CBS's Early Show repeatedly hit GOP candidate Newt Gingrich on Friday over his comments on African-Americans and food stamps. The network played the quote for African-American Congressman Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and engaged Gingrich over the context, even accusing him of trying to start a class war.
"You've accused President Obama of trying to start a class war," co-host Nancy Cordes told Gingrich in an interview at the bottom of the 7 a.m. hour. "Aren't you doing the same thing?" she pressed him. [Video below the break.]
On Friday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer highlighted The Boston Globe endorsement of Jon Huntsman, and noted how, "Joe Klein in Time magazine wrote this about him...'He has proposed the most thoughtful roster of policy initiatives of any candidate in the race.'" Lauer then wondered: "People say this guy is a great candidate. Why hasn't he broken through?...why aren't more people talking about him?"
Lauer directed that question to Meet the Press host David Gregory, who explained: "I just think that a lot of people view him as slightly discordant in this particular primary season. He doesn't have Tea Party support, he's certainly not a favorite among the conservative base." Gregory added: "A lot of people like him who are taking a hard look, are enough people taking a hard look?"
CBS revealed its double standard in its treatment of Republican presidential candidates versus Democratic ones on Wednesday's Early Show, as Jim Axelrod and Nancy Cordes pressed Mitt Romney about the challenges ahead in the race the day after he won in Iowa. By contrast, then-anchor Katie Couric gushed over a "humanized" and "emotional" Hillary Clinton the day after the 2008 New Hampshire primary.
After joking with Romney about his eight vote margin of victory at the beginning of the interview, Axelrod asked the former Massachusetts governor about the apparent slim rise in the number of votes he gained in the 2012 Iowa caucuses versus four years earlier: "I'm wondering just one number...six years you've spent out in Iowa, and I think you end up with 66 more votes this time than in 2008. Can you explain this challenge you had in Iowa about getting more traction this go around?"
If anyone's going to destroy Newt Gingrich's presidential aspirations, Hardball's Chris Matthews would rather it be him, or at least someone else in the liberal media. Appearing on colleague Tamron Hall's NewsNation program in today's 2 p.m. Eastern hour, Matthews whined about anti-Gingrich "bombing campaign" of TV ads placed by political action committees that have helped to drive down the former Speaker's poll numbers in the run up to tonight's caucuses.
"My sympathy is not for Newt, it's for democracy," Matthews pontificated, having argued that Romney's "wealthy friends have destroyed" Gingrich with a "Dresden"-style "bombing campaign." [video follows page break; MP3 audio available here]
In a series of CBS Evening News reports Monday night on how the top Republican presidential contenders plan to reduce the deficit, reporter Dean Reynolds pleaded to Newt Gingrich: “Absolutely no tax increases?”
Reynolds proceeded to note “critics are doubtful” about the impact of Gingrich’s plans to reduce regulations and cut federal spending: “They say that fewer regulations could spur some productivity, but they also say that to really reduce the deficit you would have to include some combination of spending cuts and tax increases.”
As he interviewed Iowa Republican Governor Terry Branstad on Monday's The Early Show on CBS, substitute co-anchor Bob Schieffer naively wondered why someone does not act to put an end to negative ads in political campaigns.
Chris Hayes, guest hosting on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Thursday, opened a segment with the words, "From the Department of Shameless Schadenfraude." Department of Feeble Attempts at Moral Equivalence would be more accurate. (video after page break)
Has Andrea Mitchell appointed herself hall monitor of the 2012 elections? On her MSNBC show today, Mitchell asked Mitt Romney whether he had "an apology to make to the voters" for the negative ads against Newt Gingrich being run by Romney-friendly Super PACs.
For good measure, Mitchell scolded: "is that the kind of campaign you want to run: a negative campaign?" Video after the jump.
It's no secret that the media have given significant attention to GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems and whether this facet of his past will undercut him with socially conservative Republican voters, but on Friday's Today show on NBC, correspondent Peter Alexander went so far as to refer to Gingrich's wife as his "third wife" in a story that otherwise had nothing to do with his marital history. (Video below)
Below is the relevant portion of Alexander's report from the Friday, December 30, Today show on NBC:
While reporting on candidate Newt Gingrich "taking a pummeling" from "brutal" attack ads, ABC's Jonathan Karl noted Gingrich's positive response – a "bizarre" Gingrich campaign Christmas video that Karl laughed off as "disturbing." Karl's report aired during the 7 a.m. hour of Good Morning America.
"Uh, it's a little disturbing, let me tell you," Karl scoffed at the festive video. A clip showed campaign workers decked in Santa hats singing a campaign-themed Christmas carol. [Video below the break.]
On Tuesday's World News on ABC, correspondent Jonathan Karl used the phrase "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" to label the tendency of Republicans presidential candidates to restrain negative attacks from their own campaigns, while independent groups that support the candidates are running more negative ads. While showing negative ads by supporters of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, Karl declared:
On Tuesday's Good Morning America on ABC, during an interview with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, substitute host Elizabeth Vargas singled out GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as she asked if the former House Speaker is "fit to be President." Vargas:
ABC's Jonathan Karl Tuesday published a piece now prominently featured at the Drudge Report with a headline guaranteed to be the Obama-loving media's lead story concerning something Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich wrote over five years ago: "Gingrich ’06 Memo: 'Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney' on Health Care."
