Norah O'Donnell Thinks Obama Left 'Greatest Hits' on 'Cutting Room Floor'

President Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" for Wednesday night's debate, claimed CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell after the debate. According to her, "contraceptive rights" and "free mammograms" in ObamaCare are some of the President's "greatest hits."

"There was no mention of Bain," she said on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose. "There was no mention of the auto industry saved. There was no mention of the wars ended, and in the discussion about ObamaCare, he didn't mention that that would turn back many provisions that protect women's health, free mammograms, contraceptive rights."

"So there are a number of things that are greatest hits that he uses on the campaign stump that he didn't mention tonight," she continued, after rattling of a list of Obama's "greatest hits" that he should have trumpeted.

On Thursday's CBS This Morning, O'Donnell continued her "greatest hits" narrative and then bewailed that "facts have been one of the casualties in this campaign, certainly both sides," before pointing the finger squarely at Mitt Romney. "Let's talk about Mitt Romney's tax plan," she offered.

Co-host Charlie Rose repeated a question he asked the previous day, about a "new Mitt Romney" showing up at the debate. "John, is this a new Mitt Romney or is this simply a Mitt Romney that we had not seen?" he wondered.

A transcript of the CBS This Morning segment, which aired on October 4 at 7:06 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

CHARLIE ROSE: Exactly how does this change the dynamics of the race?

JOHN DICKERSON, CBS News political director: Well, conservatives who were worried about Romney, not sure if he was on kind of a long-term slide are now very excited. It means Mitt Romney doesn't have to deal with those money folks who he's been having to settle down. So that takes care of – they are very excited. I think it also gives Romney a second look from those independent voters, or folks who are just still tuning in. So it corrects the kind of public narrative for him. And those are both good things. The real question, though, is can this stick to Romney, can he take advantage of this successful performance?

NORAH O'DONNELL: And John, what about President Obama's performance? You know, there was no mention of the 47 percent, no mention of Bain, no mention of women's health care and ObamaCare. Did Obama leave his greatest hits on the cutting room floor?

DICKERSON: I think he did. What Mitt Romney did successfully is he was able to press the case against the President while also remaining appealing enough that those instant polls done after the debate showed people liked Mitt Romney. The President stayed away from doing anything that was too terribly aggressive. He spoke sort of as if he were leading a seminar about this. And by not being aggressive, he as you said left some of his best material on the cutting room floor. You can be sure that in ads and in talking points in the coming days that's not going to be the case.

CHARLIE ROSE: John, is this a new Mitt Romney or is this simply a Mitt Romney that we had not seen?

DICKERSON: Well, isn't that a – that's been a long standing question about Mitt Romney. I think there were a lot of times where Mitt Romney talked about his Massachusetts record. He gave the President grief for kissing the New York banks, he said at one point. He seemed to suggest that Dodd-Frank, the regulations that he had really been very much against in the primaries he sort of suggested that parts of it were okay. It was a more moderate Mitt Romney, and so the question is will he be able to sustain that. Moderate both in the things he said but in tone and in the way he came across. Now he has to find a way to convey that in the other kinds of venues and of course in the next debate but also on the stump, in his commercials, to kind of keep this image of himself that came across well for voters last night, keep it in front of them.

ROSE: What do you think fact checkers will be looking most closely at?
 
DICKERSON: The numbers. So Mitt Romney talked about his tax plan. What the President was trying to say was that you can't have a program of tax cuts and also increase in defense spending. That adds up. Without drastic spending cuts. And that's one of the things that people will be going after with Mitt Romney. Also his claims about his health care plan and Medicare, again, how exactly his plan would work out. But I think in particular the question of the taxes and the budget and how that would affect people if it were really put into place, that will be the main fact checking question going forward.

O'DONNELL: John, I feel like facts has been one of the casualties in this campaign, certainly both sides. And there's a lot of stuff in the papers today analyzing things that both Obama said that were untrue and Romney said that were untrue. So everybody's going to take a fine-tooth comb through the paper this morning to go through that. Let's talk about Mitt Romney's tax plan. He wants to cut everyone's rates by 20 percent. Is it true that that would cost $5 trillion? Yes or no?

DICKERSON: Well the question is how do you shape it? The question for Romney is not necessarily that he's telling an untruth, it's that he's not giving us any of the details. So he's saying that he can reduce rates and it will not be a net tax decrease because he will get rid of loopholes? Well, which loopholes are you going to get rid of? What spending are you going to cut? He named cutting funding for PBS. Well, that's a teeny, tiny little part of the budget. So it's not necessarily that he's saying an untruth, it's just that he's not filling in this very big and important part of the equation.

O'DONNELL: Which is how you make up for it. It's a great point.
 

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center