After watching the third presidential debate, are you clear on America's foreign policy? I thought not. That's because there appears to be no singular foreign policy, rather a series of foreign policies, which must be tailored to fit each nation.
I expected Mitt Romney to go after President Obama on his most recent foreign policy failure, the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the U.S. ambassador. The president had no explanation as to why there was inadequate security in Benghazi, preferring instead to say only that we are "going after the killers." Romney refused to press him on it. Some may have viewed this as a missed opportunity, but I think it was designed to show Romney's restraint and to counter the "do you want to get us into another Middle East war?" charge.
On Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd described how "both sides are dealing with some unexpected political speed bumps on the trail" and began by detailing the supposed obstacles for the Romney campaign:
...it's Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about abortion and rape on Tuesday...another unforced error for Team Romney and Republicans, national campaign co-chair John Sununu made these eyebrow-raising commentsin response to Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.
CBS This Morning brought on liberal Colin Powell on Thursday so he could break his endorsement of President Obama and boost the Democratic candidate that he supported in 2008. Norah O'Donnell spotlighted Powell's service with "several Republican presidents" and wondered if he was "still Republican." When the former secretary of state claimed that he's a "Republican of a more moderate mold," Rose pressed him if he "may have to leave the Republican Party, if it continues in the direction that it's going."
Despite noting Powell's past service as secretary of state and national security advisor, and asking for his "concerns...about Governor [Mitt] Romney's foreign policy," neither Rose nor O'Donnell once mentioned the ongoing issue of the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. They decided instead to joke with their guest about his love of the viral musical track, "Call Me Maybe."
World News on Wednesday night continued to try and link Mitt Romney to the comments of a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana. Anchor Diane Sawyer began the program by hyping, "The Romney campaign wrestles today with a landmine on a big issue for women."
On Tuesday, Richard Mourdock said that life is a "gift from God" and that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen." Reporter David Muir insisted the words "have caused a firestorm." On Wednesday's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos warned that "Romney [is] catching some flak for his ties" to Mourdock.
It's becoming very clear that Obama's media are starting to realize the candidate they helped get elected four years ago is in serious trouble.
Count New York Times Washington Bureau correspondent Jeff Zeleny who tweeted moments ago, "In closing days of the race, Romney frames his candidacy as 'big-choice' vs. status quo of Obama. It's like watching '08 in reverse":
Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell badgered former RNC head Haley Barbour on Thursday's CBS This Morning on Indiana Republican Richard Mourdock's strongly pro-life stance, that even children conceived in rape are "God intended." Rose strongly hinted that the media firestorm surrounding Mourdock could affect the presidential race: "Romney may be gaining support among women. And the question arises, could this Mourdock controversy impact that?" [audio available here; video below the jump]
The CBS morning newscast stood out among its Big Three peers in significantly adding to the more than seven and half minutes of coverage from the previous day. The network devoted three minutes, 6 seconds to Mourdock, which is nearly three times the one minutes and 7 seconds that ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today set aside to the story combined.
Continuing to hype Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's opposition to abortion as some kind of scandal for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "...the Romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment..."
After playing a sound bite of Mourdock explaining in a Tuesday senatorial debate that he believed an unborn child conceived by rape was still a life "intended by God," Alexander touted an ad of Romney endorsing the Indiana Republican. He then observed how, "Mr. Romney, who's been carefully courting women voters, ignored the controversy" and declared that the Governor's campaign has "been trying to steer away from it's party's right-wing since the contentious primaries..."
Bill Clinton the centrist, Rush Limbaugh among the "far right"? That's the gist of New York Times magazine political writer Matt Bai's thesis Wednesday on how the former president may actually have hurt President Obama's chances for reelection. Bai also made his usual case about "extreme forces" in the Republican Party.
Bai argued that Clinton made a strategic misstep when he advised Obama to hammer Romney as a "severe conservative."
As NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Wednesday said Sarah Palin's recent "shuck and jive" comments about Barack Obama's ever-changing story on the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were a racist "dog whistle."
Now that all three presidential debates are history, did using only liberal moderators have any impact on the amount of time Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Milt Romney had to make their case for occupying the White House next January?
The answer to that question is a definite "Yes," since President Obama got a total of 8 minutes and 8 seconds more time than his Republican opponent during the debates.
In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."
In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."
All three morning shows on Wednesday touted White House talking points linking Mitt Romney to a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana who, while speaking about "the horrible situation of rape," called life a "gift from God." Only one program, CBS This Morning, seemed to notice how closely this story mirrored Democratic spin.
As though he was referencing a connection to a criminal, former Democratic operative George Stephanopoulos intoned, "Mitt Romney catching some flak for his ties to a GOP Senate candidate making controversial comments about abortion and rape in a Tuesday debate." Trying to make trouble, reporter David Muir asserted that the GOP campaign is "trying to distance itself from a Senate candidate that Romney endorsed, did a TV ad for." Muir needled, "The [Romney] campaign did not say whether it would ask [Richard] Mourdock to take down this ad." CBS's Norah O'Donnell speculated that the remark could cost Republicans a shot at "control of the Senate." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
You know Obama supporters are getting desperate about their candidate’s electoral prospects when they start to play the anti-Mormon card.
In an October 23 opinion piece in the Washington Post, Barbara Reynolds launched a broadside against Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, arguing that he has become the “face of Mormonism” in America and complaining “I find it strange that the media are not opening up a dialogue concerning Romney and his faith.”
One of Barack Obama's biggest fans in the media, David Letterman, said on Tuesday's Late Show that he was "upset" and "discouraged" the president during Monday's debate lied about Mitt Romney wanting to let Detroit go bankrupt (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight, host Morgan proclaimed that President Barack Obama was wrong during Monday's debate when he claimed that the U.S. military has fewer bayonets than in the past as the CNN host recounted that hand-to-hand combat still occurs in places like Afghanistan.
As he brought aboard Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times as a guest, Morgan played a clip of Obama from the debate and then corrected him:
Tuesday’s Washington Post honored lesbian comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres for“A comic’s courage” to come out of the closet. So did the Kennedy Center people who selected her to win the Mark Twain Prize. She did not disappoint the liberals.
On the awards show (taped for PBS), she made a “sly nod toward Mitt Romney’s sentiments” with the joke, “Thank you, PBS. I’m so glad to be part of your final season.” She also told Politico Romney made her “very, very scared” for women for many reasons (on which she apparently didn't have the "courage" to elaborate):
Although it should have used harsher language in its headline, FactCheck.org, the Annenberg Foundation-funded outfit, has apparently set its leftist bias aside long enough to take shots at an ad narrated by President Barack Obama which claims 5.2 million jobs created and gives all but the most alert viewers the impression that the number represents those created during his entire administration. Perhaps predictably, the item, which was at the top at Yahoo News just a few hours ago, is not on the home page of Yahoo's U.S. home page and is on the verge of falling off at its main page.
Excerpts from Brooks Jackson's writeup follow the jump, including FactCheck's review of claims made at the "learn more" web link mentioned in the ad (bolds are mine):
Based on her experience as a frequent churchgoer. Obviously.
Libtalker Stephanie Miller on her radio show today used a pithy analogy to describe Mitt Romney appearing to sweat during last night's final presidential debate (audio, h/t, Brian Maloney at mrctv.org) --
On Tuesday, liberal stalwart NPR hyped a BBC World Service poll that found that "if the world picked U.S. president, election would be a blowout" for President Obama. Writer Eyder Peralta's item, which was the number-one most-viewed on its website, spotlighted that the poll "taken in 21 countries...found for the most part, foreign countries preferred Obama. The only exception was Pakistan where more people said they preferred Romney."
The BBC poll, conducted between July 3 and September 3, found that the most strongly pro-Obama country, to no one's shock, was France, with 72 percent of respondents supporting the incumbent Democrat. The second highest pro-Obama country was Australia, followed by Kenya, Nigeria, and Canada.
On Tuesday, a 9 1/2-year-old girl was booed during an on-location live broadcast of Morning Joe because she had the nerve to say Mitt Romney should win the election (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Shortly following the conclusion of the final presidential debate Monday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams posed this question to Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations: "I noticed a columnist for the New York Times tonight tweeted out that this was an etch-a-sketch moment for Governor Romney....Did you see that kind of movement on his part?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Williams reminded viewers of the origin of the phrase: "It was obviously a knock of the campaign story that came up about changing policy, moving toward the center with an ease of erasing an etch-a-sketch." Haas avoided any validation of the liberal talking point: "I'm almost more comfortable, Brian, leaving the politics to others, about, you know, what Governor Romney was trying to do tonight."
Jay Leno took a shot at the President's handling of the economy Monday.
During his Tonight Show monologue, after saying Obama Halloween masks are out-selling Romney masks by 30 percent, Leno quipped, "Well, that makes sense. I mean, what's scarier than four more years of this economy?"
Count syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan among the commentators that felt Mitt Romney won Monday's presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida.
Speaking on Fox News shortly after the event's conclusion, Buchanan said that by the end of the debate, "Romney was smiling, he was relaxed, he looked like a winner, and the president seemed, was making some petty attacks on him I thought, and seemed like he was frustrated that it was not ending the way he wanted" (video follows with transcript):