The President on Tuesday made a major campaign offensive against his likely Republican opponent, but four out of the six network evening news and morning shows ignored it. Barack Obama's call to raise taxes only appeared on Tuesday's CBS Evening News and a brief sentence on Wednesday's Today.
CBS reporter Norah O'Donnell parroted, "Mr. Obama says making wealthier Americans pay more in taxes is an issue of fundamental fairness." At no point in the Evening News segment did O'Donnell feature any clips of someone opposing the so-called Buffett rule. She didn't even try to summerize opposition to the bill.
In the Florida speech, the President called for an increase on taxes on stock and bond dividends from 15 to 30 percent for anyone making at least one million dollars.
However, at least the Washington Post, in a Wednesday write-up, took the time to explain:
Republicans charged that the White House is playing pure politics, engaging in “class warfare” with the rule to win middle-class votes. They said the legislation would raise $47 billion in revenue, barely making a dent in helping pay down the burgeoning national debt of $15.6 trillion.
Instead of noting this, O'Donnell summarized that 15 percent is "about what Mitt Romney paid in 2010." "Billionaire investor Warren Buffet says it's unfair and wealthier Americans should pay more," she added.
NBC's Nightly News and ABC's World News both skipped Obama's speech, as did CBS This Morning.
One has to wonder, if the liberal journalists at these networks thought the speech would be helpful to the President, why didn't they cover it?
NBC's Today only briefly covered it. Natalie Morales explained that "the President is intensifying his push for the so-called Buffett Rule, named for billionaire Warren Buffet. The measure argues that wealthy Americans should not pay taxes at a lower rate than middle-class taxpayers pay."
[Thanks to intern Josh St. Louis for the transcript.]
A transcript of the April 10 Evening News segment, which aired at 6:33pm EDT, follows:
SCOTT PELLEY: For his part, the President took his re-election campaign to Florida today. He hammered away at what will be one of his main themes against Governor Romney, that high-income earners should pay more in taxes. Norah O'Donnell is at the White House tonight. Norah?
NORAH O’DONNELL: Scott, today may mark the first day of the general election campaign in some regards, but the Obama campaign team says that little has changed. They say they've been focused like a laser on Mitt Romney for a long time, even running some television ads against him. And today we learned in part how the President is planning to frame this debate.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We've gotta choose which direction we want this country to go in. Do we want to keep giving those tax breaks to folks like me who don't need 'em? Or to give them to Warren Buffet; he definitely doesn't need 'em. Or Bill Gates. He's already said, "I don't need 'em. Or do we want to keep investing in those things that keep our economy growing and keep us secure? That's the choice.
O’DONNELL: Here's what the President is talking about. People who make their money from investments like stocks and bonds pay a tax rate of 15 percent. That's about what Mitt Romney paid in 2010. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet says it's unfair and wealthier Americans should pay more. The President is calling for a tax of 30 percent on incomes above a million dollars. The Senate will consider the so-called Buffet rule on Monday. Mr. Obama says making wealthier Americans pay more in taxes is an issue of fundamental fairness.
OBAMA: In this country, prosperity has never trickled down from the wealthy few. Prosperity has always come from the bottom up.
O’DONNELL: Today in Florida, a state he won by less than three precent in 2008, the President finished this policy speech with a campaign-style crescendo.
OBAMA: Here in America, we look out for one another. Here in America, we help each other get ahead. Here in America, we have a sense of common purpose. Here in America, we can meet any challenge. Here in America, we can seize any moment.
O’DONNELL: And President Obama is making an increasing number of stops in battleground states. We counted 51 stops since he announced his campaign.
PELLEY: The campaign is on. Thanks, Norah.