Campaign Watch

By Kyle Drennen | October 10, 2012 | 3:33 PM EDT

On Wednesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer cited left-wing Daily Beast columnist Andrew Sullivan ripping apart President Obama's bad debate performance: "I've never seen a candidate this late in the game so far ahead just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness, a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing argument?"

Lauer employed the quote in an interview with Obama campaign advisor Robert Gibbs and worried: "So with the second debate just a week away, Robert, does President Obama understand what he did wrong? Does he agree that he took the wrong approach?" Gibbs acknowledged: "...the President understands that he didn't even live up to his own high expectations for that debate."

By Matt Vespa | October 10, 2012 | 3:22 PM EDT

With a House Oversight committee slated to hold a hearing on the deadly Benghazi consulate terrorist attack at noon today, there was really no excuse for CNN's Starting Point to not cover the story. But alas, anchor Soledad O'Brien checked her journalistic credibility at the dressing room door, going on air with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) sounding more like an Obama apologist than a hard-nosed reporter.

By Kyle Drennen | October 10, 2012 | 12:19 PM EDT

After promoting the Obama campaign's Bird Bird ad on Tuesday's NBC Today, not to mention it being played repeatedly on MSNBC, in an interview with campaign advisor Robert Gibbs on Wednesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer wondered: "...is that the kind of political ad that a campaign releases when it feels that it has ideas and solutions on its side, or is that the kind of political ad a campaign releases when it simply wants to get attention?"

Gibbs defended the juvenile ad: "I think the ad and the President have an important point on this. You know, Mitt Romney took to the debate and said, 'I'm going to get tough by ending Downton Abbey and going to war with Sesame Street.'"

By Matt Vespa | October 9, 2012 | 6:10 PM EDT

Every election cycle, the American people are inundated with polls.  Polls with blacks, white, Hispanics, women, Jews, Catholics, young people, and the Asians are disseminated ad nauseam ­– despite most of them being flawed or so skewed concerning the sample spread that it’s not worth commenting on in any analysis.  When Romney hit a slump towards the end of September, which led to his dip in the polls, the left thought it was over.  No one was more convinced of this than Pew Research president Andrew Kohut, a public-broadcasting regular, who had to change his tune on the October 8 broadcast of the PBS Newshour.

By Matt Vespa | October 9, 2012 | 5:58 PM EDT

This election has seen its fair share of tax rhetoric. From Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accusing Mitt Romney of not paying any taxes for over a decade to MSNBC contributor Joan Walsh insinuating that Ann Romneythrew a “tantrum” over her husband's tax returns, the Romneys have been the target of the political left seeking to use class warfare as a political cudgel. Endless ads and news segments by some in the media obsess over Mitt’s rate of taxation, complaining that he doesn't pay what's fair.

By Matt Hadro | October 9, 2012 | 5:02 PM EDT

Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake told CNN on Tuesday that candidate George W. Bush "just didn't pay a high enough price" in the 2000 election for his DUI arrest that occurred more than 20 years prior.

Blake was talking about famous "October surprises," or unforseen events occurring in the month before the election that could be game-changing. The Bush DUI revelation was a hit job planted by a Democratic source that mushroomed into a big story because of the liberal media.

By Kyle Drennen | October 9, 2012 | 3:12 PM EDT

Appearing on Tuesday's MSNBC Morning Joe, NBC political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discounted a new satirical ad from the Obama campaign mocking Mitt Romney for mentioning Big Bird in the debate: "...this is clearly a, as I was told, 'national cable,' which seems like code for, 'We put it out there hoping a lot of people will play it over and over because we think it's a good snarky conversation.'"

However, only moments earlier, the full ad played on the MSNBC morning show, as well as during the 6 a.m. ET hour. In fact, the ad ran in full on every MSNBC show between the 5 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET hours on Tuesday, for a total of ten times. That included on Todd's own 9 a.m. ET show, The Daily Rundown.

By Kyle Drennen | October 8, 2012 | 1:30 PM EDT

During the Week in Buzz segment on Sunday's NBC Today, Ericka Souter, editor of the celebrity gossip blog The Stir, trashed Mitt Romney for announcing plans to cut federal funding of PBS, including Sesame Street, ranting: "Everything else Romney said was completely overshadowed by the fact that Big Bird felt attacked or people felt Big Bird was attacked, and he's like an icon to millions of moms and kids." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

As Souter denounced Romney for supposedly attacking Big Bird, the headline on screen read: "Romney Goes 'Bird' Hunting." A picture appeared that showed a protestor dressed in a Big Bird costume holding a sign that read: "Unemployed in a Romney economy."   

By Kyle Drennen | October 5, 2012 | 2:25 PM EDT

In a display of just how badly President Obama performed in Wednesday's presidential debate, Friday's NBC Today played a clip of Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripping into Obama: "There is no red America. There is no blue America. There is only the America that can't believe how bad this guy did in the debate. Romney won with the sound up....Romney won with the sound off." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Stewart mockingly implored the President: "...think of your supporters. Look what your performance did last night to one of them." A sound bite followed of the meltdown of MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed? Where was Obama tonight?!" Stewart declared: "Mr. President, you broke Chris Matthews!" The Today show hosts all laughed as weatherman Al Roker quipped: "And he's still broken."

By Kyle Drennen | October 5, 2012 | 11:18 AM EDT

Appearing on Friday's NBC Today, left-wing MSNBC host Ed Schultz desperately tried to explain away President Obama's bad debate performance: "I think that there were so many lies coming across that stage, and so many inaccuracies, it was hard for the President to comprehend it and decide which one he wanted to attack first." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Co-host Savannah Guthrie called him out on the liberal talking point: "That sounds a little bit like you're making excuses for the President." Schultz doubled down on his lame attempt to defend the President: "[Romney] was the guy in the board room, he was the corporate shark, he knew how to get this audience done and he was going to run over everybody. And I think that might play to his disadvantage in the long run."

By Kyle Drennen | October 4, 2012 | 4:54 PM EDT

On Thursday's NBC Today, in an attempt to deflect from Mitt Romney's strong debate performance, fill-in co-host David Gregory grilled Romney advisor Ed Gillespie on the Governor's tax plan: "...he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, he wants to have further tax cuts beyond that, he wants to increase military spending and he rejected a 10 to 1 ratio when it came to cutting spending and raising revenue. So the math simply doesn't add up, does it?"

Gillespie fact-checked Gregory's supposed fact-check:

There have been six studies now that have analyzed what Governor Romney has proposed in terms of lowering tax rates and expanding the base. We've done that in the past in our country's history, it's resulted in economic growth. It would result in economic growth again. And six of those studies says – say that this could be done, very credible studies, without increasing the deficit.

By Ryan Robertson | October 4, 2012 | 3:54 PM EDT

Something odd happened to the liberal media after the first presidential debate on Wednesday. They couldn't for the life of them put any postive spin on the president's lackluster performance. There was nothing they could say that could take away from Mitt Romney's clear victory, but then came the excuses. Some blamed Jim Lehrer for his inability to moderate properly, others cited what must've been an incumbent debate curse, there was even some mention of Obama's reluctance to come across as an angry black man.

But the dopiest analysis by far was from former Vice President Al Gore, on his Current TV network -- think an even farther left version of MSNBC with fewer viewers -- who blamed altitude sickness on Obama's poor performance: [ video below after page break ]