In a confounding decision, the Republican candidates agreed to a second debate, to be held tonight in Tampa, moderated by NBC’s Brian Williams who, along with Politico’s John Harris, back on September 7 repeatedly peppered the then-larger Republican presidential field with liberal talking points and Democratic agenda items. Below, an excerpt from my September 8 post, with illustrative video:
Williams hit Texas Governor Rick Perry from the left on his state’s poor economic indicators (“no other state has more working at or below the minimum wage”) , chastised him for cutting education funding and, citing how “your state has executed 234 death row inmates,” demanded to know whether he’s “struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?” More examples and video below.
Comedienne Wanda Sykes speculated Thursday that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry had to drop out of the race because "he was one more debate away from saying the N-word."
Appearing on NBC’s Tonight Show to bash all the GOP candidates, she also told the host that Newt Gingrich might have wanted an open marriage with his ex-wife because she said he had a "tiny penis" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
As NewsBusters reported, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich severely scolded CNN’s John King for beginning Thursday’s debate in South Carolina with a question about allegations made by his ex-wife earlier in the day.
After the debate ended, CNN contributor David Gergen said, “This is one of the most explosive moments we’ve seen in debate history. It was also one of the harshest attacks we’ve had on the press that I can remember in a long, long time…I think that there’s a reasonable chance after talking to people here tonight that he could win South Carolina based on that answer” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
CNN’s John King despicably started Thursday’s Republican presidential debate in South Carolina by bringing up allegations made by Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife earlier in the day.
When asked to respond to the controversy, the former Speaker of the House said, “I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that,” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had a rather testy exchange with Fox News's Juan Williams during Monday's debate in South Carolina.
After Williams accused the former Speaker of the House of being racially insensitive when referring to Barack Obama as "The Food Stamp President," Gingrich said, "The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history. Now, I know among the politically correct you are not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Wednesday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, ABC's George Stephanopoulos responded to host Stephen Colbert's question of why he - as debate co-moderator last Saturday - asked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney about whether states have the constitutional power to ban contraceptives, as he argued that the question revolved around the "right to privacy."
He then suggested that a bet with co-moderator Diane Sawyer motivated him to be so persistent in asking Romney followup questions on the subject. After Colbert asked what it felt like when Romney called it a "silly thing" for Stephanopoulos to ask such a hypothetical question, the ABC anchor responded:
In an early-Sunday version of an Associated Press report which has since been revised to exclude the paragraph I'm about to cite, the wire service's Steve Peoples (authorship shown here) apparently had a hard time understanding how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could possibly have criticized President Barack Obama's economic stewardship in Saturday's New Hampshire debate in light of what he (Peoples) must have thought were wondrous numbers in the government's Friday employment report.
Even if you ignore the fact (which you really shouldn't) that December's reported 200,000 job additions after seasonal adjustment hid a mediocre actual performance on the ground in historical context, Peoples' reaction was remarkably ignorant and offensively aggressive:
Out the 41 questions directed to the six Republican presidential candidates during Sunday's NBC News/Facebook debate on Meet the Press, 25 of them were from the left, 13 questions were neutral, mainly about the campaign horse race and electability, and only three questions pressed the candidates from the right.
Early in the debate, moderator David Gregory demanded to know how much "pain" the candidates would inflict upon Americans by cutting spending. Newt Gingrich called out Gregory for the slanted query: "David, you know, I, I find it fascinating that very, very highly paid Washington commentators and Washington analysts love the idea of pain. What – who's going to be in pain? The duty of the president is to find a way to manage the federal government so the primary pain is on changing the bureaucracy."
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, hosted by ABC, co-moderator George Stephanopoulos bizarrely pressed candidate Mitt Romney on whether the former Massachusetts governor believes the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn a 1965 ruling that a constitutional right to privacy bars states from banning contraception. (Video below)
During Saturday's GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire hosted by ABC, after two of the moderators - World News anchor Diane Sawyer and local ABC affiliate anchor Josh McElveen - had devoted six minutes to a discussion of what the candidates would say to a gay couple "sitting in your living rooms" about same-sex marriage and adoption, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich highlighted the double standard in the media's left-leaning sympathy toward gay rights issues but lack of concern about anti-Christian "bigotry" from the left. Gingrich complained: (Video below)
Christopher Hitchens, RIP, would likely have loved the rough-and-tumble of today's Morning Joe. The first half-hour was a jolting fix for political junkies.
