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NBC's Mitchell: 'Very Hard to Say Obama Apologizing for America,' Hails 'Exquisite Contrast' with Romney

After President Barack Obama finished his State of the Union address, on NBC Andrea Mitchell set to work to convince viewers of how he had discredited Mitt Romney's campaign trail criticisms of him. As to how 'this President apologizes for America,' she countered: 'Any viewer watching this...would look at this speech and it would be very hard to say that he is apologizing for America. This was resoundingly positive and optimistic in every way.'

Mitchell soon saw such an 'exquisite contrast' between Obama's call for 'a minimum tax of 30 percent' on millionaires on the very day Romney 'finally did release his tax returns. And we saw that his effective rate was under 14 percent for 2010.'

Following the Republican response and an interview by Brian Williams with Romney, Meet the Press host David Gregory, equally ill-informed as Mitchell, presumed Romney's effective 14 percent rate on his income is somehow less than most pay when, in fact, as I documented in my previous BiasAlert ('Nets Use Romney's Taxes to Advance Obama's False 'Fairness' Narrative'), it is higher than the average effective income tax rate paid by at least 90 percent:

For the first time I heard Governor Romney talk about his tax rate and really try to make the case for it, which is not to apologize for being successful and try to make Americans understand that there two layers of taxes to somebody who's just earning on capital gains and trying to make that case. On the face of it, sure it's a difficult sell for a lot of Americans who don't pay taxes at that rate.

As I said, virtually all Americans pay a rate that's a lot lower.

A couple of other interesting quotes I tweeted last night:

On CBS, anchor Scott Pelley realized Obama didn't say much about Obamacare and, somewhat remarkably, Bob Schieffer recognized that's because it is not popular:

SCOTT PELLEY: The President didn't say very much about criticism of health care reform. He saved it for the middle of his speech, he didn't dwell there. He said that he would not be reversed on health care, but it wasn't something that he spent very much time on.

BOB SCHIEFFER: No, he didn't. There may be a reason for that. It's not very popular.

A little later on FNC, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, marveled at the how Obama managed to avoid ObamaCare:

What was the single greatest priority of this President's first couple of years? ObamaCare. This is his third State of the Union address. The subject was never mentioned except faintly in passing. Remarkable.

Andrea Mitchell on NBC after the January 24 speech:

We've been hearing on the campaign trail Mitt Romney saying that this President apologizes for America, harkening back to the 2009 Cairo speech. Any viewer watching this, despite personal prejudices pro or con or partisan differences, would look at this speech and it would be very hard to say that he is apologizing for America. This was resoundingly positive and optimistic in every way and it becomes the predicate for the campaign because now he's set the scale very high of all of these things he says can be achieved. Perhaps not realistic, but now he can campaign against Congress for failing....

His mention of the Buffett Rule, proposing that millionaires lose deductions and that there be a minimum tax of 30 percent, we were told is the detail on millionaires. That in such exquisite contrast with today being the day that Mitt Romney finally, under pressure for weeks and weeks by Republicans, by the media, by others, finally did release his tax returns. And we saw that his effective rate was under 14 percent for 2010.

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brent Baker on Twitter.