CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday actually pressed a senior Barack Obama adviser on the campaign's "false" claim that Mitt Romney was responsible for outsourcing while at Bain Capital. Unlike ABC, which credulously parroted Obama's attacks, Crowley reminded Robert Gibbs that "this particular ad got four Pinocchios from the Washington Post."
The Obama operative dodged, huffing, "Factcheck.org ought to read the Washington Post, which is the one that came up with a report that said...Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were pioneers in outsourcing." Crowley wouldn't let go of the point, reminding, "Mitt Romney was not running Bain. He had cut ties and gone off." CNN's graphic for the segment boldly knocked the "false attack ads." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
In comparison, on the July 1 edition of World News, Rick Klein uncritically trumpeted, "Democrats are definitely breaking through by calling into question what Romney wants to be his biggest strength." He failed to explain or challange the Obama complaints.
Crowley hit Gibbs on a number of economic topics, at one point wondering, "But the jobs are not flourishing now, and folks don't actually seem to think that the president would handle it better than Mitt Romney, so I'm just trying to figure out what the sales pitch is here."
A partial transcript of the July 8 segment can be found below:
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State of the Union
CNN Graphic: False Attack Ads: 4 "Pinocchios" for Obama's Bain Attack
CANDY CROWLEY: You all have invested very heavily in the Bain Capital element of trying to convince people of what Mitt Romney is about. And yet, this particular ad got four pinocchios from the Washington Post, which is not true. And this is what Factcheck.org had to say. "We found no evidence to support the claim that Romney, while he was still running Bain Capital, shipped American jobs overseas." You now have a similar ad out. Why do you keep with that?
GIBBS: Well, I've got to say factcheck.org ought to read the Washington Post, which is the one that came up with a report that said looking at SEC filings that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were pioneers in outsourcing. They shipped jobs all over the world that could and should have been--
CROWLEY: You say that Romney was, but the point, their point is that in fact, Mitt Romney was not running Bain. He had cut ties and gone off.
GIBBS: That also is not true, because Mitt Romney was the head and sole owner of Bain longer than Mitt Romney has admitted to being the sole owner of Bain.
But let's understand this, because we saw this a little bit again this week. We have got a guy who believes and has been a pioneer in outsourcing jobs, and quite frankly, he offshores most of his own personal investments, presumably to shield them from taxes.
Candy, I don't know about you, I pick a bank because there is an ATM near my home, right? Mitt Romney has a bank account in Switzerland. He's got a shell company--
CROWLEY: Nothing illegal, right? You are not charging that he has done anything illegal with any of this? GIBBS: Candy, nobody knows why he has a corporation in Bermuda, why he failed to disclose that on seven different financial disclosures, why he transferred it to somebody else's purview the day before he became governor of Massachusetts. The one thing he can do, Candy, to clear up whether or not he's done anything illegal, whether he's shielding his income from taxes in Bermuda or Switzerland, is to do what every other presidential candidate has done, and that is release a series of years of their own tax returns. Mitt Romney's father was the pioneer for releasing a series of tax returns. The best way to figure out if Mitt Romney is complying with American tax law is to have him release more of his tax returns.
GIBBS: This is a guy whose slogan is believe in America, and it should be business in Bermuda, that is what Mitt Romney is all about.
CROWLEY: Which is a great line, but again, there is no evidence here that any of the fact check organizations have found that A, he outsourced jobs, or was president of Bain when it happened, and B, that he has done anything illegal. You have had a lot of advice from folks, Democrats saying get off of this particular Bain thing. There is obviously some polling that shows in fact it's having some effect in some of the battleground states, but why--
GIBBS: Again, this is an ad that's based on a report that the Washington Post did. OK? So I would encourage everyone go to Washingtonpost.com and read that report. The reason that we'll keep talking about this is, this is important. Are we going to create jobs here in America, we're going to bring them back from overseas, we're going to do away with tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, or are we going to invest in manufacturing here in this country? You know, we have created half a million manufacturing jobs. More manufacturing jobs have been created in the last few years than since the mid-90s. Mitt Romney famously said we ought to let Detroit and the auto industry go bankrupt. Again, I go back to two very different visions about this economy.