Every election cycle, the American people are inundated with polls. Polls with blacks, white, Hispanics, women, Jews, Catholics, young people, and the Asians are disseminated ad nauseam – despite most of them being flawed or so skewed concerning the sample spread that it’s not worth commenting on in any analysis. When Romney hit a slump towards the end of September, which led to his dip in the polls, the left thought it was over. No one was more convinced of this than Pew Research president Andrew Kohut, a public-broadcasting regular, who had to change his tune on the October 8 broadcast of the PBS Newshour.
Howard Fineman, the former Newsweek reporter turned editorial director for The Huffington Post, is excited for the upcoming Vice Presidential debate this Thursday. You could tell from his column published today, which glorifies Joe as the archetypal debater. It's titled "Obama Needs the Merciless Joe."
To start things off, Fineman threw in a thinly veiled racial remark concerning Biden’s thirst for a political fight saying “what Biden lacks in academic chops he more than makes up for in street smarts; genetic political talent (his Secret Service code name is "Celtic," enough said); an eye for and an ability to earn the loyalty of brilliant, dedicated staffers; an instinct for the jugular; and a thirst for political combat.”
During the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's NBC Today, Ericka Souter, editor of the celebrity gossip blog The Stir, trashed Mitt Romney for announcing plans to cut federal funding of PBS, including Sesame Street, ranting: "Everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
As Souter denounced Romney for supposedly attacking Big Bird, the headline on screen read: "Romney Goes 'Bird' Hunting." A picture appeared that showed a protestor dressed in a Big Bird costume holding a sign that read: "Unemployed in a Romney economy."
It is one thing to trash Jim Lehrer’s moderating behind his back. It’s even worse when you then bring him on your show to praise his performance after you trash him. No one does this better than Morning Joe’s Scarborough who did a complete 180 on his analysis of Lehrer’s moderating skills.
On the morning after the first presidential debate, Scarborough claimed that “Jim Lehrer got rolled over” as moderator on October 3rd. Fast forward to Monday’s Morning Joe when Lehrer appeared in person and Scarborough had suddenly wiped his hands clean of any such criticism. [See video below break. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday's front page, New York Times reporters Peter Baker and Trip Gabriel used the upcoming vice presidential debate to criticize Obama's performance in his debate with Mitt Romney last week: "Biden Up Next, Obama's Aides Plot Comeback."
The Times didn't flinch from calling out Obama's "disaster" of a debate performance, but did find some excuses for the president, including distractions like the terrorist massacre in Libya (though that didn't stop Obama from attending a fundraiser in Las Vegas the next day). The Times also dropped in this revelation: "Mr. Obama made clear to advisers that he was not happy about debating Mr. Romney, whom he views with disdain."
Given the shellacking Barack Obama took at last week's presidential debate with Mitt Romney, one would have thought NBC's Saturday Night Live would have had no difficulty finding material to spoof the event.
Not so according to New York magazine which published a piece Monday entitled "Unlike the Rest of the World, SNL Had a Hard Time Joking About the Debate":
Sam Donaldson had some harsh words this weekend for President Obama's performance at Wednesday's debate.
Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the former ABC White House correspondent said, "If he comes to the next two debates with the same demeanor, with the same passive resistance, he’s losing" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC's Chris Matthews had an on-air meltdown Wednesday after the presidential debate.
NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno mocked this incident Thursday showing a video clip of Matthews giving his rant in a straight jacket as he's being taken away by men in white coats (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Jay Leno went after the President again Thursday night.
Early in his opening monologue, the NBC Tonight Show host said of the stellar television ratings for Wednesday night's debate, "The only person who didn't tune in, I think, was President Obama" (video follows with transcript).
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Nancy Cordes trumpeted that the Obama campaign is "turning lemons into lemonade" as she reported that the Democratic operation is "arguing that Romney had a great performance at the debate, but only because he was untethered from the truth." Not once did the correspondent or colleagues Norah O'Donnell and Bill Plante critically examine the claims from the incumbent or his operatives.
O'Donnell even spotlighted how "we heard David Axelrod say that they're going to change some things. They're even suggesting that Mitt Romney is a liar for what he said in the debate."
