Campaign Watch

By Kyle Drennen | October 26, 2012 | 3:40 PM EDT

On Friday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd described how "both sides are dealing with some unexpected political speed bumps on the trail" and began by detailing the supposed obstacles for the Romney campaign:

...it's Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who made controversial comments about abortion and rape on Tuesday...another unforced error for Team Romney and Republicans, national campaign co-chair John Sununu made these eyebrow-raising comments in response to Colin Powell's endorsement of President Obama.

By Kyle Drennen | October 26, 2012 | 10:31 AM EDT

During a 20-minute interview with President Obama aired on Thursday's NBC Rock Center, host Brian Williams devoted a total of 1 minute 36 seconds to the subject of the terrorist attack in Libya. At the same time, four segments of soft coverage of the President's re-election campaign received a combined total of 2 minutes 19 seconds.

The promotional fluff included the President stopping by a pizza shop in Iowa (1 min 3 sec), appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno (30 sec), having singer Katy Perry perform at a rally in Las Vegas (31 sec), and him picking up some donuts at a Krispy Kreme in Tampa (15 sec). 

By Ryan Robertson | October 25, 2012 | 10:50 PM EDT

While President Obama's record-breaking pace to raising a total of $1 billion earlier this month received significant media attention, there was little if any curiosity among the traditional press about how he was on track to achieve such an unprecedented milestone in presidential fundraising. The broadcast networks in particular have not bothered to mention the growing scandal that is being scrupulously pieced together by alternative media outlets.

An independently-owned website Obama.com (redirects to official site here) has been suspected of accepting millions of dollars worth of illegal foreign donations for months now. Despite all the speculation and accusations coming from a nonprofit organization known as the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), no action had been taken until recently.

By Matt Vespa | October 25, 2012 | 5:46 PM EDT

During the October 24 broadcast of the PBS Newshour, Gwen Ifill explored the state of current U.S. Senate races with Rothenberg Political Report’s Nathan Gonzales and Roll Call’s Shira Toeplitz.

The first on the list was Indiana race between Richard Mourdock and Rep. Joe Donnelly.  Here, liberal media creep leeched into Toeplitz’s analysis as she found Mourdock’s comments about life and conception frivolously similar to what she called Todd Akin's “horrific gaffe” on the matter several weeks ago.

By Kyle Drennen | October 25, 2012 | 3:25 PM EDT

Continuing to hype Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's opposition to abortion as some kind of scandal for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Peter Alexander proclaimed: "...the Romney campaign is also dealing with a new controversy, trying to distance itself from this comment..."

After playing a sound bite of Mourdock explaining in a Tuesday senatorial debate that he believed an unborn child conceived by rape was still a life "intended by God," Alexander touted an ad of Romney endorsing the Indiana Republican. He then observed how, "Mr. Romney, who's been carefully courting women voters, ignored the controversy" and declared that the Governor's campaign has "been trying to steer away from it's party's right-wing since the contentious primaries..."

By Kyle Drennen | October 25, 2012 | 10:41 AM EDT

In an interview with President Obama on Wednesday, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams lobbed this softball: "How is it that with – what, 13 days to go, you're fighting for your life in a 47/47 race?... So after the excitement of '08, given the power of incumbency, you got Bin Laden, you did not expect to be sitting on a more substantial race than we are as we sit here today?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Obama argued he was exceeding media expectations: "...we always knew this was gonna be a close race from the start....you guys have some short memories. Folks in your business were writing me off a year ago, saying there's no way I would win."

By Ryan Robertson | October 24, 2012 | 5:41 PM EDT

On Tuesday's edition of MSNBC's The Ed Show, all but official Obama campaign surrogates Ed Schultz and Richard Wolffe discussed the third and final presidential debate. Both declared the president a clear winner and insulted the intelligence of anyone who would disagree. Failing to recognize the irony of what they were doing for Obama, Schultz criticized the Romney campaign for declaring victory -- as if it defied all logic.

"Romney's camp is spinning last night as a victory for him," he said. "What about that? I mean, do they really think the American people are that stupid?" [ video below, MP3 audio available here ]

By Kyle Drennen | October 24, 2012 | 3:50 PM EDT

In a continued effort to tag Mitt Romney with a flip-flopper label, on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams proclaimed that Romney's performance in the final presidential debate "seemed to be a move to the center" on foreign policy issues and asserted that the Governor was "taking positions he has not taken before."

In the report that followed, correspondent Andrea Mitchell declared: "Mitt Romney's switch to a more moderate foreign policy last night was clearly aimed at independent women voters.... Clearly having decided that undecided voters, those swing voters, are more likely to choose a moderate Republican than a hawk."

By Matt Vespa | October 24, 2012 | 3:09 PM EDT

PolitiFact has received a fair share of criticism from conservatives for their spin-heavy fact-checks. The liberal media, for the most part, has accordingly been dismissive of such conservative complaints. But now even The Daily Beast/Newsweek is joining in on the criticism, with contributor Megan McArdle joining conservatives in noting the fact-checker repeated repetition of a falsehood regarding the Lilly Ledbetter Supreme Court case.

By Kyle Drennen | October 24, 2012 | 12:10 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie brought on liberal MSNBC host Krystal Ball and radio host Michael Smerconish to discuss campaign strategy in the final two weeks before the presidential election, with the headline on-screen claiming: "Left vs. Right on Final Race for the White House."

There's one problem with that assertion, Smerconish prominently supported President Obama in 2008 and has routinely filled in for left-wing Hardball host Chris Matthews on MSNBC in the years since. Apparently having someone on the left like Ball and someone center-left like Smerconish is NBC's idea of balance.

By Kyle Drennen | October 23, 2012 | 4:24 PM EDT

Shortly following the conclusion of the final presidential debate Monday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams posed this question to Richard Haas of the Council on Foreign Relations: "I noticed a columnist for the New York Times tonight tweeted out that this was an etch-a-sketch moment for Governor Romney....Did you see that kind of movement on his part?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Williams reminded viewers of the origin of the phrase: "It was obviously a knock of the campaign story that came up about changing policy, moving toward the center with an ease of erasing an etch-a-sketch." Haas avoided any validation of the liberal talking point: "I'm almost more comfortable, Brian, leaving the politics to others, about, you know, what Governor Romney was trying to do tonight."

By Kyle Drennen | October 23, 2012 | 12:56 PM EDT

At the end of an interview with vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie parroted Democratic attacks on Mitt Romney's foreign policy credentials: "John Kerry said, 'this is the most inexperienced foreign policy ticket to run in decades,' talking about you and Governor Romney. What specific national security experience qualifies Governor Romney to be commander in chief?"

At the top of an interview with Joe Biden only seconds later, fellow co-host Matt Lauer teed up the Vice President to slam Romney on the same issue: "[I] started by asking him if he thought Governor Romney is a qualified candidate when it comes to his vision and understanding of foreign policy." Not surprisingly, Biden declared: "No, he's not."