Campaign Watch

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.

By Matt Vespa | October 11, 2012 | 6:45 PM EDT

With the Vice Presidential debate hours away, new developments concerning its moderator, Martha Raddatz have been disturbing. As Joel B. Pollak at Breitbart reported today, during the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, Raddatz, who was then known as Martha Bradlee (she was married to Ben Bradlee Jr.), moderated the debate where, like a good race-baiting liberal, she asked Democratic candidate John Silber “why he had not campaigned more frequently in poor minority communities, prompting him to respond: "There is no point in my making a speech on crime control to a group of drug addicts." 

By Kyle Drennen | October 11, 2012 | 5:22 PM EDT

At the top of Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams recited Obama campaign talking points as he proclaimed: "What Mitt Romney said about abortion that sure sounds like a change."

Moments later, Williams attempted to frame Romney's innocuous comments on the subject to the Des Moines Register as a misstep: "Mitt Romney is trying to take advantage of a bounce coming off the last debate, but it was something he said on the subject of abortion that is getting a lot of the attention today and tonight. It's where we begin tonight..."

By Kyle Drennen | October 11, 2012 | 12:58 PM EDT

While the ABC and CBS morning shows on Thursday focused on a tightening presidential race following Mitt Romney's winning performance in the first debate, on NBC's Today, political director Chuck Todd used the network's new swing state polling to argue that the debate was "not as helpful to Romney as he might have hoped." Prompting co-host Savannah Guthrie conclude: "Alright, so the debate had maybe not as much of an impact."

In contrast, opening CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose announced: "New polls show the race between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney is getting tighter." Similarly opening ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos proclaimed: "High stakes and high pressure as new polls show Mitt Romney closing the gap in some key states."

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."