ABC's David Wright Knocks McCain's 'Angry Rant' Over Taxes

David Wright, ABC, "Nightline" reporter David Wright on Thursday negatively spun John McCain campaigning in Florida as an "admission of weakness" and knocked the Arizona senator's "angry rant" on the issue of taxes. The liberal journalist gleefully attempted to portray the state as a lost cause for the Republican. He asserted that in the ad war in Florida, "Obama's message is drowning McCain out." He editorialized, "McCain can't seem to catch a break, especially here in Florida."

Wright visited a McCain campaign headquarters and described supporters as "trying to scrounge up more volunteers." He then appeared at the Miami Obama HQ, where "there were a lot more people and they were busier." Despite Wright's scenario of doom and gloom, the Real Clear Politics average for Florida is only a 2.2 percent lead, with an October 21 NBC poll gave the Republican a one point advantage.  

Unable to refrain from editorializing on a McCain speech, Wright opined that McCain is trying to counter a Democratic edge in voter registration "with his message of economic populism, an angry rant at those tax and spend liberals, which fairly or unfairly, is provoking a response." He closed the segment by arguing, "The fact that McCain was here at all today was an admission of weakness."

In an extremely vulgar moment, Wright discussed the "Joe the Plumber" contest that the McCain campaign is running on his website. After playing a few submissions of Republican voters, Wright noted that Democrats are now posting their own YouTube videos. He then highlighted this featured this example's disgusting imagery:

UNIDENTIFIED MAN NEXT TO TOILET: So Barack, I'd like you to know that you're getting my vote. And, McCain, as for your campaign [looks into toilet], I'm looking at it right now.

Wright is the same liberal reporter who, on Wednesday's "Good Morning America," attacked Sarah Palin for living in a "glass house." He also played a clip of the Republican responding to a question about the job of the vice presidency by asserting, the candidate "didn't seem to understand the job description of the position she's running for."

A partial transcript of the October 23 segment, which aired at 11:47pm, follows:

DAVID WRIGHT: The difference in the energy level of the two campaigns was evident today at their campaign headquarters. At one of McCain's two offices in Miami, a handful of volunteers worked the phones-

MCCAIN VOLUNTEER: I'm calling from the John McCain campaign. We recently received your volunteer application.

WRIGHT: -trying to scrounge up more volunteers. At one of Obama's headquarters in Miami, there were a lot more people and they were busier.

VOLUNTEER: You can definitely go over, kind of, the same kind of territory together.

WRIGHT: Trying to get voters to the polls.

ADAM SMITH (Political editor, St. Petersburg Times): Obama has an enormous advantage on organizing. Florida's a state where the Republicans have long been far better at getting out the vote. This year, Obama's got, you know, about 60 offices in places that have never seen a campaign before. He's got about almost 500 people, paid people, on the ground, tens of thousands of volunteers. So it is really a machine for the Obama campaign.

WRIGHT: Florida is now in the midst of early voting and Democrats are outvoting Republicans here nearly two to one. Today, we stopped by at an early polling site in St. Petersburg. How many of you are all Democrats, raise your hand. [About half the people in front part of line raise their hands.] Of course there's no guarantee they're voting for Obama. It's probably a fair assumption and that's bad news for John McCain.

PAULSEN: The problem for Democrats in the past election is, is not numbers because they have always had more registered Democrats in the state than Republicans. The problem for Democrats is getting out their voters and also making sure that Democrats don't cross over and vote Republican.

WRIGHT: McCain is trying to counter that now with his message of economic populism, an angry rant at those tax and spend liberals, which fairly or unfairly, is provoking a response.

PAULSEN: In politics, perception is reality. And perception, I think right now is at least, that McCain has finally struck a responsive chord. He has been unable to do it until the last couple weeks and the Joe the plumber episode.

WRIGHT: McCain is now doubling down on the internet with a Joe the Plumber video contest on YouTube.

[Brief montage of kids saying, "I'm not Joe the plumber, but someday we might be."]

WRIGHT: Joe in 30 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We work very hard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nights. Weekends. Holidays.

WRIGHT: More than 600 submissions so far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 'Cause I want to preserver America's free market enterprise system which transforms good ideas and hard work into prosperity.

WRIGHT: But even here, Obama fans are starting to horn in.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN NEXT TO TOILET: So Barack, I'd like you to know that you're getting my vote. And, McCain, as for your campaign [looks into toilet], I'm looking at it right now.

WRIGHT: McCain can't seem to catch a break, especially here in Florida.

PAULSEN: The bad news for McCain though is that Florida's a traditional Republican state, and 11 of the last 14 elections it's voted Republican. Each day and each dollar he spends in Florida is one less day and one less dollar that he has to spend in the other states that he also desperately needs to win.

MCCAIN: Now, I'd like to give you a little straight talk, my friends, a little straight talk. Florida is a battleground state. We've got to win it. We have less than two weeks, 12 days. Who's counting?

WRIGHT: The fact that McCain was here at all today was an admission of weakness. The question is, does he have time enough to turn things around? I'm David Wright for "Nightline" in Sarasota, Florida.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org