The sole political guest on Friday's CBS This Morning was Howard Dean, the ultraliberal failed presidential contender who was once the governor of Vermont. Co-host Norah O'Donnell asked him to comment on the vice president's statement on Thursday insisting the Democrats absolutely want to raise a trillion dollars in taxes on the rich.
Biden had "some comments that people are calling a gaffe, where he said Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars," she said. "Well guess what, yes we do. Is that the right kind of message?" O'Donnell ignored that the actual 'gaffe' was that Biden strangely insisted it wasn't a "tax raise."
In response, Dean blamed the majority of the media for its incessant criticism and constant "hand wringing" when the president fails to live up to expectations or when the vice president says something inane. It appears that someone is still a little bitter about his own public mishaps. [ MP3 video below the page break, audio available here ]
In a display of just how badly President Obama performed in Wednesday's presidential debate, Friday's NBC Today played a clip of Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripping into Obama: "There is no red America. There is no blue America. There is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate. Romney won with the sound up....Romney won with the sound off." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Stewart mockingly implored the President: "...think of your supporters. Look what your performance did last night to one of them." A sound bite followed of the meltdown of MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed? Where was Obama tonight?!" Stewart declared: "Mr. President, you broke Chris Matthews!" The Today show hosts all laughed as weatherman Al Roker quipped: "And he's still broken."
Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."
On Thursday's CBS This Morning, just hours after Mitt Romney's "crisp" debate performance, Norah O'Donnell stuck to her fixation on playing up the Republican's supposed negatives. O'Donnell maligned how Romney phrased his opposition to the federal government's subsidization of PBS: "This may have been the first time in a presidential debate that Big Bird was mentioned. It seems kind of like a silly thing to bring up."
Gayle King, an admitted friend of Michelle Obama and donor to the President's reelection campaign, also spotlighted a Tweet that referenced a decades-old anecdote about Romney placing his dog, Seamus, in a carrier on top of his car: "This wasn't a debate so much as Mitt Romney just took Obama for a cross-country drive strapped to the roof of his car."
On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"
There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.
Something odd happened to the liberal media after the first presidential debate on Wednesday. They couldn't for the life of them put any postive spin on the president's lackluster performance. There was nothing they could say that could take away from Mitt Romney's clear victory, but then came the excuses. Some blamed Jim Lehrer for his inability to moderate properly, others cited what must've been an incumbent debate curse, there was even some mention of Obama's reluctance to come across as an angry black man.
But the dopiest analysis by far was from former Vice President Al Gore, on his Current TV network -- think an even farther left version of MSNBC with fewer viewers -- who blamed altitude sickness on Obama's poor performance: [ video below after page break ]
President Obama left his "greatest hits on the cutting room floor" for Wednesday night's debate, claimed CBS This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell after the debate. According to her, "contraceptive rights" and "free mammograms" in ObamaCare are some of the President's "greatest hits."
"There was no mention of Bain," she said on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose. "There was no mention of the auto industry saved. There was no mention of the wars ended, and in the discussion about ObamaCare, he didn't mention that that would turn back many provisions that protect women's health, free mammograms, contraceptive rights." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Watching Mitt Romney last night as he revived his campaign while demolishing President Obama was surely a bitter pill for Jon Meacham to swallow.
On Morning Joe today, the former Newsweek editor sought to console himself. Meacham—twice—pointed out that although Mark Twain famously wrote that rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated, Twain did eventually die. Nice analogy, Jon! View the video after the jump.
The first Obama-Romney presidential debate of 2012 ran under this less-than-informative banner headline in Thursday's New York Times: "Obama and Romney, in First Debate, Spar Over Fixing the Economy." The actual headline to the story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg also failed to capture the sense, overwhelming even among the liberal press, that Romney had helped himself with a sharp, energetic performance at the University of Denver: "Feel of Seminar as Accusations Fly From Rivals."
The Washington Post's banner headline was more direct and captured the consensus of the night: "Romney takes fight to Obama," while the story claimed the president "found himself on the defensive repeatedly." Other headlines from around the country captured the same effect.
