The New York Times greeted Rick Perry’s “20-20” flat-tax plan with predictable hostility. In Wednesday's “Perry Calls His Flat Tax Proposal ‘Bold Reform,” Richard Oppel Jr. took only two sentences to sniff “the plan would grant a major tax cut for the wealthy”. He also saw it “requiring drastically austere federal budgets,” of the sort we haven’t seen since...well, President Bill Clinton, actually.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tag-teamed with liberal pundit Jared Bernstein to slam Herman Cain and Rick Perry's tax plans today, insisting that both are a sop to the "rich" and an act of "class warfare" against the middle class. An onscreen bio graphic noted that Bernstein used to work for Vice President Biden, but that fact would go unnoted for any listeners to the program via MSNBC's SiriusXM satellite radio channel.
Also unaddressed by Bashir was that while Cain, Perry and the other GOP candidates are running against the Obama economic record, Bernstein had a hand in fashioning the 2009 stimulus package.
In a January 2009 memo co-authored with then-Obama economic advisor Christina Romer, the pair argued that a stimulus bill would stop the upward march of unemployment at 8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, with unemployment falling throughout 2011 and reaching around 5.5 percent by Election Day 2012 (see graph from that report below the page break).
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, Meet the Press host David Gregory ripped Rick Perry's flat tax proposal: "The problem is, this does help the rich. It hurts a lot of the poor and the middle class. Political professionals I talk to say the problem with the flat tax ideas is that once voters look at it a second or third time they don't like it much." [Audio available here]
Gregory even suggested Republican voters in Iowa would be opposed to the plan: "A lot of voters in the Iowa caucuses are not necessarily rich so it may not stand the test of time." He then added: "And oh, by the way, how do you get it passed when nobody can agree on tax reform right now?" [View video after the jump]
Emmy Award-winning singer and actress Bette Midler offered Tuesday to send Porta-Potties to help Occupy Wall Street protests.
In an interview with Joy Behar on HLN, the multimillionaire also took a cheap shot at the Texas governor saying, "I'm not sure Rick Perry knows where he was born" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday reiterated his cartoon view of the Republican Party as a political organization that wants to cause "cruel pain on people" and intends to "get rid" of cops and firefighters.
Highlighting a couple of isolated outbursts at GOP debates, Matthews frothed, "They want more people to fry. They love executions. They want people that don't have insurance to die on the gurney in the hospital bed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Liberal MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir on Monday compared Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry to former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, citing the fact that both supposedly love guns and "shoot to kill."
After playing a clip of Perry expressing his appreciation for the American tradition of firearms ownership, Bashir bizarrely proclaimed that "Mr. Perry's wild west show calls to mind another world leader. Yes, Vladimir Putin." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed one up for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was specifically designed to mock the Republican presidential candidates while allowing her to brag uninterrupted about the foreign policy successes of Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Chris Matthews this weekend made a somewhat self-deprecating comment about presidential candidate Mitt Romney telling the guests on the syndicated program bearing his name that Republicans "don't have a thrill up their leg about this guy."
After some laughter, they agreed (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CBS's Early Show on Wednesday somehow couldn't find time for any Republicans to comment on the most recent GOP presidential debate, and instead, brought on David Axelrod, the chief strategist for President Obama's reelection campaign, to bash the GOP. Anchors Erica Hill and Jeff Glor gave Axelrod the kid glove treatment, instead of pressing him about the issues that may negatively affect the President.
Glor began with the simplest question possible to the presidential advisor: "What did you think of the debate last night? Let's start with that." As one might expect, Axelrod bashed the Republican field in general and Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney specifically. When the Democrat then singled out the former Massachusetts governor for further criticism, the anchor followed up by asking, "You've had some of your strongest words for Romney. Is he still your primary focus right now?"
Andrea Mitchell's attempt to imply Rick Perry was being racially insensitive, for calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "brother," during Tuesday's Republican debate, was so lame even her NBC colleague Chuck Todd wasn't buying it. Mitchell, on Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, dredged up the N-Head controversy on Perry as she scolded: "If I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the 'brother' stuff, over and over again."
