Bob Schieffer Scorns 'Race-Baiting' Rev. Wright Attack; Obama Not a 'European Socialist'

"Face The Nation" host Bob Schieffer spotlighted the left's talking points on two issues in the presidential race on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Schieffer tried to play it down the middle when he stated, "I think most people understand that Mitt Romney is not the robber baron that the Democrats would have you believe." But he immediately added, "Nor is Barack Obama the European socialist that the Republicans would have you believe."

The CBS journalist also contrasted the Obama campaign's line of attack on Romney regarding his leadership with Bain Capital, which was ripped by Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker; with how many Republicans condemned "a plan that some Republicans had to launch this race-baiting campaign, trying to tie the President, once again, to Jeremiah Wright."

Anchor Charlie Rose brought on Schieffer to comment on the latest in presidential politics. Rose led with the Bain Capital controversy. The veteran CBS journalist answered by pointing to "the era of negative politics," and listed the Obama as "European socialist" the Rev. Wright "race baiting," along with Romney as "robber baron" as examples:


ROSE: So tell me what you think of this battle between the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign on the issue of private equity.

SCHIEFFER: Well, we are where we are in the era of negative politics, Charlie...I think most people understand that Mitt Romney is not the robber baron that the Democrats would have you believe; nor is Barack Obama the European socialist that the Republicans would have you believe. But, you know, the Obama campaign has done just what campaigns do. They've polled on this; they think that Romney is vulnerable here. Will they continue? I think that depends on what they find out from the polls this week....That's just how it is in American politics today, but, I mean, excuse me for trying to see the bright side here. You know, we saw this week, Charlie; we saw Republicans roundly denounce a plan that some Republicans had to launch this race-baiting campaign, trying to tie the President, once again, to Jeremiah Wright. Now, we're seeing people on the Democratic side denouncing this. They're saying, wait a minute. This has gone too far. But this is the era of negative politics and it's where we are.

Co-anchor Erica Hill followed up by actually asking a question from right of center: "What about the concern over whether or not this is a fine line for the Obama campaign because, in some ways- and the Republicans will take this line- that it could be attacking capitalism?" Schieffer gave the predictable reply: "Well, again, this is about where they think they can hurt the other side. They're going to continue to do this. Have they gone across the line? They'll find out and make their own conclusions later in the week after they've polled."

By contrast, the "Face The Nation" anchor wondered earlier in May whether "the Republican Party has moved too far right for its own good" during a segment with former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center