By contrast, you had to parse the Times to sense that Romney won the night. (One significant Timesman, former Executive Editor Bill Keller, reluctantly awarded Romney the debate on his Twitter feed, calling Romney's performance "shameless but masterful.")
Picking up where he left off Wednesday night, on Thursday's NBC Today, MSNBC's Chris Matthews continued to whine over President Obama's poor debate performance and ranted that Mitt Romney has "been accused of etch-a-sketch, last night was his greatest achievement. Everything he said within days ago, he's ignored." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Prior to Matthews' appearance, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted that he had been "very vocal" during MSNBC's post-debate coverage and played a sound bite of the Hardball host blasting Obama: "I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight about Social Security. Where was Obama tonight?!"
As Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted earlier this morning, MSNBC's Howard Fineman was extremely unhappy with Jim Lehrer's performance as moderator in last night's first presidential debate. Vespa reports that Fineman "seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer 'useless' and equated his moderating of the debate to 'criminal negligence.'"
In what may be seen as a surprise, the same network's Laurence O'Donnell didn't share that sentiment, as Mackenzie Weinger reported this morning at Politico:
Appearing as a panel member on CNN's post-debate coverage on Wednesday, Democratic strategist James Carville gave President Obama a poor grade for his debate performance, asserting that 'I did everything I could not to reach it, but I had to reach it, and it looked like Romney wanted to be there, and President Obama didn't want to be there."
ABC's George Stephanonopoulos carried a eight-out-of-nine record of declaring the Democratic presidential candidate the winner into Wednesday night's Obama-Romney presidential debate. Surprisingly, the Clinton administration veteran affirmed that Mitt Romney scored points on President Obama: "I think Governor Romney definitely more crisp in his presentation tonight....he was able to be aggressive without being offensive."
Stephanopoulos later claimed that "Governor Romney will get the boost that challengers usually get coming out of these debates," while downplaying President Obama's own performance: "I didn't see any knockout punches....didn't see breakthrough moments or major mistakes by either candidate." [audio available here; video below the jump]
MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman lamented how the president was on the defensive in his first bout with Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Jim Lehrer, who moderated the October 3 debate, has a history of bias that is usually cloaked with his soporific disposition. However, Fineman seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer “useless” and equated his moderating of the debate to “criminal negligence.” Fineman’s ire seems to be indicative of liberals’ reaction towards Obama’s poor debate performance.
Time's assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar could have been mistaken as an Obama campaign flack during CBS's post-presidential debate coverage on Wednesday night, with her claim that "the key issue is, really, taxes, and I think that you have to wonder whether Romney's math adds up." She asserted, "There's a bigger math issue here, and that's whether or not lowering tax rates actually creates jobs and growth, and I would argue that, factually, it doesn't."
Foroohar also boosted the incumbent's massive stimulus spending, and held up communist China as a model: "I think what the President tried to convince voters, is that investment is going to create growth...and I think that there's a case to be made for that. If you look at where jobs are going - to places like China - infrastructure spending is much higher. There's a lot more investment in those, sort of, basic competitiveness issues. Unfortunately, I don't think the President made that point sharply enough." [audio available here; video below the jump]
How resounding was Mitt Romney's rout of Barack Obama tonight? In the post-debate spin room, a hopelessly muddled Martin O'Malley, Dem guv from Maryland and supposedly an Obama surrogate, wound up referring to "President Romney"! Freudian slip, anyone?
For good measure, pressed by MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell—clearly dismayed by Obama's dismal performance—to suggest what he'd recommend the prez do differently next time, a demoralized O'Malley could only mutter "uh, I don't know." View the video after the jump.
An angry Chris Matthews sharply denounced President Obama's performance in the presidential debate tonight, implying his knowledge of the facts was "first grade." Matthews also urged Obama to tune in to MSNBC so he could learn a thing or two from the supposedly non-partisan hosts and guests on the channel.
"I don't know what he was doing out there," the normally effusively pro-Obama former Democratic operative raged. "I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight." Video and transcript below the fold.