Todd then tried to rein in his NBC colleague as he admonished: "Just very quickly on the 'brother' thing. That's a Southern cultural thing," and reminded her that their "late friend Mr. [Tim] Russert" was also fond of using that term in a friendly way, "He loved to refer to all of us as brother." Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza came to Perry's defense as he agreed with Todd and offered: "It sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying, 'brother.'" [video after the jump]
A lively GOP debate dissection on today's Morning Joe. Mika Brzezinski really liked Romney's performance, saying among other things that he was "fabulous." She also had surprising praise for Michelle Bachmann.
There was consensus that 9-9-9 was "deboned" and that Herman Cain hurt himself badly with his pre-debate answer on releasing terrorists from Gitmo. Meanwhile, Michael Steele had a striking way of saying that Perry's aggressiveness backfired. Video and more after the jump.
Hours before Republican presidential candidates faced off in Tuesday's debate in Las Vegas, Martin Bashir took a swipe at six of them.
On the MSNBC program bearing his name, the host said that since Mitt Romney is "the inevitable candidate," the rest of the contestants are auditioning "for future employment" at Fox News (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This afternoon, Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll devoted over 1,600 words to "dominionism," spending much of it attempting to cast Rick Perry as their guy, even though, as she admitted, "Perry has never said anything that would directly link him to dominionism." Oh, but he's sorta said some things that might hint at such sympathies, and he's been on stage with people who are supposedly "dominionists." Zoll even cited MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as a supposedly authoritative source.
Remember all that talk about returning civility to political discussions following Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' (D-Ariz.) shooting in January?
Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus clearly doesn't, for on ABC's This Week Sunday, she said of Texas governor Rick Perry's presidential candidacy, "He's like Monty Python's parrot - he's not dead yet" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show spent the entire first segment talking about how America wants more centrist politicians looking to compromise with their political rivals.
The host and his guests believe the Republican presidential candidate that best exemplifies this moderate stance is Mitt Romney, with Time's Joe Klein actually saying he gave on Tuesday "one of the most impressive, impeccable debate performances I’ve ever seen" - but the panel still thinks Romney's got a very serious Mormon problem (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Texas Governor Rick Perry conducted interviews with all three network morning shows on Friday and all used controversial comments made by Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress as a line of attack. This despite Perry having already distanced himself from the pastor's remarks labeling Mormonism a "cult."
On NBC's Today, co-host Matt Lauer led the charge by leveling this accusation against the Perry campaign: "...the issue of faith was really introduced – the can of worms was opened by a surrogate of your own campaign..."
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos wouldn't let the issue go: "The Romney campaign...have called on you to repudiate him and his comments. Will you do that?...do you want his support, or will you repudiate that?...do you repudiate Reverend Jeffress?"
Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain's name until the report's eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney's three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service's copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.
Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you're wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:
Former Executive Editor Bill Keller, now a columnist for the paper, used the tragic fire in Bastrop, Texas to let loose an Obama-inspired rant against the conservative argument for limited government (and again targeted Texas Gov. Rick Perry) on his New York Times blog Monday: “Life Without Government.”
Based on a report filed earlier today and time-stamped 8:16 p.m. as of when this post was prepared, it would appear that the last thing Associated Press writers Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt want is a competitive Republican primary season, and that they'll twist reality and the numbers to fit their meme. Oh, and in case you haven't gotten the establishment press memo, Rick Perry is still Mitt Romney's only real competitor.
Funny, I don't remember the AP or anyone else in the establishment press calling Hillary Clinton's nomination "inevitable" in October 2007, when, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP), Ms. Clinton was outpolling Barack Obama by an average of 24 points in 18 polls (and by probably more over John Edwards, though that info wasn't available at RCP).
PBS's Charlie Rose opened last night’s Bloomberg/Washington Post GOP presidential economic policy debate by noting the round table format was like a “kind of kitchen table where families for generations have come together to talk and solve their problems.”
But through much of the debate it sounded more like Thanksgiving dinner with your liberal aunt and uncle as panelist Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post hammered the candidates from the left and moderator Charlie Rose used a 27-year-old Reagan sound bite to push candidates to come out in favor of tax increases.
