Campaign Watch

By Brad Wilmouth | September 7, 2012 | 7:32 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, MSNBC analyst Howard Fineman -- formerly of Newsweek -- declared that it was "brilliant" for President Obama to suggest that Republicans are being "unpatriotic" in trying to make an issue of the economy's poor performance during his time in office.

Shortly past midnight, Fineman asserted:

By Kyle Drennen | September 6, 2012 | 12:42 PM EDT

On Thursday, the hosts of NBC's Today could barely contain their glee over former President Bill Clinton addressing the Democratic National Convention, with Savannah Guthrie proclaiming: "Life of the party. Former President Bill Clinton delivers a powerful and partisan speech....blasting Republicans, and in the throes of a bad economy, making the case for four more years." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Moments later, Matt Lauer gushed that President Obama had "a really tough act to follow after what was an enthusiastic and powerful endorsement" from Clinton. In a later report, Meet the Press host David Gregory joined in the Clinton lovefest with his own rave review: "Bill Clinton simply owned the room here, stayed longer than he was supposed to, but nobody seemed to mind....it was an appearance that was the height of political stagecraft."

Gregory excitedly added: "Here was one of the party's biggest heros leveraging his enormous popularity to vouch for President Obama..." And observed that Clinton "was happier than ever in the spotlight."

By Brad Wilmouth | September 6, 2012 | 8:22 AM EDT

During the midnight hour of MSNBC coverage of the Democratic National Convention, Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman went after what they viewed as "hate" on the Republican side, with Matthews raising the topic by reciting Bill Clinton's contention that he never felt "hate" for his opponents. A bit earlier, Matthews also managed to bring in a reference to Nazi Germany as he admired Clinton because he "belittled" Republicans. Matthews:

By Brad Wilmouth | September 6, 2012 | 5:34 AM EDT

As Washington Post columnist and MSNBC analyst Ezra Klein appeared during the midnight hour of Wednesday night's Democratic National Convention coverage on MSNBC, he described former President Bill Clinton as a "missile" for the Obama administration, and argued that high tax rates have not harmed the economy in the past.

But, as he pointed to periods of high growth while marginal tax rates were higher than modern times, he neglected to mention that the existence of more tax shelters often kept effective tax rates from being as high as they might have appeared, whereas many of those tax shelters were removed in the 1980s. He also did not note that the capital gains tax was cut in the mid-1990s during the Clinton presidency after Republicans took control of Congress.

Referring to Clinton's speech, Klein began:

By Kyle Drennen | September 5, 2012 | 4:45 PM EDT

During the Today's Professionals panel segment on Wednesday's NBC Today, fill-in co-host Tamron Hall promoted an online petition to get 90-year-old actress Betty White to appear at the Democratic National Convention, noting that the creator of the petition, "is concerned that Clint Eastwood gave elderly people a bad name with what he did" at the Republican convention.

Advertising executive Donny Deutsch declared that "Republicans still have egg on their face from the Clint Eastwood thing" and urged the Democrats not to do it. NBC medical editor Nancy Snyderman added: "I would not counter something that didn't go well." Attorney Star Jones rounded out the discussion by calling on Democrats to "Let the stench stay over there," meaning on the Republican side.

By Kyle Drennen | September 5, 2012 | 3:45 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd cheered Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention while running down the GOP: "[She] had a hold on the delegates in this hall in a way that no speaker was able to do in Tampa. A stark contrast to the Republicans in the way they structured their convention and with the enthusiasm."

During NBC's live convention coverage Tuesday night, Todd could barely contain his excitement. At one point, he proclaimed that the First Lady "owned this convention...in a way that no speaker owned the floor of the convention in Tampa." Prior to Mrs. Obama's address, Todd applauded "the passion that you see throughout the evening" at the Democratic gathering, and claimed that Republicans "waited for the television cameras to come on" to show similar enthusiasm at their convention.

By Kyle Drennen | September 4, 2012 | 2:26 PM EDT

In a softball interview with Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie recited Democratic attack lines against Mitt Romney perfectly: "You have made a career of railing against Wall Street....Is it your job here, as you understand it, to argue that Mitt Romney is the personification of that Wall Street greed and excess?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

After Warren gushed about being "delighted" to have prime speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention and ranted about the middle class getting "hammered," Guthrie again urged her to bash Romney: "Do you think Romney's Wall Street background disqualifies him from caring about the middle class or knowing what to do about the middle class?"

By Kyle Drennen | September 4, 2012 | 11:38 AM EDT

At the top of Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie teased an upcoming interview with Paul Ryan by slamming the Republican vice presidential candidate: "Paul Ryan joins us to talk about where he thinks the presidential race is headed and criticism that he's played fast and loose with the truth." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Beginning the interview with Ryan minutes later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer parroted Guthrie's attack: "There are some people who are claiming that you played a little fast and loose with the truth on certain key elements. And I'm not just talking about Democratic analysts, I'm talking about some independent fact checkers. Would you concede that while many of the things you said were effective, some were not completely accurate?"

By Brad Wilmouth | August 31, 2012 | 8:30 AM EDT

Appearing toward the end of Thursday night's MSNBC live coverage of the Republican National Convention, Time magazine's Mark Halperin defended President Barack Obama's infamous "You didn't build that" gaffe, as he portrayed President Obama as attempting to defend himself from false accusations by the GOP.

After host Chris Matthews asserted a bit past 12:35 a.m. that Obama had not really waived work requirements for welfare recipients, Halperin complained:

By Brad Wilmouth | August 29, 2012 | 11:14 PM EDT

At about 9:15 p.m. during MSNBC's live coverage of the Republican National Convention, NBC correspondent Ron Mott omitted the word "illegal" as he pressed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on whether her "hardline stance on immigration" had hurt her politically with Hispanic voters.

By Brad Wilmouth | August 29, 2012 | 8:13 AM EDT

During MSNBC's live coverage of the Republican National Convention, as Paul Ryan was being discussed, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter -- formerly of Newsweek -- asserted that Congressman Ryan's budget proposals are "cruel." Alter:

By Brad Wilmouth | August 29, 2012 | 8:00 AM EDT

During MSNBC's live coverage of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, MSNBC political analyst Howard Fineman -- formerly of Newsweek -- complained that Chris Christie's speech was "nasty, and it was mean in tone," as he asserted that the speech failed to explain why Mitt Romney should be elected President. Shortly after 11:00 p.m., Fineman observed: