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MRC Research Director Rich Noyes on Fox Business Network at 5:55 p.m. ET

A Week Late, NBC Nightly News Reports Obama's 'Punish Our Enemies' Crack

After a week of silence, NBC Nightly News finally mentioned that President Obama, in an interview with Univision Radio last Monday, October 25, encouraged Hispanic voters to not sit out the election, but say "we're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us."

But correspondent Savannah Guthrie failed to see that as a divisive and unpresidential statement that had been burning up conservative talk radio for the past week, but merely as a "potential attack" that Obama was trying to "head off" by now "saying he should have used a different word."

Tonight, the man who could be Speaker, John Boehner, is making his closing argument at a rally outside Cincinnati. The President today tried to head off one potential line of attack by Boehner, saying that he had been wrong to use the word "enemies" to describe political opponents in an interview the other day. Boehner's been hitting the President hard for that, saying, "You call us enemies, we call ourselves patriots." Well, the President said today, he should have used a different word other than "enemies."


The broadcast networks' failure to publicize Obama's embarrassing statement reminds of the statement by Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004 about a war funding bill that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." That statement, made at an open press event on March 16, 2004, was not reported by some networks for several days, until Republicans made it an issue impossible to ignore.

Guthrie also repeated the liberal talking point that Republicans have enjoyed "a significant money advantage" over Democrats, with on-screen graphics proclaiming that the GOP had spent $206 million vs. $143 million for the Democrats.





But last week, The Politico and the Center for Responsive Politics blew that talking point out of the water, too.

Politico's Jeanne Cummings in her October 26 item:

So far, the latest figures show that the Democratic Party machinery has outraised its Republican counterpart in this campaign cycle by almost $270 million. And even when outside spending on television advertising and direct mail is added to the mix, Republicans still haven't closed the gap.

The money race totals come to $856 million for the Democratic committees and their aligned outside groups, compared to $677 for their Republican adversaries, based on figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics....

Here's a transcript of part of Guthrie's lead-off item for the November 1 NBC Nightly News:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Energized by the rise of the Tea Party movement, Republicans are on the brink of major gains likely to take control of the House of Representatives.

JOHN BOEHNER: Your government is out of control. Do you have to accept it?

CROWD: No!

GUTHRIE: Republicans hold a significant money advantage, too. The party and outside groups outspending Democrats and forcing them to defend seats in more places. But by far the most decisive factor, an enduring frustration with the economy.

POLITICAL ANALYST STU ROTHENBERG: This is about an American public that is dissatisfied with the lack of jobs, worried about the future of the country, and going to send a message about the President's performance.

GUTHRIE: Well, tonight, the man who could be Speaker, John Boehner, is making his closing argument at a rally outside Cincinnati. The President today tried to head off one potential line of attack by Boehner, saying that he had been wrong to use the word "enemies" to describe political opponents in an interview the other day. Boehner's been hitting the President hard for that, saying, "You call us enemies, we call ourselves patriots." Well, the President said today, he should have used a different word other than "enemies," Brian.

- Rich Noyes is Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.