Video: MSNBC panel agrees media will be in the bag for Obama at the debates

posted at 10:01 am on May 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this balance for MSNBC.  After the Morning Joe panel openly scoffed at the Barack Obama campaign’s attack ad on Bain Capital yesterday, Hardball came to Obama’s rescue in the evening.  Chris Matthews chatted with David Corn and Time’s Mark Halperin about how difficult it will be for Mitt Romney to defend his years at Bain … all the while with a strange little graphic in the lower left corner that shows Romney with the phrase, “You’re so Bain.”  Mark Halperin then issued this moment of honesty about what we can expect from the media during the final weeks of the general election:

MATTHEWS: One concern about this, Mark, and you cover this every day.  I wonder if the President can handle this debate. If he gets into a debate for an hour and a half this fall with Romney, who knows all the thickets and jungle work.  He was in there, he knows where he was.  He knows every dollar he lost, every deal he made.  How does Obama get in there and debate him on his own turf?  How can he possibly know as much as Romney does about how he made or didn’t make money?

HALPERIN: I don’t think he needs to, I think in a debate he can bumper-sticker it and make it clear.  And again, the press — this is one of these instances where the press is very sympathetic to the Obama narrative on Bain, and not all that sympathetic to Governor Romney.  He needs to make an argument so compelling that it finds an audience in the press, if he can do it, and an audience with the public.  I think in a debate, again, we know what the President will say, and I think he’ll be pretty effective.

Er, okay.  According to Halperin, the press will be just fine if Obama “bumper-sticker[s] it,” but Romney will have to present an overwhelmingly compelling argument in order to get the media to acknowledge it.  As it happens, I agree with Halperin on this point, because Obama’s been “bumper-stickering it” for the last five years, and the media still hasn’t called him on it.  But shouldn’t that be, y’know, a little embarrassing for Halperin to admit?  Essentially, Halperin predicts that the media will fawn all over Obama at the debates regardless of whether he says anything intelligent or not, perhaps particularly if he doesn’t say anything intelligent … and that seems to be OK with Halperin.  It’s certainly OK with Matthews, even when Halperin gets in an unexpectedly effective shot at Matthews’ hypocritical class-warfare-mongering:

MATTHEWS: Do you think the reason the press is on Obama’s side against Romney, besides sometimes partisanship obviously, is the fact that equity people make 20 or 30 times a year what newspaper people make?

HALPERIN: Not necessarily what TV people make, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s true.

No one seems interested in discussing whether the media should let Obama’s bumper-stickering slide, nor whether it’s appropriate to hold a Republican to a higher standard of argument than a Democratic incumbent.  It’s just the way it is … which isn’t news at all.

Finally, the “You’re so Bain” graphic is so laughably lame that I just can’t resist making a comment about it.  Apparently, Hardball thinks Carly Simon is cutting edge and incredibly culturally relevant in 2012.  I like Carly Simon’s music, but that’s about a half-step removed from get off my damned lawn, you young whippersnappers! But for a broadcast that celebrates bumper-stickering rather than substance, well, I guess it’s par for the course.


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And the sun rises again…

Same as it ever was…

Logus on May 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM

And again, the press — this is one of these instances where the press is very sympathetic to the Obama narrative on Bain, and not all that sympathetic to Governor Romney.

Gee, Halperin, go out on a limb why don’t you?

Replace “Bain” with, oh, I don’t know, EVERY SINGLE ISSUE OUT THERE and it still works.

Red Cloud on May 15, 2012 at 10:06 AM

In other news, the sun came up today.

totherightofthem on May 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

We already know the debates are going to be softballs for dear leader

Shameful

cmsinaz on May 15, 2012 at 10:10 AM

And the sun rises again…

Same as it ever was…

Logus on May 15, 2012 at 10:03 AM

I hadn’t even read your comment. lol!

totherightofthem on May 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

I’m not worried about the punditry after the debate(s). It’s the questioning and format itself that will give the LSM their chance to take Romney down.

Romney is going to have to negotiate strong ground rules, or he’s going to get bushwhacked by the moderators.

