ABC Chides Money-'Obsessed' Candidates' Fourth of July, Gushed Over Obama in 2007

Good Morning America's John Berman on Tuesday offered a condescending, dismissive take on how the money "obsessed" presidential candidates spent their Fourth of July. Yet, four years ago, the same program offered a fawning look at what Barack Obama did on Independence Day.

After mentioning Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich, Berman suggested that the Fourth of July could be "a chance to take a break from their recent big obsession, cash."

The journalist quickly followed this up by noting that the President has raised $60 million. Berman pointedly explained, "...Though he spent the day with men and women whose value is beyond priceless." (This was a reference to Obama's speech to U.S. troops at a barbeque.)

The reporter joked that Newt Gingrich was "lonely" while campaigning in Iowa and sarcastically added that the former Speaker "has lost most of his staff" and "was surrounded by his wife, a Ford and this [homemade] sign."

In contrast, on July 5, 2007, GMA's David Wright offered a sympathetic look at Independence Day and the toll the campaign had taken on then-candidate Obama: "For most of us, the Fourth of July is a family event. But if you run for president, you have to make certain sacrifices."

Wright continued, "For Barack Obama, the Fourth of July in Iowa was too important to miss. The solution? Bring the family along." He explained to viewers that "the [Obama]  girls were understandably more interested in a puppy than in their daddy's stump speech."

Also not included in the 2011 report were fawning clips from GOP voters. Yet, in 2007, Wright featured a woman named Lisa Bass who gushed, "It's obvious that, that this is a family affair for [the Obama family]. And it's great to hear his wife speak."

A transcript of the July 05, 2011 segment, which aired at 7:12am EDT, follows: 


ELIZABETH VARGAS: Republicans hoping to defeat President Obama next fall were out in full force on the Fourth of July. The presidential hopefuls marching in parades across Iowa and New Hampshire, two crucial early voting states. ABC's John Berman is here with more on the jockeying for votes and for cash.

ABC GRAPHIC: Parading Politicians Collide: Court Votes, Money

JOHN BERMAN: You know, good morning, Elizabeth. You know, it's true, the celebration of America's birthday is a key moment for those trying to be America's president. In New Hampshire, there was an unexpected campaign collision and in Iowa some unexpected loneliness. It was a fourth of July face-off.

JON HUNTSMAN: How are you all doing?

BERMAN: Parade pugilism.

MITT ROMNEY: Good morning on the hot side of the street over there.

BERMAN: Independence Day turned independence fray, sorta, as candidates raced down the parade route, the small town of Amherst, New Hampshire, population 12,000, simply not big enough to keep them apart. Republican Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman met face to face. What did they say?

HUNTSMAN: It was a nice exchange, a nice greeting. Wishing each other luck and being friends. That's the way that all the candidates on the Republican side should be.

BERMAN: Halfway across the country in Clear Lake, Iowa, two other candidates enjoyed the same parade, though hardly the same crowds.

MICHELE BACHMANN: Hi there. Happy Fourth of July.

BERMAN: The surging Michele Bachmann was surrounded by a sparkly throng of supporters and a sparkly new campaign bus. Newt Gingrich, who has lost most of his staff, was surrounded by his wife, a Ford and this sign. The fourth is a glorious day for all Americans including candidates. For them, it may be a chance to take a break from their recent big obsession, cash. Mitt Romney expects to come in somewhere south of 20 million. Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntman and Ron Paul all way south of that, around $4 million apiece. Meanwhile, President Obama could raise as much as 60 million, though he spent the day with men and women whose value is beyond priceless.

BARACK OBAMA: And I cannot think of anybody I would rather celebrate with than all of you, the men and women of our military and our extraordinary military families.

BERMAN: Now that $60 million figure, what some people think the President will raise along with the Democratic National Committee. And now that Independence Day is over Mitt Romney is taking his campaign fund-raising tour back to the seat of the monarchy. He'll head to London to raise money from Americans living abroad.

VARGAS: Wow. He's- He's working hard for it. Thanks so much, John.    

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