all Americans so he can get rid of the loopholes and a lot the special interest things so that you can have a flatter, fairer tax code for everybody and start economic growth again. This President, Barack Obama, thinks –

(Crosstalk)

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: And as you know, many people have said, who've crunched those numbers have said that the math does not work out –

COMSTOCK: No. Soledad, that's incorrect. Not many people -- one left wing group that has Obama people in it have said that. In fact, the American Enterprise Institute just released a study which shows it's Barack Obama's plan that's going to increase taxes an average of, I believe it was $4,000 a family. And we know on January 1 we're going to have the biggest tax increase in history that Barack Obama has allowed to go forward.

(Crosstalk)

O'BRIEN: There are numerous groups that have said that that tax plan is not fundable. And they're trying to figure out – in fact, when Fox News did an interview on that very subject, we know that the vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, said, I don't have the time to do the math for you. He did a very tough interview with Chris Wallace, who was trying to figure out the math behind that tax plan. So it's not just one Obama-led organization that says it doesn't work. There are a number.

COMSTOCK: No, but the group that they have been putting their ads on -- listen, we know when you cut taxes, because this is what we've done in Virginia, and we're the number one place for jobs. We know when you cut taxes and get money back into people's pockets, get it back into the small businesses, keep them in the States, keep the money in those businesses instead of sending it to Washington, then you have economic growth. This President, his stimulus failed, that trillion dollar spending got us higher unemployment, not lower. His health care bill has already increased premiums by two or three thousand dollars a family, not lowered them. And now he's going to increase taxes on us. His tax increases are going to kill 700,000 more jobs.

O'BRIEN: Well you're certainly throwing out a lot of numbers and lot of statistics that are many people who would completely disagree with you. Unfortunately, we're out of time.

COMSTOCK: Soledad, I know you have your talking points, but the 700,000 comes from an independent study that says the President's tax increases will kill 700,000 jobs. He's already killed them.

(Crosstalk)

O'BRIEN: I don't have talking points; I have questions. And I believe you have talking points and I would actually say people on both sides of the aisle have talking points, and my job is to try to navigate my way through those.

COMSTOCK: We have four years of – you know, we have four years of experience of Barack Obama with doubling gas prices and unemployment at sustained highs. You have the experience of that, and that's what the American people see. And now they're going to get to hear from Mitt Romney talk about his vision for the next four years to get the economy growing. They know that they've been buried. The middle class has been buried for the past four years. So they know that experience. So it doesn't matter how you want to spin it. The past four years we're not better off.

O'BRIEN: Only one person who is spinning at this moment, and that would be you. But I appreciate you joining us. Barbara Comstock, always nice to talk with you.

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