Debates

By Matt Vespa | October 17, 2012 | 1:52 AM EDT

At the conclusion of the second presidential debate on October 16, Chris Matthews could hardly control himself when he confidently declared that President Obama "clearly" won the debate.  In fact, he proclaimed that President Obama had "punched Romney hard"during their ninety-minutes showdown.  It sure sounds like the rhetoric of a man who stated that "all that came before" in American history –"led to" Obama.

By Matthew Balan | October 17, 2012 | 1:09 AM EDT

Minutes after the second presidential debate ended on Tuesday, ABC pundits Matthew Dowd and Donna Brazile brushed off the three-plus minute advantage of speaking time President Obama had over Mitt Romney under CNN's Candy Crowley's moderation. Dowd asserted that this imbalance would lead to "conservatives and Republicans attacking Candy Crowley, and when that happens, that is a sure sign that President Obama won this."

Brazile seconded this taunt: "When Republicans lose debates, they always find something wrong with the moderator or the referee." The two ABC panelists didn't give such an assessment after the first debate on October 3, even though liberals, such as Howard Fineman, attacked moderator Jim Lehrer.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 17, 2012 | 12:51 AM EDT

After embarrassing herself with her incompetently biased attempt to “fact check” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate, CNN correspondent Candy Crowley has already began trying to save her shattered credibility. In a panel discussion afterward, a fast-talking Crowley tried to spin away her offensive conduct by admitting that Romney was indeed correct in casting blame on the Obama Administration for falsely blaming an anti-Islamic video for attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

“It was one of those moments, and I could even feel that here, you know, when you say something you’re not expecting,” Crowley insisted, admitting she simply couldn’t help herself from unprofessionally inserting herself into a heated dispute between presidential candidates.

By Matthew Sheffield | October 16, 2012 | 11:38 PM EDT

CNN correspondent and second presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley disgraced herself tonight, repeatedly intervening to save a floundering President Obama and showing why many Americans were rightfully suspicious of her ability to moderate a presidential debate fairly.

Her most outrageous act tonight was her incorrect seconding of Obama's statement that he declared the Libya terrorist attacks to be "terror." While Obama did indeed use the word, this is not what he meant by it. Instead, he was simply referring to "acts of terror." There was no mention of Al Qaeda or any of its affiliates with respect to the actual attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 11:20 PM EDT

Conceivably the biggest moment in Tuesday's presidential debate was when moderator Candy Crowley injected herself into the discussion siding with Barack Obama on remarks he claimed he made in the Rose Garden following the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Long-time Democrat campaign strategist Joe Trippi said on Fox News shortly after the debate's conclusion that this looked like "the ref just threw the flag" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Ryan Robertson | October 16, 2012 | 10:03 PM EDT

After Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted the blame for the avoidable tragedy that occurred in Benghazi last month, one would think the media would be a little more critical of an administration that initially tried to cover it up with misinformation. While this sounds like a logical presumption, it hasn't been the case. Clinton was applauded for "falling on her sword" and taking responsibility for failing to protect those who were killed in the attack on the consulate.

MSNBC's Martin Bashir and his contributors didn't seem to think an apology was necessary however, blaming the Republicans in Congress for imposing cuts on foreign aid and embassy protection instead. In other words, it was all their fault and the Romney campaign has no right bringing it up. [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By NB Staff | October 16, 2012 | 7:16 PM EDT

Will you be tuning in to the second presidential debate tonight? If so, please join fellow NewsBusters readers for a running commentary and discussion of the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The debate starts at 9:00 PM Eastern time. We will also be featuring a livestream video of the debate inside this posting

Note: You will need a browser that has Flash to participate in the chat or to watch the video.

By Matt Hadro | October 16, 2012 | 6:23 PM EDT

Former debate moderator (and liberal journalist) Carole Simpson has been making the media rounds before Tuesday's presidential debate, giving President Obama the edge and implying that the standards for debate moderators are sexist. She continued that on Tuesday's Starting Point.

She gave Obama the town hall-style debate advantage as a  "people person" and "touchy-feely." In contrast, she cited criticism of Romney "that he doesn't relate to ordinary people."

By Noel Sheppard | October 16, 2012 | 5:53 PM EDT

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday made a rather startling prediction about viewers of the upcoming presidential debate.

"If it looks like [Obama's] getting beaten again, they’re going back to the fourth inning" of the Yankees-Tigers American League Championship game (video follows with transcript and commentary):

By Matt Hadro | October 16, 2012 | 5:32 PM EDT

CNN's Anderson Cooper cited the liberal Tax Policy Center debunking Mitt Romney's tax plan on Monday, without noting that one of the authors admitted the plan could still work with different assumptions. He waited until the end of his report to admit that the studies in question were "making assumptions."

"[A] bipartisan panel of three authors for the Tax Policy Center examined the plan and concluded that there's really no way of making the numbers work, that is, unless the middle class pays more," Cooper reported on the night before Tuesday's presidential debate. That is misleading, since the study admitted reliance on "certain assumptions" and one of its authors said the plan could work. The TPC report was released in August.

By Kyle Drennen | October 16, 2012 | 5:13 PM EDT

In a fawning softball interview with First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday's NBC Today, special correspondent Ryan Seacrest was eager to know how she helps the President during debates: "What did you say to him when the two of you walked backstage after the first debate?...Have you spoken to him about the prep?...does he make eye contact with you? Does he look at you for encouragement?"

The First Lady explained: "I'm perched. I'm looking at him. I'm smiling. I'm giving a thumbs up if he can see it....I assume that he can, so I make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."

By Kyle Drennen | October 16, 2012 | 2:40 PM EDT

On Tuesday's NBC Today, during a panel discussion previewing the second presidential debate, co-host Matt Lauer mandated that Mitt Romney answer charges that he's moderated his positions: "How does Mitt Romney answer that question tonight of, 'Why have you moved to the middle, have become more moderate in these closing weeks?'"

Former McCain campaign advisor Steve Schmidt rejected Lauer's assertion: "I don't think he has to answer that question." Lauer immediately interrupted: "What if he's asked that question?" Former Democratic governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm joined Lauer in ganging up on Schmidt: "Oh, I think he does. He absolutely does."