Campaign Watch

By Kyle Drennen | October 17, 2012 | 12:35 PM EDT

Displaying a stunning double standard on Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie gave Vice President Joe Biden plenty of room to applaud President Obama's debate performance, while fellow co-host Matt Lauer hammered Congressman Paul Ryan on issue after issue.

In her first question to Biden, Guthrie wondered if the President had "repaired the damage from his lackluster performance in the first debate," then followed up with: "Is the President's strategy here to beat Romney by disqualifying him in the minds of voters?" Meanwhile, Lauer began his interview with Ryan by asking essentially the same question: "A lot of the reporting this morning says that the President was the aggressor and may have won back some of the momentum lost after the first debate. Would you agree with that?"

By Matt Vespa | October 17, 2012 | 2:42 AM EDT

A little over a half-hour before the debate, Matthews went on a tirade against the pro-life movement. His fury mostly centered on Rep. Paul Ryan, whose pro-life views, according to Matthews are akin to Sharia law that is practiced and advocated by radical Islamists.  He also sounded the alarms that the Republican ticket may want to “operate [the United States] under a religious theory.”  After exposing the theocratic conspiracy of the Republicans and the Sharia enemies within – Matthews came off as utterly unhinged.

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 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 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."

By Kyle Drennen | October 16, 2012 | 12:21 PM EDT

In a pathetic attempt to smear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan ahead of Tuesday's second presidential debate, NBC's Today seized on a story in Monday's Washington Post accusing Ryan and his family of washing already clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen in Ohio for a photo-op. Co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "Would a campaign do that? We're gonna talk about it." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Following a report on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking responsibility for security failures in the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd actually treated the supposed dishwashing incident as if it were a scandal: "Paul Ryan is dealing with some fallout from that weekend photo-op....something that – that the campaign is a little nervous about because they're trying to get through this idea of whether they're in touch or out of touch."

By Kyle Drennen | October 15, 2012 | 3:09 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, political director Chuck Todd analyzed the state of the presidential race following a series of new national polls showing a slight Romney lead: "Well, look, the first debate really did sort of shift things....the numbers I've seen, and in talking to both campaigns, something shifted fundamentally."

However, only four days earlier, on Thursday's Today, Todd argued the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped," leading co-host Savannah Guthrie to conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact." That was as the ABC and CBS morning shows highlighted Romney's clear momentum.

By Matt Hadro | October 15, 2012 | 12:49 PM EDT

Has CNN's Piers Morgan had a revelation? Or is he simply praising Mitt Romney in the British press while peddling Democratic talking points on CNN?

Romney "just might save America," Morgan proclaimed over the weekend in Britain's Daily Mail. "His track record as a businessman is better than almost any presidential candidate ever."

By Kyle Drennen | October 12, 2012 | 3:06 PM EDT

Adopting Obama campaign talking points that Mitt Romney has dramatically shifted positions, on Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer asked Donald Trump: "Are you happy with the Romney campaign right now? In the last couple of weeks he has clearly moved toward the center, way closer to the center than he was during the primaries and the early part of the campaign. His comments on abortion out in Ohio." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Trump dismissed any concerns: "I think he's doing amazingly. It started with the debate. We were all a little bit worried for a while. He just knocked it out of the park in the debate, and you look at the polls, he's generally winning." Lauer pressed: "But you think he's the same candidate that you signed on with several months ago?" Trump replied: "I think he's a great candidate and I think he's going to win." Lauer couldn't let it go: "Same candidate?" Trump reiterated: "Yes, I think he's a great candidate."

By Kyle Drennen | October 12, 2012 | 11:16 AM EDT

While admitting at the top of Friday's NBC Today that there was "no clear winner" in Thursday's vice presidential debate, minutes later, co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie brought on left-wing MSNBC host Rachel Maddow to declare Joe Biden the victor: "Democrats are psyched that Joe Biden had such a great night....most Democrats watching last night probably think that Joe Biden clearly won." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Lauer teed up Maddow perfectly: "Going into this debate, just about everybody said the main goal of Joe Biden was to steady the ship and calm the nerves on the Democratic side. Let's start there, did he accomplish it?" Not surprisingly, Maddow replied: "Absolutely." The headline on the screen throughout the segment posed the question: "Did Biden Blunt the Romney Momentum?"

By Matt Hadro | October 11, 2012 | 8:02 PM EDT

After a lengthy spar with CNN's Soledad O'Brien over an alleged Mitt Romney flip-flop, RNC chief Reince Priebus called her out for her double standard on Thursday's Starting Point.

"Soledad, I wish you would be as passionate about taking Barack Obama to task for every one of his promises and for every one of his changes that he didn't follow through on over the last four years, as opposed to this," Priebus lectured her.