Of the four liberal-media moderators selected by both parties at the Commission for Presidential Debates, CNN's Candy Crowley is the fairest. She's a longtime political-news pro, but that doesn't mean that in her long tenure at CNN, she doesn't have a "paper trail" (video trail) of liberal bias.
On Fox News this afternoon, James Pinkerton cited MRC’s research [see below] and said “I think things look pretty good for Obama.” Alan Colmes shot back, “Didn't the New York Times profile yesterday show that Candy Crowley was likely a Republican and worked for Dole or something? Colmes was oh, so wrong.
Actually, in an article about her decorating style, Crowley told the New York Times “I started being a vegetarian on the Bob Dole campaign in 1995. We were in South Carolina, and someone served me a hamburger, and I thought, ‘I don’t want to eat this anymore.’”
Perhaps next Colmes would say Crowley's framed Solidarity poster featured by the Times would suggest she's a Romney fan, since Lech Walesa favors Romney. But her CNN biography notes Crowley's been a reporter for CNN since coming over from NBC in 1987. She was covering the Dole presidential campaign as a CNN reporter, not as a Dole staffer.
Over the years, MRC has compiled some examples of Crowley's lapses from the discipline of objectivity. For example:
“Usually you kind of give the President a pass on leaking confidential stuff.” – CNN’s Candy Crowley on Obama’s self-promoting national security leaks, June 10, 2012 State of the Union.
"Let me talk to you a little about the swing state of Virginia, and I want to show our viewers your unemployment rate which has basically stayed two to three points below the national unemployment rate. It’s a success story really. Okay? You like this. I understand that. But, but, even as you embrace it as a Republican governor, does it not make it difficult for Mitt Romney, who has the same problem in other swing states, to come in and say, 'The economy is terrible and, you know, you need to elect a new president?' Because Virginia is doing very well under President Obama. – CNN’s Candy Crowley to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, June 3, 2012 State of the Union.
“It's probably less of a phony issue than a passe issue. This might have had some resonance had he done it early on, and he had a whole, you know, springtime to begin to, you know, chip away. The problem is, that the economy just came down on him.” – CNN’s Candy Crowley after the third presidential debate raised the issue of Obama’s friendship with radical Sixties bomber Bill Ayers, October 15, 2008.
"If you raised more than a quarter billion dollars in the primary season, would you limit yourself to $85 million in the fall campaign? Duh!" – CNN’s Candy Crowley’s spin when Obama decided to break his promise to abide by campaign spending limits to accept public financing, June 19, 2008.
"I recall standing out in very chilly Springfield, Illinois, when Barack Obama announced. And a lot of people I talked to there said, 'Oh, you're an Obama supporter?' I said no, but you know, this might be history. I wanted to bring my kid. Same with Hillary Clinton. I brought my daughter, you know, because I think this might be history." – CNN’s Candy Crowley on American Morning, February 1, 2008.
Republicans Too 'Far Right,' Intolerant
“Do you have a problem with being inclusive, because most people do look at Republicans going ‘They’re a conservative bunch of white guys who want to protect Big Oil.’ And now you’re even hearing Republicans saying, ‘It’s not big enough. We haven’t opened up the tent door.’” – CNN’s Candy Crowley touting an Arnold Schwarzenegger op-ed to Newt Gingrich, May 6, 2012 State of the Union.
"We have a poll where the majority of Americans said you all need to compromise on this debt ceiling, you all need to raise the debt ceiling, and it out to be -- the deal ought to include a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. You are opposed to both raising the debt ceiling and that kind of compromise. So doesn't that put you outside the mainstream?" – CNN’s Candy Crowley to Rep. Michele Bachmann, August 14, 2011 State of the Union.
"You and others who are for abortion rights in the Republican Party were frozen out of the platform. What does that say, if anything, about compassionate conservatism and the broad tent?"
-- CNN's Candy Crowley to New York Governor George Pataki, July 31, 2000 daytime coverage of the GOP convention.
"Somewhat north and far to the right of George Bush, there was this presidential primary cookout put together by a coalition of conservative groups who are feeling a little ignored."
-- CNN's Candy Crowley at a New Hampshire cookout featuring Sen. Bob Smith, July 4, 1999 The World Today.
Hurtful and 'Foolish' Spending Cuts?
"There's that term, 'penny wise and pound foolish.' Would you worry that, by cutting off those services, people...would have sicker babies, or certain people...wouldn't have HIV testing...and that would just cost us more?" – CNN’s Candy Crowley questioning Rep. Steve King on Planned Parenthood subsidies while guest-hosting The Situation Room on February 18, 2011.
"So let's get down to the basic question, who's going to get hurt in this budget?...So you have said in an editorial you wrote that the budget is an expression of our values and aspirations. So if I look at this what we call discretionary spending, things we don't have to spend on, you want to cut back community development block programs. That creates jobs in communities; it helps them with infrastructure, that kind of thing. Home heating assistance; education, as you just mentioned. You're also going to do -- the Great Lakes Restoration Fund Initiative is getting a pretty healthy cut in what they get from the feds, eight states involved, in trying to keep the Great Lakes economically viable. What does that say about our values and aspirations?: – CNN’s Candy Crowley pressing Obama budget director Jack Lew from the left on State of the Union, February 13, 2011.
Heroic Democrats for the New Century
"This is a man [John Kerry] who went and served his country. Do you feel as though you're making fun of him?...One of the things that the criticism of this is, that there are, you know, kids over in Iraq right now, some of them getting Purple Hearts. Is this defaming of them?"
-- CNN's Candy Crowley to a GOP delegate mocking Sen. John Kerry’s war injuries by wearing a band-aid with a purple heart on it, August 30, 2004.
"It is good old-fashioned ticket balance: a Northeastern Democrat on the liberal side, a Southern Democrat on the moderate side."
-- CNN's Candy Crowley on American Morning, July 6, 2004. (At that time, Sen. John Edwards had a lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 10 percent conservative.)
“He is the last of the liberal lions, roaring on behalf of the voiceless....The 30-year-old with nothing but a name to run on turned 70 as one of the premier legislators of the 20th century....He has championed civil rights, pushed for improved education and better health care. His name is on hundreds, probably thousands, of bills....He is an undiluted, undeterrable liberal, but a closet pragmatist. He prefers half a loaf to none, something to nothing, results over rhetoric.”
– CNN’s Candy Crowley, noting the 70th birthday of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, on the February 22, 2002 Inside Politics.