Monday’s column by former New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, “Is the Tea Party Over?”, indulged in the usual doomsaying for the G.O.P.’s 2012 presidential prospects (too negative, too far to the right, etc.). Keller also found the “doofus” Gov. Perry guilty of giving “a wink to the evangelicals, a nod to the executioner, and an ardent defense of personal liberties for those who are heterosexual and don’t need an abortion.”
Keller, who as editor of the paper virtually ignored the Tea Party during its first year of existence, has now turned around and said the movement is about to blow its big political opportunity:
While morning and evening newscasts from all three broadcast networks in the last few days have focused on anti-Mormon sentiment within the Republican Party that may hinder Mitt Romney's bid for the presidency, FNC's Special Report with Bret Baier on Monday noted that self-identified Republican voters are substantially more willing to accept a Mormon President compared to Democrats.
FNC correspondent Carl Cameron observed that Democrats are "least tolerant" compared to Republicans and independents as he recounted the findings of a Quinnipiac poll:
Good Morning America and the Today show on Monday fretted about the "ugly turn" the 2012 presidential race has taken in the wake of a pastor at a conservative conference decrying Mitt Romney's Mormonism as a "cult." Yet, these same programs promoted the "edgy" Book of Mormon play back in the spring.
On Monday, GMA's correspondent Jon Karl asserted, "The race for the Republican nomination has take an ugly turn with some now openly questioning whether Mitt Romney's Mormon faith should disqualify him from being president." Karl added that when Romney spoke at the Value Voters Summit, he "tried to take the high ground."
What a change The Washington Post wrought by bringing in Patrick Pexton as the ombudsman. The last ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, was a stickler about the Post’s overuse of anonymous sources. But in a Sunday column on Rick Perry and the Post's “N-head” painted-rock “investigative” hullaballoo, Pexton just circled his wagon and made excuses for the newspaper.
“If the seven sources The Post relied on for this article are truthful, then Perry is lying or is badly misinformed about when the rock was painted,” insisted Pexton. But what if the seven anonymous sources are lying or badly misinformed? What if some are Obama voters or financial backers? The Post is throwing the biggest rock they can at a Republican – racism, as in casual acquiescence to the N-word – without telling the public who’s behind it. "Trust us," says the newspaper of the 2006 Excessive 'Macaca' Pile-on.
On Thursday, Zogby released a shocking poll finding Herman Cain twenty points ahead of Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential nominee race.
Despite this, Chris Matthews on the syndicated television show bearing his name this weekend did a ten minute segment about this race without mentioning Cain's name once (video follows with transcript and commentary):
If it's Friday, Bill Maher must be saying something offensive about conservatives.
True to form, during his opening monologue on HBO's "Real Time," the host quipped about ESPN terminated its relationship with Hank Williams Jr. this week, "If we're going to fire every southern hillbilly who thinks Obama is like Hitler, who will be our Republican Congressmen?
During the "New Rule" segment ending Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, host Maher asserted that the painted over "N****head Ranch" rock on Texas Governor Rick Perry's hunting territory is a "metaphor" for the Republican Party, because it is "overtly racist bulls*** thinly painted over." Maher also displayed the words "The Bigotest Loser" while an image of Perry was shown on screen.
From time to time, MSNBC hosts like to do their part to further the meme that Republicans are out to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies such as blacks and the elderly by using voter ID laws as a back-door way to discourage voting by those groups.
Today Hardball fill-in host Michael Smerconish picked up the baton, interviewing Michael Waldman of the liberal Brennan Center for Justice about his group's claim that its new "comprehensive study" finds five million Americans will be effectively disenfranchised in 2012 thanks to new voter ID laws in numerous states.
For his part, Smerconish did play a bit of devil's advocate:
The Washington Post's stoning of Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry is journalistic malpractice. Instead of calling the newspaper to task, other national media outlets have joined in. And now, the Post is doubling down on slander.
The Post dispatched reporters to the remote hunting grounds of a Perry-linked ranch — "associated" with Perry through "his father, partners or his signature on a lease" — because it once had a rock on it somewhere that had the word "Niggerhead" painted on it. The term is an embarrassing vestige of past racism not just in Texas but on geographical landmarks across the country.