Inside the actual document uncovered by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, the former Speaker didn't "agree entirely with Gov. Romney" at all (emphasis added):
Appearing as a guest on Monday's Today show on NBC, the Huffington Post's Howard Fineman - also of MSNBC and formerly of Newsweek - hyperbolically referred to "megalomania" in GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in response to Gingrich's over the top comparison of Virginia's restrictive ballot access laws being like a Pearl Harbor attack on his campaign.
In light of the development this weekend that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only two presidential candidates who had enough valid signatures to appear on the Virginia Republican primary ballot on March 6, the American Spectator's John Fund appeared on Sunday's Fox and Friends on FNC and suggested that Newt Gingrich may yet find a way to secure a spot on the Virginia ballot. (Video below)
During her interview with President and Mrs. Obama which aired on Friday's 20/20, ABC's Barbara Walters made a point of contrasting GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's history of marital problems with the successful marriage of the First Family.
During a fawning interview with Bill Clinton on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Ann Curry asked for the former President's thoughts on Newt Gingrich running for president: "You also, having worked with him, I'm wanting to know, putting aside politics, do you see Newt Gingrich as a man who has the temperament, the leadership qualities, to be President of the United States?"
Clinton took the opportunity to relish GOP infighting during the primary season: "That's what the presidential election is for....you find out a lot about people in the crucible of battle and they're all turning on him now and running all these negative ads. And basically, It's funny, they're basically doing to each other now, in a serial way, what they did to the Democrats in 2010."
CBS's Bob Schieffer displayed his liberal leanings on Sunday's Face the Nation when he raised the issue of illegal immigration. Schieffer claimed during an interview of Newt Gingrich that "Mitt Romney has taken such a hard line, it seems to me, on immigration that some within the Republican Party are saying he is simply running off Hispanic voters."
The journalist asked Gingrich for his take on this claim about halfway through the half-hour long interview. Gingrich replied, "I'm not going on comment on Governor Romney," and simply recited his policy recommendations on illegal immigration. When the candidate stated near the end of his answer that "I do not believe the American people are going to send police out to round up folks who have been here 25 years," Schieffer followed up and asked, "There are 11 million of these people. I mean, what are you going to do with them? I mean, you can't build that many prisons to put them in jail....and you can't get that many buses to haul them back."
Just how much do the media want to prevent Newt Gingrich from becoming the Republican presidential nominee?
So much that despite their total disdain for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), they'll even defend her from supposed sexist attacks by the former Speaker of the House (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Christopher Hitchens, RIP, would likely have loved the rough-and-tumble of today's Morning Joe. The first half-hour was a jolting fix for political junkies.
If the goring of Newt Gingrich was predictable, there was much that was not. Michelle Bachmann's debate performance was roundly praised. Lefty Jeff Sachs put himself to Ron Paul's right on the Iranian threat. Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch reported that normally-Dem New York CEOs have deserted Obama en masse. Video after the jump.
The cover story of Tuesday's USA Today blared "Resurgent Republicans close gap in key states." Susan Page reported a new USA Today/Gallup poll of 12 battleground states found "the number of voters who identify themselves as Democratic or Democratic-leaning in these key states has eroded, down 4 percentage points, while the ranks of Republicans have climbed by five points." GOP voters were also found to be more attentive to the campaign, more enthusiastic about the election, and more convinced the outcome matters. ABC, CBS, NBC coverage? None.
Gallup also found "Americans' concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession." Network coverage? None. On Wednesday morning's Early Show CBS reporter Jan Crawford found only the Gallup result that would discourage Republicans:
Philosophically, you'd think Rudy Giuliani might align more closely with Mitt Romney than with Newt Gingrich. So what's behind Rudy's recent statement that Gingrich could be the stronger candidate? And why did Giuliani go on Morning Joe today to trash Romney as "elitist" and "a man without a core, a man without a substance"?
Well, Rudy also reminded viewers that "I ran against him in '07, '08." And as Rich Lowry has observed, "in 2008, the other Republican candidates hated Romney." Just this morning, John Podhoretz tweeted: "Re: Rudy's attacks on Romney today. Remember: SOMETHING kept Rudy out of NH in '08 when it could have been a strong state for him." So Rudy's remarks could reflect the triumph of personal animus over political ideology. Video after the jump.
If you had any question who the folks at MSNBC would prefer President Obama run against next November, what happened on Wednesday's Hardball should make it crystal clear.
About thirty minutes after host Chris Matthews apologized for his network's pathetic Ku Klux Klan smear of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he disgustingly attacked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich saying, "You don't give WMD to someone known even by his old former allies to be in a crunch, or even whenever things get edgy, to be himself a weapon of mass destruction" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Fellow right-wingers: Is our objective to taunt Obama by accusing him of "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior," of being "authentically dishonest" and a "wonderful con" -- and then lose the election -- or is it to defeat Obama, repeal Obamacare, secure the borders, enforce e-verify, reform entitlement programs, reduce the size of government and save the country?
If all you want is to lob rhetorical bombs at Obama and then lose, Newt Gingrich -- like recent favorite Donald Trump -- is your candidate. But if you want to save the country, Newt's not your guy.
Chris Matthews all but thinks Newt Gingrich is Satan. His MSNBC colleague Martin Bashir is a little more restrained, but not by much, comparing the former House Speaker to huckster and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Bashir made the comparison in the "Clear the Air" closing commentary for his December 14 program. "Ever since he shot to the top of the Republican race for the White House, I've been trying to figure out which historical figure Newt Gingrich most resembles," noted in opening his monologue, before making a gross historical gaffe of his own (update: Bashir's twitter feed corrected the gaffe later with a h/t to yours truly):