If the goring of Newt Gingrich was predictable, there was much that was not. Michelle Bachmann's debate performance was roundly praised. Lefty Jeff Sachs put himself to Ron Paul's right on the Iranian threat. Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch reported that normally-Dem New York CEOs have deserted Obama en masse. Video after the jump.
Anderson Cooper found yet another way to scrutinize Republicans, as on Tuesday he spotlighted GOP candidates attacking each other's record after each promised to run positive campaigns – even though verbal spars happen during every single election.
The segment's title of "Keeping Them Honest" insinuated that the subject is being deceitful or dishonest, and Cooper decided to call the candidates out for backtracking on their promises of positive campaigns – even though an overall positive campaign doesn't necessarily rule out attacks on opponents' records. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
During a panel discussion on Tuesday's NBC Today, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman decried Mitt Romney proposing a $10,000 bet in the latest Republican debate: "I watched it live, and it was one of those moments where I immediately went [gasp] and you could just – even in your own living room, everything came to a halt. It was a disastrous move."
Advertising executive Donny Deutsch disagreed while still taking a shot at the GOP field: "Look, with the inane things the candidates are saying, in the scheme of things, it's not a big deal." He further added: "Jack Kennedy's family was the fifth wealthiest family in the country when he was elected. This is not a barometer, it's irrelevant."
The media are all in a tizzy about the idea of real estate tycoon Donald Trump moderating a Republican presidential debate.
On Tuesday, one of the candidates, Rick Santorum, told KLIF substitute radio host Steve Malzberg, "I can't see in some cases where Donald Trump would be any worse than what we get from the mainstream media" (video follows with transcript):
Later this month, running up to the Iowa caucus, Newsmax is hosting a debate in the Hawkeye State to be moderated by businessman, former potential candidate, and reality TV star Donald Trump. However, two candidates have already turned down the debate -- Rep. Ron Paul and Gov. Jon Huntsman. According to the Paul campaign, "The selection of a reality television personality to host a presidential debate that voters nationwide will be watching is beneath the office of the Presidency and flies in the face of that office’s history and dignity," and "will distract from questions and answers concerning important issues."
What do you think of the selection of Trump as moderator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Was Brooke Baldwin's kid-glove treatment of candidate Jon Huntsman a harbinger of things to come in CNN's Tuesday night debate? The CNN host tossed the liberal media's favorite GOP candidate softball after softball in a Tuesday afternoon interview – while conservative candidate Michele Bachmann was asked Tuesday morning if she regretted running for president.
In an cushy interview during the 3 p.m. hour of Newsroom, Baldwin heaped praise on the Republican who supports same-sex civil unions and who ripped conservatives as "anti-science" for not believing in global warming. The CNN host fawned over Huntsman's "lovely" daughters and slobbered that "you seem pretty unflappable, and if I may, governor, downright nice." [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, co-hosted the GOP debate in Michigan last Wednesday, and had a hand in Perry’s infamous debate “oops” moment, when the Texas governor was unable to list all three of the federal agencies he planned to eliminate as president. On Monday Harwood revealed that a CNBC producer helped prod Perry’s long, awkward moment by shouting a directive into Harwood’s earpiece.
Harwood also writes a weekly “Caucus” column for the New York Times. On Monday he discussed his role in Gov. Rick Perry’s infamous debate "oops," as well as how the audience booed the hosts for bringing up Herman Cain's sexual harassment controversy.
During Saturday's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley arrogantly argued with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich about the "rule of law" concerning killing American born terrorists overseas.
By the end of the exchange, Pelley, with a smug, condescending expression on his face, looked quite foolish as the audience applauded and one of Gingrich's opponents on stage actually commented, "Well said. Well said" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Yet another media outlet is writing Gov. Rick Perry’s political obituary after his GOP debate flub Wednesday night. This time it's Ross Ramsey, managing editor for the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit news organization that provides content to the New York Times: “National Spotlight Might Shine Too Bright for Gaffe-Prone Perry.”
