Accuracy in Media

On Tuesday’s Hardball on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews attacked DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for the lack of pro-Obama surrogates to back up President Obama’s attacks on Bain Capital.

Matthews has been troubled since Democratic Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey criticized the Obama campaign for attacking Bain Capital and private equity during an appearance Sunday on Meet the Press.

Those remarks, and the lack of any prominent Democratic leaders coming forth to support the President’s position, have sent Matthews on a mission to find out why the response has been so tepid up to now.

Matthews started off the segment by showing a clip of Vice President Joe Biden explaining why he feels that Mitt Romney’s experience at Bain doesn’t make him a good candidate for president. Matthews presented that as an example of what an Obama surrogate should do, in contrast to what  Booker did on Sunday.

Matthews: Well there you have it, congresswoman, Madam Chairman, it seems to me, not an A+ performance, but a decently good performance, echoing the president’s argument that Mitt Romney’s not an evil person. He may not be a vampire, but to claim that his work as head of Bain was somehow a great preparation for the presidency is not true. Now, why don’t we have the whole Cabinet out there doing it? Why don’t we have democratic governors, senators, and members of Congress—I would have thought an orchestra leader would be important here—somebody pointing out, “You now, you do Saturday, you do the women on Saturday, you do the minorities on Monday,” but let’s get this thing with an orchestra sound to it, and all I hear is a solo act from the President broken now by these—well they’re not purposely saboteurs, but they sabotaged this whole operation.

Wasserman-Schultz: I’m not sure how you’re not seeing them.

Matthews: I watch a lot of television, Congresswoman, and I got to tell you, it looks like a solo act. The President had to go out and explain his position yesterday in a press conference when he was being assaulted by all those mutineers this weekend, by Ratner and Cory Booker and Ed Rendell, and all those people making those critical comments—

Wasserman-Schultz: Well, Chris…

Matthews: I didn’t hear anybody jumping to his defense. Did you?

Wasserman-Schultz told Matthews that the DNC has a very broad and deep surrogate operation, naming several members of the cabinet who have acted as surrogates. She also mentioned outside surrogates, including former Pennsylvania Ed Rendell. In naming Rendell, it does make me wonder whether or not Wasserman-Schultz was paying very close attention to what Matthews was saying since he had just cited Rendell as being a surrogate who had made critical comments about the Obama campaign’s Bain ads.

If that’s the best response the Democrats have to counter their own surrogate, Cory Booker, it’s no wonder Matthews is having so much trouble finding any true surrogates to defend the Obama campaign Bain ads.





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