However, he’s also seen how Gingrich handled that, and also, the public this time is going to draw their own conclusions from what the candidates say. People, by and large, know that this election is critical, and I think that the disappointment among 0bama voters is widespread enough that they’re going to give Romney a good listen.

I still predict that the debates are going to decide things. Just as Reagan v. Carter, if Romney comes across as a solid, sensible alternative, 0bama’s going down hard.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Chris matthews viewers are true believers anyways. why worry about them.

Unless Romney says something Incredibly stupid in a debate-it doesn’t matter.

This election is a referendum about Obama. All Romney has to do is be non-threatening and competent.

gerrym51 on May 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM

You know that Soetoro is already dreading the debates. He knows he’s got no clothes, and that Romney is going to take him apart.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Finally, the “You’re so Bain” graphic is so laughably lame that I just can’t resist making a comment about it. Apparently, Hardball thinks Carly Simon is cutting edge and incredibly culturally relevant in 2012.

I laughed at that too. So many of these liberals are just old hippies. Most younger people today will have no idea what that references.

jeffn21 on May 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

In the marketplace of ideas, MSNBC is the Kwik-E-Mart….

wytshus on May 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Chris Matthews…Chris Matthews. The name rings a bell, but I can’t quite place the…

Oh, I got it! Isn’t that the guy who got his a$$ kicked last night on Jeopardy? By some CNN reporter and Robert Gibbs? Robert Freakin’ Gibbs?

rogaineguy on May 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Finally, the “You’re so Bain” graphic is so laughably lame that I just can’t resist making a comment about it. Apparently, Hardball thinks Carly Simon is cutting edge and incredibly culturally relevant in 2012.

Just wait. Soon we’ll be seeing Obama montages on MSDNC set to “Nobody Does It Better”.

Doughboy on May 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

…well hey!…Solyndra and those other companies we stuck taxpayer money in was just a case of hit or miss…you win some…you lose some…wonder who said that?
Time?….MSNLSD…these are no longer “NEWS ORGANIZATIONS!”

KOOLAID2 on May 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I see that Matthrews made an utter fool of himself on Jeopardy, stumbling, lost, ignorant. Not at all like asking pre-rehearsed questions you go over with your large staff, eh Chris.
Romney can make an aggressive case for his honest employment, while highlighting Obama’s rabble rousing gutter politics in Chicago. Hell, he might even compare his college records to the disappearnce of Obama’s.

arand on May 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

So Romney put a few people out of work; Obama has put millions out of work. This is news?

Scriptor on May 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

0bama ads are going to be just shots of him smiling and waving, adoring crowds, and lies.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

The GOP needs to stop agreeing to these debates controlled by leftys. For once, demand fairness and don’t roll over.

Blake on May 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM

O/T:

If we’re going to discuss MSNBC and liberal bias…

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to Black Pastor: ‘I Hope You Evolve’

If a Republican Did It Volume 25,478

joekenha on May 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Why can’t the Conservatives put on their own interview with real questions. Tired of waiting for serious questions.

Can’t Brit Hume, Brett Baier and say Meghan Kelly (a hot infobabe is always good) all interview Mitt.

We could have a blow-up Obummer doll sitting on the side, much like Chelsea Handler has Chuy.
Pull the string and it says, “Let me be queer…”

What would Brietbart do?

Typicalwhitewoman on May 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Obama could come to the podium.. hold up a sippy cup and drool in it for ten minutes.. and these same three left wing stooges would proclaim him a greater orater than Churchill.. guaranteed.

The only way Romney can have anything close to a fair moderator is to demand half of them are from FOX.. otherwise.. the moderators may as well be getting a check from the DNC for all the spinning for Obama they will do.

mark81150 on May 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Will Fox news do a debate? I am sure the media will coordinate everything with Obama before the debate. Just ike G Stephanopolis did with the Republican primary debates and the stupid irrelevant birth control question.

magicbeans on May 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM

You know that Soetoro is already dreading the debates. He knows he’s got no clothes, and that Romney is going to take him apart.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

The debates are going to be interesting. Hopefully at least one will be sponsored and moderated by an organization and individuals who aren’t openly in the bag for Obama.

It’ll be interesting to see if Obama assents to one or more debates if any at all. Anything he does to take away from the debates will be telling.

If there’s even one debate, I foresee an algor meltdown. Obama being as thin-skinned as he is, and Romney being the fairly able speaker and debator that he is, will easily be able to get Obama to be snippy.

Logus on May 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Halperin predicts that the media will fawn all over Obama at the debates regardless of whether he says anything intelligent or not

Well the Obama/McCain debates back him up on that. Particularly the first debate when McCain absolutely crushed Obama to the point where Mr. No-Drama visibly lost his cool after getting schooled. The media spin the next day was how Obama clearly won and because their focus group said so.

That’s why I never bought into the idea that we need Gingrich because he would destroy Obama in the debates. The media will spin in favor of Obama regardless.

Go RBNY on May 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I’m sorry, who is counting on amnesia?

InterestedObserver on May 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Hey, the main-stream media just can’t get enough of gay, dog-eating, anti-American, mulatto liberals.

Pork-Chop on May 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM

[snip]

If there’s even one debate, I foresee an algor meltdown. Obama being as thin-skinned as he is, and Romney being the fairly able speaker and debator that he is, will easily be able to get Obama to be snippy.

Logus on May 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

0bama can’t avoid the debates. Even he can’t dance around how that would go down with the public.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM

I’m not worried about the debates.
You have a guy who’s act (“I’m SO pretty! I’m SO hip! I’m SO new!”) has gone stale.

The lapdog media has to worry about the voters, not the other way around. The time for cowering is over.

Marcus on May 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Words have meanings…

Fifth Column Treasonous Media…

Once upon a time no lessor a man than Benjamin Franklin made the assertion that a healthy Fourth Estate was one of the foundations of a free republic. Through decades of quiet infiltration Marxist ideologues subverted the academic institutions of Journalism and have contravened the Fourth Estate transforming it into a Fifth Column.

Were that stalwart advocate of the Fourth Estate, Benjamin Franklin alive today, to see what has happened to his beloved Fourth Estate, he would likely be among the loudest and first of the voices to advocate for the Stout Hemp Rope and Streetlamp cure for it’s malaise.

Yes, words do indeed have meanings…

Fifth Column Treasonous Media….

SWalker on May 15, 2012 at 10:29 AM

You know who also makes many times the amount that the average newsaper reporter makes? Barry Obama. Multi-millionaire Barry Obama.

Somehow it’s wrong for Romney to make a lot of money, but it’s not wrong for Barry Obama to make a lot of money. Because Barry’s black . . . or gay . . . or something, right Chrissy?

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Who cares what MSNBC says? Ever?

John the Libertarian on May 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

I still predict that the debates are going to decide things. Just as Reagan v. Carter, if Romney comes across as a solid, sensible alternative, 0bama’s going down hard.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Romney is a strong debater, and has shown in the many Republican debates that he can deflect criticism without getting angry or flustered, and he will debate in a target-rich environment: Obama’s record. Obama’s main tactic in 2008 was “hope and change” and blame Bush for the economic crisis and the war in Iraq. Romney can simply say that if Obama hasn’t managed to help the economy grow and people get jobs in four years, how can anybody believe he can do it in eight years?

Romney needs to insist on at least three debates, at least one moderated by Fox News. He should concentrate on the economy, tax policy, energy policy, and foreign policy, and let Obama worry about dogs and gay marriage. If asked about gay marriage, Romney should say that “I stand with 61% of the people of North Carolina: marriage is between one man and one woman.”

Steve Z on May 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Instead of Carly Simon, how about some John Lennon:

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of tricky dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

J_Crater on May 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Debate blueprint:
Question to Mitt Romney: “When did you stop beating Ann every morning, and why?”
Question to Obama bin Laden: “Which policy of yours benefits children the most?”

Archivarix on May 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

jungle work

Chris, really?

faraway on May 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Romney needs to insist on at least three debates, at least one moderated by Fox News.

Steve Z on May 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

This isn’t the problem. Obama’s people are not going to want to debate at all. They will ultimately have to agree to at least one debate but the devil will be in the details (format, moderators, etc.). Romney’s people need to drive a hard bargain.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Somehow it’s wrong for Romney to make a lot of money, but it’s not wrong for Barry Obama to make a lot of money. Because Barry’s black . . . or gay . . . or something, right Chrissy?

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM

It’s the Michael Moore syndrome. You can be the biggest, greediest, most dishonest, capitalist 1%er out there you just have to attack other people for doing the same thing and voila, your own sins are washed away.

Go RBNY on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I guess we can forget about Halperin telling the truth and calling Obama a ‘dick’ again!!

Bob in VA on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

The most chilling thing to me.. is they don’t even bother to hide their left wing bias amymore. The open response of “yeah.. sure we’rre in the tank for Obama and will steer the debates his way.. so what?”

The public should be outraged.

The Media openly admits. they are the palace guard.. it should send alarm bells off. I think it’s causing the media more trouble than they believe. It’d be like an NFL ref before the game.. telling you who the winner will be, because they like that team. The opposition fans would mob the field.. this is going to cost Obama more than they think.

mark81150 on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Well the Obama/McCain debates back him up on that. Particularly the first debate when McCain absolutely crushed Obama to the point where Mr. No-Drama visibly lost his cool after getting schooled. The media spin the next day was how Obama clearly won and because their focus group said so.

Go RBNY on May 15, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Same thing with Palin and Biden. Biden said a lot of stupid and factually incorrect stuff in his debate, but you never heard about any of it from the MSM, when they declared him the winner. And when Katie Couric interviewed Biden on his bus and he said all that nonsense about how FDR went on t.v. to calm the American public after the market crashed in 1929, Couric never bothered to mention to her viewers that FDR was not president in 1929 or that only a handful of Americans had televisions in 1929; instead she gushed about what a likeable and fun guy Biden was. And we all remember how contemptuously she treated Palin in her interview.

We all know that Romney doesn’t just have to beat Obama. He has to beat Obama and his unofficial propaganda machine, otherwise known as the U.S. mainstream media.

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I’m not a big Mittens fan, but I gotta say I have been impressed with how Team Mittens has handled the MSM so far.

Unlike Johnny Mac’s guys, Mitten’s people seem to know that every time they go for a swim in the MSM pool it is going to full of sharks.

Bruno Strozek on May 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

0bama can’t avoid the debates. Even he can’t dance around how that would go down with the public.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Agreed but as I posted above things like format are going to matter. Obama hates traditional debates because he isn’t all that great a speaker without TOTUS. Romney’s people need to insist on head-to-jughead debates and not one of the more informal formats that the GOP used during the primaries.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Wish I had their crystal ball–I wanna know my own future. Can they also tell us what the weather across America will be on Tuesday, November 6, 2012?

stukinIL4now on May 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Romney must become Rowdy Roddy Piper come debate time.

rickyricardo on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

At some point denying the obvious leads reasonable people to conclude you are either dense or extremely dishonest.

When one lie no longer works tell another.

The MSM is slowly working its way to admitting “of course we lean liberal” (most of the smart cool caring people are you know), but they are honest honorable people and they are doing their very, very best to report objectively.

farsighted on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Mitten’s people seem to know that every time they go for a swim in the MSM pool it is going to full of sharks.

Bruno Strozek on May 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Romney’s people also have media discipline. McCain’s people were too busy trashing Palin anonymously to ever get around to the campaign’s message.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Archivarix on May 15, 2012 at 10:35 AM

It’ll be more like this:

Question to Romney: “Your policies will lead to the deaths of millions of children and old people each year. What would you say to their families, you murderer.”

To Obama: “Your policies have saved the lives of millions of children and old people each year. How does that make you feel? Is Michelle proud?”

BacaDog on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Pick two from Biden, Matthews, Blitzer and Couric and put them against Palin on Jeopardy. That would make for some fine comedy PPV wouldn’t it?

DanMan on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

This isn’t the problem. Obama’s people are not going to want to debate at all. They will ultimately have to agree to at least one debate but the devil will be in the details (format, moderators, etc.). Romney’s people need to drive a hard bargain.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

To the American public, even the ones who pay little attention to politics, the debates have become the equivalent of a three-game baseball playoff. The fact that so much of America stops what it’s doing to watch them, draws in even the uninterested, to spectate.

It comes down to those “Ooh, that hurt! Woof, woof, woof,” moments.

The score is kept subconsciously, but people DO keep score. My cousin, a harried mother of monsters who pays no attention to politics, was aghast at how bad McCain looked in that one debate (the second one, IIRC) where McCain stomped around looking like Yosemite Sam after the dynamite malfunctioned and blew him up. She said, “REALLY? THIS is our choice? McCain just looked so…. bad.”

You need three debates because it provides a tiebreaker, like in sports, and people are used to that.

0bama is going to have a difficult time agreeing to less than three.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I’m sorry, who is counting on amnesia?

Yeah, that’s the RNC moneyshot soundbite. Run with it. Just think, that’s what they used to be able to count on before those darned kids and their interwebz

CitizenEgg on May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

I can’t wait for election night and a Romney win.

If it does happen, the MSM coverage will be epic. There will be gnashing of teeth, crying jags, nervous tics, the wetting of pants, blubbering and blabbering that will replay on YouTube for generations to come.

Hell, before the night is over Chrissy and Mika may resort to small animal sacrifice to try to turn things around.

BacaDog on May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Matthews came in last on Jeopardy last night. Surprise!

50sGuy on May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Agreed but as I posted above things like format are going to matter. Obama hates traditional debates because he isn’t all that great a speaker without TOTUS. Romney’s people need to insist on head-to-jughead debates and not one of the more informal formats that the GOP used during the primaries.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The debate format needs to be standardized and codified once and for all, so it’s the same, election to election. This ridiculous business about the campaigns arguing the number and format is beneath such a supposedly great election system we have.

Imagine the NL and AL champs negotiating each year on how many games the World Series would have, and how many innings they would last….

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Matthews came in last on Jeopardy last night. Surprise!

50sGuy on May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Mattthews and Blitzer….

WINNING!

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

He needs to make an argument so compelling that it finds an audience in the press, if he can do it, and an audience with the public.

Well, that shouldn’t be hard. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations! There is no ‘if’ in the mind of the press: whatever statement he makes will be a ‘compelling statement.’

I think in a debate, again, we know what the President will say, and I think he’ll be pretty effective.

There was an earlier story about the Obama folks confiscating everyone’s cell phones at his fundraising events. If they are so worried about controlling the message, will there actually be any Presidential debates?

When Obama declines to participate in a debate the press will breathlessly tout that announcement as ‘ground-breaking’ or ‘edgy’ or ‘courageous’ or ‘a welcome break from the tired past’ or some such. They will portray Romney as a childish, whiny wannabe for wanting to share podiums with The Won.

ss396 on May 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Those debates will be a love fest for dear leader

cmsinaz on May 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

When Obama declines to participate in a debate the press will breathlessly tout that announcement as ‘ground-breaking’ or ‘edgy’ or ‘courageous’ or ‘a welcome break from the tired past’ or some such. They will portray Romney as a childish, whiny wannabe for wanting to share podiums with The Won.

ss396 on May 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Refusal to debate would absolutely destroy 0bama among independents. These are the fence-sitting folks who wait until late to decide, and the debates are important to them. It would seal his defeat, IMO.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:55 AM

DanMan on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Yep. I did enjoy reading that article this morning on how poorly Matthews did. I suspect Couric would be just as bad, if not worse. I’ve sometimes wondered if Couric was nodding and smiling while Uncle Joe was rambling on about FDR and the 1929 crash because she didn’t want to embarrass Joe and make him look bad by correcting him, or if she was just as ignorant of the historical facts as Biden. I suspect it’s the latter.

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM

“Alex, I’ll take MSNBC OBAMA WHORES for $400″…

hillsoftx on May 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

You know that Soetoro is already dreading the debates. He knows he’s got no clothes, and that Romney is going to take him apart.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

At most, there will be one or two debates, and the soft ball questions to Obama will be given to him in advance. Everyone knows by now that Mr. 57 states is no good without TOTUS. They have already calculated the risk/reward of a long string of debates and the risk is to high.

Alabama Infidel on May 15, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Who cares what MSNBC says? Ever?

John the Libertarian on May 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

..somewhere in the freezing, dank basement of their mothers’ homes, BelligerentEd, UpperaYouAssSideways, ddrintn, and 265,453 others of their ilk agonize desperately, hanging on every syllable.

The War Planner on May 15, 2012 at 11:09 AM

I’ve sometimes wondered if Couric was nodding and smiling while Uncle Joe was rambling on about FDR and the 1929 crash because she didn’t want to embarrass Joe and make him look bad by correcting him, or if she was just as ignorant of the historical facts as Biden. I suspect it’s the latter.

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 10:57 AM

As someone who has reported for newspapers and magazines, I can say that it’s a little trickier than one thinks to closely monitor the facts, especially for a TV interview. The problem is that the reporter tries to provide positive nonverbal feedback to the interviewee, to make him/her as comfortable as possible, and coax out as much information as possible.

That pretense of agreement and accomodation is important, even in investigative journalism. The reporter’s own mind is then subjected to the subconscious effect of this show of accomodation to the subject. The result is that critical thinking has to share mental space with the accomodaiton.

Some people are better than others at executing this balancing act.

It points to Couric’s intellectual skills, and/or genuine bias.

As she was able to ambush Palin, it is likely the latter.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM

AZCoyote, there is a great video of Blitzer losing all of his money on Jeopardy in a charity/VIP feature. They had to give him more money just to get him into the bonus round. Painfully hilarious to watch these folks who think so highly of themselves get humiliated.

I heard four different clips of Matthews warning against letting Palin on Jeopardy this morning. And look what happened.

DanMan on May 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM

They’ll pull a switcheroo on Mitt Romney. His team will agree to an NBC debate, and as the date nears it will morph into an MSNBC debate. Count on it.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2012 at 11:22 AM

If he gets into a debate for an hour and a half this fall with Romney, who knows all the thickets and jungle work.

CHRIS MATTHEWS IS A CLOSET RACIST!

GarandFan on May 15, 2012 at 11:23 AM

The Commission for Presidential Debates has the 2012 schedule:

First presidential debate:

Wednesday, October 3

University of Denver, Denver, CO

Vice presidential debate:

Thursday, October 11

Centre College, Danville, KY

Second presidential debate (town meeting format):

Tuesday, October 16

Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY

Third presidential debate:

Monday, October22

Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL

Washington University in St. Louis, MO will serve as the backup site. The CPD has asked Dominican University to lead an international project which will be announced early in 2012.

The Commission also released the 2012 Candidate Selection Criteria, which will be used to determine who is invited to participate in the general election debates. In addition to being Constitutionally eligible, candidates must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to have a mathematical chance of winning a majority vote in the Electoral College, and have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen percent) of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations’ most recent publicly-reported results at the time of the determination. The Gallup Organization will advise the CPD in the application of its Criteria to polling data as it did in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

The CPD will announce formats for the four debates in the first part of 2012, as well as plans for Internet-based initiatives. Moderators for the debates will be chosen in the summer of 2012.

BacaDog on May 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Is there any information on whether 0bama has to participate?

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Mitt should be totally inflexible. If 0bama wants to pull out, let him. If need be, let Romney be alone onstage, and prop a life-size cardboard cutout againt the other podium.

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 11:30 AM

No one watches MSNBC, so maybe HA should stop citing them.

lea on May 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM

cane_loader on May 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I understand that Couric may not have wanted to correct Biden during the interview (assuming she actually recognized his mistakes) — that could make Biden feel attacked, and might make Couric look smug and petty — but she certainly could have mentioned Biden’s misstatements in her voice-overs. The fact that she never did makes her look foolish. Could be bias, could be ignorance . . . could be both. Nothing would surprise me.

