ABC, NBC Ignore Obama's 'Romney Hood' Barb; Play Up 'Security Scare'

On Tuesday, ABC and NBC's morning shows omitted covering President Obama Monday night attack on Mitt Romney at a fundraiser in Connecticut, that the GOP presidential candidate is "like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood." However, Good Morning America and Today both reported on the "security scare" for the President, after two small planes flew into restricted airspace.

The same day, CBS This Morning played the clip of Obama's "Romney Hood" attack not once, but twice. Correspondent Nancy Cordes did note that the Democrat headlined a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner and how "the President headed to an even pricier fundraiser at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein."

On NBC's Today, news anchor Natalie Morales gave a brief on the "unplanned drama last night while the President flew to fundraisers in Connecticut." She also reported that "for the third straight month, Mitt Romney's campaign has raised more money than President Obama's. The Romney campaign took in $101 million in July to President Obama's $75 million." An hour later, Morales gave a second brief on how "the President rubbed elbows...with actress Anne Hathaway at a Connecticut fundraiser last night."

ABC's Good Morning America gave two news briefs on the airplane incidents during the first half hour of the program. Both times, the "security scare" term was used, first by anchor George Stephanopoulos, and later by news anchor Josh Elliott. Unlike Morales, neither on-air personality reported on the fundraising numbers from the two presidential campaigns. All three newscasts failed to mention that a state park in Connecticut had to be closed for the President's fundraising stop, a move criticized by local Republican politicians.

Nancy Cordes, CBS News Correspondent | NewsBusters.orgOn CBS This Morning, anchor Charlie Rose noted the fundraising disparity between Romney and Obama in his introduction to Cordes's report. The CBS journalist then forwarded the Democratic campaign's talking point on the issue: "The Obama campaign says it always expected to be out-raised by an energized Republican Party, eager to take back the White House. But what this means in practical terms is that the President ends up having to spend more time fundraising, like he did last night, just to try to keep pace."

While Cordes did highlight the "even pricier"  fundraiser, she didn't give Weinstein, nor his Hollywood guests any ideological labels. She only referred to the Obama supporter as a "movie mogul" and noted the attendance of "entertainment luminaries, like Anne Hathaway and Aaron Sorkin, [who] reportedly paid nearly $40,000 each." The correspondent did clearly identify the ideology of some of the President's opponents later in the segment:

CORDES: ...It's a sign of how fierce the money race is, that Mr. Obama spends about as much time on the fundraising circuit as on the campaign trail. And yet, he is still being out-raised this summer, even before you factor in deep-pocketed conservative outside groups. Today, one of those groups, Americans for Prosperity, will announce it's spending more than $25 million on ads just in the next three weeks.

Near the end of her report, Cordes included a clip from Democrat Ed Rendell, and took the time to point out that the Democrat is "the author of the new book, 'A Nation of Wusses.'" This is the second time that CBS helped Rendell promote his new book, as he appeared on the morning newscast about a month earlier on July 9.

The full transcript of Nancy Cordes's report on Tuesday's CBS This Morning:


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (from campaign event) (teaser): He'd ask the middle class to pay more in taxes. It's like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood. (audience laughs)

ROB NELSON (voice-over, from ABC's "America This Morning:): Mitt Romney had out-earned President Obama for the third straight month. Romney's campaign raised $101 million in July.


07:06 am EDT

CHARLIE ROSE: In the race for the White House, new figures show Governor Mitt Romney has raised more money than President Obama for the third month in a row. In July, the Republican candidate took in $26 million more than his rival, while the President's campaign is spending money as fast as it can raise it.

Nancy Cordes is at the White House. Nancy, good morning.

[CBS News Graphic: "Campaign Fundraising: July: Obama, $75 Million; Romney, $101.3 Million"]

NANCY CORDES: Good morning, Charlie. Well, the Obama campaign says it always expected to be out-raised by an energized Republican Party, eager to take back the White House. But what this means in practical terms is that the President ends up having to spend more time fundraising, like he did last night, just to try to keep pace.

[CBS News Graphic: "Race For The White House: Romney Fundraising Outpaces Obama"]

CORDES (voice-over): At a $500-a-plate fundraiser in Connecticut last night, President Obama rolled out his newest attack line about Governor Romney's tax plan.

OBAMA: He'd ask the middle class to pay more in taxes, so that he could give another $250,000 tax cut to people making more than $3 million a year. (audience boos) It's like Robin Hood in reverse. (audience laughs) It's Romney Hood. (audience laughs)

CORDES: From there, the President headed to an even pricier fundraiser at the Connecticut home of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, where entertainment luminaries, like Anne Hathaway and Aaron Sorkin, reportedly paid nearly $40,000 each. It's a sign of how fierce the money race is, that Mr. Obama spends about as much time on the fundraising circuit as on the campaign trail. And yet, he is still being out-raised this summer, even before you factor in deep-pocketed conservative outside groups. Today, one of those groups, Americans for Prosperity, will announce it's spending more than $25 million on ads just in the next three weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1 (from Americans for Prosperity ad): Under President Obama-

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: $5 trillion in debt that has been added under this administration.

TIM PHILLIPS, AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY: Americans for Prosperity and our sister organization, the foundation, will spend about $110 million this year.

CORDES: In a recent fundraising e-mail, the Obama campaign told supporters, 'If we don't step it up, we're in trouble.' In June, the campaign spent more than it brought in, and in the last three months, it spent $131 million total on ads in battleground states.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANNOUNCER 1 (from Obama For America ad): Romney admits that over the last two years, he's paid less than 15 percent in taxes.

CORDES: It's a pricey but effective approach, according to Democrat Ed Rendell, who is the former governor of Pennsylvania, and the author of the new book, 'A Nation of Wusses.'

ED RENDELL, (D), FORMER GOV. OF PENNSYLVANIA: They're following our strategy to really lock in Americans' minds an image of Governor Romney that's going to be very difficult for Governor Romney to get out of.

CORDES (on-camera): And the Obama campaign points out, you don't need to raise more money to win. Back in 2004, President George W. Bush was out-raised several months in a row by the Democrat, John Kerry, and still went on to win rather easily, Charlie and Gayle.

ROSE: Nancy, thank you.

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