Campaign Watch

By Ryan Robertson | September 18, 2012 | 11:38 AM EDT

The liveliest speaker at the Democratic National Convention has been hosting her own show on Current TV for almost 8 months now. A relatively new cable network co-founded by Al Gore that goes out of its way to hire all of the unabashedly liberal pundits it can get. Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has fit right in.

On Friday night’s episode of The War Room, the Canadian-born talk show host began her hour-long show with a factually-challenged diatribe that bordered on the same intensity level of her now infamous speech in Charlotte. Coincidentally, the topic of discussion was kind of about the same thing – jobs, the defense of Obama’s seemingly successful stimulus bill of 2009, and more Romney criticism of course.

By Kyle Drennen | September 17, 2012 | 3:31 PM EDT

In a stunning display of group-think on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, a panel of journalists all concluded that no American president could have possibly prevented the ongoing crisis in Middle East or responded to it any better than Barack Obama. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The hand-wringing began with The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg absolving the President of any responsibility for chaos in the region: "There are some very, very deep and troubling things going on in – in the Middle East that have very little to do with what a president does or doesn't do.... so to blame the President for – for an attack on – on these embassies, I think, is a bit much."

By Kyle Drennen | September 17, 2012 | 10:59 AM EDT

Pushing the narrative of Mitt Romney losing the presidential election on Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie seized on an article in Politico that "details squabbling among Romney advisers, a lot of blind quotes, anonymous quotes." She turned to political director Chuck Todd and wondered: "Is this a fairly ominous sign for the campaign, that they're already blaming each other anonymously in print?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd proclaimed: "Well, this certainly doesn't happen in winning campaigns, right, Savannah? This is the type of thing you read about losing campaigns. It reads like a pre-bituary, if you will, as if people are looking to see who's going to get the blame for blowing the Republican Party's best chance at knocking off an incumbent president in nearly 30 years."

By Kyle Drennen | September 14, 2012 | 5:07 PM EDT

Barely able to contain his glee over the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll on Thursday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams enthused to political director Chuck Todd: "...some of these numbers are ahead of the wildest dreams of the Democratic campaigners." Todd agreed: "They are." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd touted leads for President Obama in the battleground states of Virginia, Ohio, and Florida, and eagerly noted: "...the right track, wrong track numbers, for the first time since we've been testing in these state polls, the right track is over 40%." Todd then cited partisan talking points to explain the modest improvement: "Some Democrats have been telling me, that's the Clinton bump, referring to Bill Clinton's speech [at the Democratic National Convention]."

By Kyle Drennen | September 14, 2012 | 1:01 PM EDT

In a report for Friday's NBC Today, correspondent Peter Alexander touted how Mitt Romney "was briefly interrupted by a heckler" at campaign stop in Virginia and played a clip of the angry malcontent ranting: "Why are you politicizing Libya?!" Alexander then played a clip of President Obama being greeted by cheers and applause in Colorado, proclaiming: "Obama took a firm stand, reminding voters of his power as commander in chief."

Alexander began the report by declaring: "Less than eight weeks til' election day, Romney, who by the way authored a book titled No Apology, is making no apologies for his sharp criticism of the President's foreign policy." At the same time, Alexander suggested Romney was backing down: "Mitt Romney toned down his foreign policy attack on President Obama Thursday, seeking to project strength in more subtle terms, arguing the President's a weak leader."

By Matt Vespa | September 14, 2012 | 11:13 AM EDT

In the wake of the embassy attacks in Cairo and Benghazi that left four people dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, you would think the White House would be on crisis alert.  After all, when members of the American Foreign Service come under threat, with one being assassinated– it is comforting to have a commander-in-chief executing his leadership to make sure the situation is under control.  Apparently, that isn’t the case in the Obama White House and, for the most part, the national news media don't seem to mind.

By Kyle Drennen | September 13, 2012 | 5:25 PM EDT

Appearing on Fox News's America Live on Thursday, Daily Beast columnist and Democratic pundit Kirsten Powers ripped the liberal media for expressing more outrage over Mitt Romney's reaction to Tuesday's embassy attacks, than toward the attackers themselves: "I mean, it is just absolutely utterly insane the way that they have elevated this." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Powers worried that the blatant bias had "overshadowed any kind of outrage that you would see over the fact that you have Islamic flags being hoisted over American embassies, the fact that an American ambassador is dead."

By Kyle Drennen | September 13, 2012 | 11:43 AM EDT

Continuing to attack Mitt Romney's reaction to the embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya, on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie urged Senator John McCain to admit Romney made a mistake: "Was it correct for Mitt Romney to seize on that political opportunity at a moment when the U.S. Ambassador had been killed?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

McCain stood behind Romney's criticism of the Obama administration's initial response to the attacks and added some of his own: "Look, what this is all about is American weakness and the President's inability to lead....Iraq is dissolving, our relations with Israel are at a tension point. He – I'd like to see the President of the United States speak up once for the 20,000 people that are being massacred in Syria. There is an absence of American leadership in the region..."

By Kyle Drennen | September 12, 2012 | 5:14 PM EDT

On her 1 p.m. et MSNBC program on Wednesday, host Andrea Mitchell interrogated former United Nations Ambassador and Romney advisor Richard Williamson on the Republican presidential candidate's criticism of President Obama's response to attacks in Egypt and Libya: "Does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Williamson dismissed Mitchell's question: "Andrea, you're an experienced reporter. You've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time....You're engaging in a process question. The importance is the substance of what's going on in the Middle East, where the U.S. is being compromised and in retreat."

By Kyle Drennen | September 12, 2012 | 12:11 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd denounced Mitt Romney for daring to criticize the Obama administration's handling of the attack on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya: "[The Romney campaign] wish they had that press release back, because as the hours unfolded....this statement looks crass and tone deaf in the light of this day." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd was referring to the Romney campaign condemning a statement by the U.S. embassy in Cairo that essentially apologized to the Islamist protesters attacking the diplomatic grounds. Todd proclaimed: "Now here's what we don't get. Why the Romney campaign didn't wait until it had all the facts....Now they're actually in a political box, because what can they do? They know that they've made a mistake."

By Kyle Drennen | September 11, 2012 | 11:40 AM EDT

Promoting his fawning profile of President Obama for the October issue of Vanity Fair on Tuesday's NBC Today, contributing editor Michael Lewis described a game of basketball he played with the commander in chief: " was actually very revealing...he doesn't let anybody treat him like the president. If you're watching the game, you'd have no idea who – which one is the president...he likes a really challenging's a relationship among equals." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

The gushing from Lewis was prompted by co-host Matt Lauer wondering: "What did you see about the way he [Obama] handles himself on the court that sheds some light on his personality and how he might handle himself in the job?" Lewis observed: "...he's effective on the court, he's a good basketball player – but he plays a game that seems very risk averse....But then all of a sudden, when there's a risk to take, it's boom. He's got the personality of a sniper."

By Kyle Drennen | September 10, 2012 | 4:41 PM EDT

Eager to get a jump-start on biased coverage of the next presidential race, on Monday's NBC Today, correspondent Andrea Mitchell salivated over a possible Hillary Clinton run: "Well, the conventions were barely over before politicians in both parties started talking about likely contenders for 2016, and overshadowing all others is the woman who wasn't even there."

Mitchell sympathetically observed: "Hillary has been waiting a long time for her chance to be president, after losing a bitter primary fight to then-Senator Barack Obama four years ago." Mitchell then proclaimed: "She says she has no plans to run, but if she did, some say she would clear the field."