Pimps Romney’s message three times: Rachel Maddow floundered and flailed when asked about it on Meet the Press.
Earlier on that program, RNC chairman Reince Priebus had pushed the point very hard. He used some very unusual language.
David Gregory let it go:
PRIEBUS (8/12/12): Well, listen, I think that if you lay out the contrast and you lay out the choice of the American people, do you want to go down the road debt, decline and doubt? And, by the way, taking $700 billion out of Medicare as President Obama did—he stole $700 billion out of Medicare to fund European healthcare. We can go down that route or we can put solutions on the table to big problems and have the debate. I mean what do we want? Do we want—According To Priebus, Obama “stole” $700 billion from Medicare. (He did this to fund “European” health care!)
David, if we do nothing and if we go down the road that this president wants to go down and these Democrats, Medicare will be changed forever as we know it. It'll be bankrupt by 2024. Medicare is going broke. Every person in America watching this now knows that that's true. This president stole. He didn't cut Medicare. He stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it's Barack Obama. He's the one that's destroying Medicare.
Obama has “blood on his hands,” Priebus said. Gregory sat there and stared.
Priebus’ language was very unusual—and yes, David Gregory noticed. He mentioned the chairman’s unusual language—but only later, during his pundit roundtable segment. When Priebus was sitting right there with him, Gregory just let it go.
During that roundtable, Maddow was challenged again and again about that $700 billion. As she typically does in such settings, she miserably floundered and failed.
Maddow didn’t know what to say about that $700 billion. Millions of viewers saw no explanation for Obama’s very bad conduct. Obama had “stolen” a large sum of money, they heard.
Obama had “blood on his hands.”
One day later, Candidate Romney was pushing that point on the campaign trial. In this morning’s New York Times, Adam Nagourney reports Romney’s words in the paper’s featured front-page report.
Nagourney’s news report strikes us as remarkable. We don’t think we’ve ever seen a reporter work so hard to keep repeating a candidate’s claim, without making any attempt to provide background information.
This is from the New York Times' featured front-page news report:
NAGOURNEY (8/14/12): Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan signaled that they intended to go on the offensive, challenging the assumption that Republicans were better off playing down the [Medicare] issue. They are gambling that anxiety about deficits, the influence of the Tea Party movement and changing demographics will give them a chance to convince voters that the time has come to confront the rapidly mounting costs of sustaining entitlement programs. Mr. Ryan is scheduled to visit Florida this month.All right, all right! We get it!
“Every even-numbered year in Florida, seniors are accustomed to Mediscare tactics; that’s what Democrats do,” said Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to Mr. Romney. “The fact is, we’re going to go on offense here. Because the president has raided the Medicare trust fund to the tune of $716 billion to pay for a massive expansion of government known as Obamacare.”
“There won’t be a single senior citizen in Florida who won’t know that by November,” he said.
Republican candidates have gained experience in campaigns where Democrats have focused on Mr. Ryan’s Medicare proposal—in Congressional races in Nevada and New York—and have developed what they think is an effective way to counter it. That strategy includes assailing Mr. Obama’s health care plan, and noting that it was paid for in part by taking over $700 billion from Medicare.
“The president’s idea, for instance, for Medicare was to cut it by $700 billion,” Mr. Romney said at a rally in St. Augustine. “That’s not the right answer. We want to make sure we preserve and protect Medicare.”
Nagourney printed the claim three separate times. In his entire report, he makes no attempt to explain the claim—to provide any context or background information whatever.
No one explains this matter from the Democratic perspective. He might as well have quoted Maddow! Maybe some of her wonderful snarks!
Nagourney’s piece is the featured report at the top of this morning’s front page. We’re not sure when we’ve seen a major news report which pimped a claim quite so hard.
“There won’t be a single senior citizen in Florida who won’t know [about Romney’s claim] by November?” If Nagourney gets his way, this will surely be true.
They won’t have the slightest idea what it means! But God bless! The folks will have heard!