The Times has certainly feasted on Perry’s flub, in which the Texas governor blanked out on naming the three government agencies he planned to eliminate. Thursday’s front page carried the story under the headline “‘Oops’ at Debate When Perry Can’t Get to Three,” and quoted the entire exchange in a text box on the jump page.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer – who will be moderating CNN's Republican presidential debate on November 22 – played a highlight reel of largely negative moments from the past GOP debates on Thursday afternoon's The Situation Room.
The "Top 10" video consisted of bloopers, controversial statements, and heated exchanges, all of which Blitzer innocently deemed "memorable moments." Rick Perry's most recent "brain freeze" was listed as the number one moment. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
The same network that treated then-candidate Obama with kid gloves about Reverend Wright demanded Rick Perry to explain how his campaign wasn't finished, in his interview on CNN's American Morning on Thursday.
Co-host Christine Romans scrutinized Perry over his forgetting one of the federal agencies he had promised to get rid of. However, she seemed to believe that his campaign was over because of the gaffe. "So my question to you is how is this not the end? Convince us that this is not the end of your – of your candidacy," she demanded of Perry during the 7 a.m. hour of CNN. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Updated [11:41 ET]: More analysis and transcripts added.
Interviewing Texas Governor Rick Perry on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry asked the Republican presidential candidate about a flub in Wednesday's CNBC debate and wondered: "One of your fundraisers told The Wall Street Journal, simply, 'He just ended his campaign.' Have you thought about ending your campaign? Are you staying in this race, sir?" [Audio available here]
On CNN's American Morning, Christine Romans struck a similar tone with Perry: "How is this not the end? Convince us that this is not the end of your – of your candidacy....across the board you're hearing folks say that this was one of the worst, if not the worst, debate moment, those 54 seconds, you know, in modern primary history." [View video after the jump]
You have to wonder if a day has gone by since the September 7 GOP presidential debate without someone on MSNBC referring to audience members cheering when NBC's Brian Williams asked Texas governor Rick Perry about capital punishment in his state.
Likely the most colorful description of this incident to date occurred on Monday's Hardball when host Chris Matthews said Republicans "look hot and horny for executions out in that Reagan library" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Catching up with an admission from just after Tuesday’s Republican presidential candidate debate in Las Vegas, CNN’s Anderson Cooper lightheartedly conceded that when he confronted Herman Cain with his earlier criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protests, a criticism Cain reaffirmed to rousing audience applause, Cooper hadn’t intended it as a softball but as an embarrassing mis-cue from which he expected Cain to backtrack.
“Sort of teed it up for him there,” Cooper fretted in his post-debate hour after re-playing his exchange with Cain, “I didn’t really mean to. But he clearly just knocked that one out of the park. I mean, and it was obviously -- at least for this audience in this hall, that played very well.” (video below)
During a panel discussion on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked of the Occupy Wall Street protests: "What's the civics lesson in this for our kids as they're watching this on TV?" News anchor Natalie Morales argued: "...there's a huge civics lesson....the idea of having that civil discourse is important to teach our kids and it's something in history we've seen."
In contrast, moments later while discussing the latest Republican presidential debate, Lauer lectured Mitt Romney and Rick Perry on a heated exchange between them: "My parents, in teaching me manners, taught me, one, don't interrupt, bad on Rick Perry's point, keep your hands to yourself, bad on Mitt Romney's point." Weatherman Al Roker chimed in: "...we're seeing our kids are getting, again, this anti-teachable moment. Give somebody a chance to talk. They're just talking all over each other."
A lively GOP debate dissection on today's Morning Joe. Mika Brzezinski really liked Romney's performance, saying among other things that he was "fabulous." She also had surprising praise for Michelle Bachmann.
There was consensus that 9-9-9 was "deboned" and that Herman Cain hurt himself badly with his pre-debate answer on releasing terrorists from Gitmo. Meanwhile, Michael Steele had a striking way of saying that Perry's aggressiveness backfired. Video and more after the jump.
This weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show spent the entire first segment talking about how America wants more centrist politicians looking to compromise with their political rivals.
The host and his guests believe the Republican presidential candidate that best exemplifies this moderate stance is Mitt Romney, with Time's Joe Klein actually saying he gave on Tuesday "one of the most impressive, impeccable debate performances I’ve ever seen" - but the panel still thinks Romney's got a very serious Mormon problem (video follows with transcript and commentary):