AZCoyote on May 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Was there ever a question about it?

JohnGalt23 on May 15, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Matthews came in last on Jeopardy last night. Surprise!

50sGuy on May 15, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Not really when he answered Instanbul for “six letter capitols”

I couldn’t bring myself to watch all the way through when Matthews and Robert Gibbs were two of the three. Clearly they opened the series with the dumbest of the dummies.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2012 at 11:55 AM

If Newt is serious about defeating Obama, he’ll offer no-strings-attached, no-credit-asked debate coaching to Romney.
Romney needs to call BS on off-the-wall loaded questions and stuff them right back down the asker’s throat. And NO BLANKET APOLOGIES for high school stuff and other things he can’t even remember.

Marcola on May 15, 2012 at 12:38 PM

The Bumper Sticker president!

Sounds about right to me.

plutorocks on May 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Question to Romney: “Your policies will lead to the deaths of millions of children and old people each year. What would you say to their families, you murderer?”

To Obama: “Your policies have saved the lives of millions of children and old people each year. How does that make you feel? Is Michelle proud?”

BacaDog on May 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

To Obama: Do you feel the American people are worthy of a second term of your awesomeness?

Is there anything we as Americans can do to make your presidential experience more enchanting?

talkingpoints on May 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Ankle-Biting Liberal Pundits Dithering on Minutiae as Storm Clouds Build

The tsunami tidal wave building against Obama is ‘false ebb-tide’ stage, as sea level drops and ‘waste-deep’ becomes ‘ankle-deep’…

…and this trio of far left nitwit pundits starts looking for sand-dollars and playing ‘verbal grabass’ in the extremely low surf… hahaahaha

BigSven on May 15, 2012 at 1:15 PM

They don’t like you, Mitt, and they won’t respect you. Accept this truth and go around them any way you can. McLame thought he could win them over. He was wrong.

Extrafishy on May 15, 2012 at 2:08 PM

The highlights of Mr Obvious.
MATHEWS: So if I shout out, “Barrack I want to worship you and at the same time have your baby!” which is as we all know not that uncommon but my drooling drags on past the commercial break, which again as we all know is quite common… How much is too much?
HALPERIN: It’s happened too many times. I don’t think anyone’s going to notice. But you need to share.

onomo on May 15, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I was shopping in Lowe’s over the weekend and bought a Cliche-o-Meter. It has a large orange sticker that says “DO NOT USE DURING 2012 PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE.” Shame.

jangle12 on May 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM

MATTHEWS: Do you think the reason the press is on Obama’s side against Romney, besides sometimes partisanship obviously, is the fact that equity people make 20 or 30 times a year what newspaper people make?

HALPERIN: Not necessarily what TV people make, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Well, that’s true.

What’s intersting to me is that Matthews admits in his first statement above that the press are class warriors first. They’ll spin any story in order to harm those who are better off than they are. It doesn’t matter if the “rich” earned it or not, what matters is that the “rich” aren’t on the side of taking money and power and giving it to those the press considers “deserving.” The Kennedys, Kerry’s and Buffett are o.k. since they’re Democrats, every other wealthy person “deserves” to be eaten. I guess Obama isn’t the only Democrat with a taste for strange flesh.

Gladtobehere on May 15, 2012 at 4:41 PM

jungle work

Dog whisltes.

phxconservative on May 15, 2012 at 6:56 PM

MATTHEWS: One concern about this, Mark, and you cover this every day. I wonder if the President can handle this debate.

He did not say that. Chris Matthews is incapable of saying the entire word “President”. It always comes out “Prez”.

I challenge anyone to come up with a clip of him actually saying the whole word. If you do manage to find one, I’m betting you get through hundreds of “Prez” first.

The Monster on May 15, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I hope Romney has Newt for a debate coach.

bflat879 on May 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Early in the first debate I’d like to see Romney smile at Matthews and say, “I’ll take the “MSM Obama Sycophants” for $200, Chris”.

fulldroolcup on May 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM