September 18th, 2009
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Networks respond to false Fox ad


Fox News is under fire for a Friday ad that inaccurately accused its competitors, including CNN, of failing to cover last weekend's Tea Party protests in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fox News is under fire for a newspaper ad they purchased Friday that inaccurately accused its competitors, including CNN, of failing to cover last weekend's Tea Party protests in Washington.

"How did, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN miss this story?" Fox's newspaper ad asks.

The answer: They didn't.

CNN provided live coverage of the rally in Washington on Saturday, dispatching more than a dozen personnel, including multiple camera crews and the CNN Express Bus, to cover the event. Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser was live at Freedom Plaza; Correspondent Kate Bolduan reported live from the Capitol and throughout the crowd; All Platform Journalist Jim Spellman provided live hits all day after traveling for weeks on the Tea Party Express Bus; and CNN Correspondent Lisa Desjardins was live for CNN and CNN Radio from the National Mall.

CNN's Rick Sanchez weighs in on Fox's ad

CNN's coverage also included numerous live reports and interviews with protesters and newsmakers, including rally day speaker Sen. Jim DeMint and activist Art Gerhart, who was on the set with anchor Don Lemon to discuss the event.

In addition, provided a live stream of the rally throughout the day.

ABC referred Friday to a statement by Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks - the group that organized the event – characterizing the network's coverage that day as "fair and honest." The rally story was featured on the network's morning shows, nightly news broadcast, in extensive radio reporting and online.

MSNBC also pointed to its own reporting. "Just like every other network mentioned in the ad, MSNBC covered last Saturday's protest," the network said in a statement.

CBS detailed its coverage of the event in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

"CBS News had multiple crews on site with our Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes reporting," the network said in a statement. "It was the lead story on the CBS EVENING NEWS; CBS Radio News provided hourly reports during the day and had the story in its rotating lead all day. They also processed the Nancy Cordes video and linked it throughout the site."

And CNN criticized Fox for its inaccurate statement. "Fox News' ad released today is blatantly false regarding CNN's coverage of the 9/12 rally," CNN said in a statement.

Watch some of CNN's Tea Party coverage here, and read some of our in-depth reporting.

Filed under: Tea Party Express
September 18th, 2009
06:58 PM ET
13 years ago

House Democrats outraise GOP in August

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House Democratic and Republican campaign committees Friday each reported raising more than $3 million last month, but Democrats maintain a significant cash-on-hand advantage over the GOP one year before the midterm elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it raised $3.3 million in August, and currently has just over $10.7 million in the bank. Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee reported collecting about $3.2 million last month, leaving it with a cash-on-hand balance of $4.2 million.

Even though the DCCC is carrying more than double the debt of the NRCC - $4.7 million to $2 million - Democrats ended the month with a stronger bank balance of more than $6 million, compared to the GOP's $2.2 million.

Filed under: DCCC • NRCC
September 18th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama: Race not 'overriding issue' in criticism

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama’s full interview will air on State of the Union this Sunday, starting at 9 am ET."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Harsh rhetoric flung in his direction is no different than that hurled at other presidents who tried to make major changes during their administrations, President Barack Obama said Friday.

In an interview with CNN's John King airing on "State of the Union with John King" this Sunday, Obama acknowledged that racism plays a role in some of the criticism against him, but added that race is "not the overriding issue."

"Are there people out there who don't like me because of race? I'm sure there are. That's not the overriding issue here," he said. "I think there are people who are anti-government. I think there's been a long-standing debate in this country that is usually that much more fierce during times of transition, or when presidents are trying to bring about big changes.

"I mean, things that were said about FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) were pretty similar to things that were said about me. 'He's a communist, he's a socialist.' Things that were said about Ronald Reagan when he was trying to reverse some of the New Deal programs, you know, were pretty vicious as well."

Watch President Obama's full interview with John King this Sunday on State of the Union, starting at 9 am ET.

September 18th, 2009
06:43 PM ET
13 years ago

Wilson says he's the 'number one target' of attack

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Embattled Rep. Joe Wilson said Friday his congressional outburst was his "town hall moment."

"I have to give credit to my son Alan," who is running for South Carolina attorney general. "He said, 'Dad I know you, I know what happened. You were there on the House floor and you had a town hall moment.' And that was it," said the Republican congressman.

Speaking in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina for the first time since shouting "you lie" at President Obama, Wilson said that moment has made him the prime target of attack.

"It was speaking at the wrong place, wrong time," Wilson said. "And now, I am the number one target of Washington Democrats, the number one target of MoveOn, the number one target of ACORN."

Wilson called himself a "gentleman" for immediately contacting the White House to apologize, and commended the president for disagreeing with the sentiment that his outburst spurred from racism.

"I appreciate very much President Barack Obama has indicated this is not correct," Wilson said of the claims that he is racist. "...A number of people have all indicated that this truly we need to be discussing the issues and not (descend) into the level of name calling," he added.

Filed under: Joe Wilson
September 18th, 2009
03:47 PM ET
13 years ago

McMahon says WWE antics not a liability to Senate run

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Linda McMahon told CNN Friday she doesn't expect her company's colorful antics will serve as a liability to her campaign."](CNN) - World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, who earlier this week announced she is launching a Republican bid to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd in a Democratic primary, told CNN Friday she doesn't expect her company's colorful antics will serve as a liability to her campaign.

"[Voters] enjoy our product, but they also know that it's an entertainment product that's on television and the company that's behind that is a very strong company," McMahon told CNN's Kiran Chetry on American Morning. "It's traded on the News York stock exchange."

McMahon - who joins a crowded field of Republicans hoping to challenge Dodd - also said she can identify with the financial plight of many of the state's voters, since she and husband Vince McMahon once had to declare bankruptcy.

Full interview transcript on AM Fix blog

"We lost our house, we lost our credit cards. We couldn't even rent a car," she said. "So I know the angst of that. I know the embarrassment of that. I know what it's like to wonder, are you going to have a job, are you going to be able to make your mortgage?"

McMahon also said she is running to reform Washington's "reckless" spending.

"You know, I'm a businesswoman and I've been watching what's going on," she said "The mounting debt that we have, people out of work, reckless spending going on in Washington, and I couldn't sit on the sidelines and watch anymore. I really wanted to get in, to do something."

Filed under: Uncategorized
September 18th, 2009
03:18 PM ET
13 years ago

Irving Kristol, conservative thinker, dies at 89

(CNN) - Irving Kristol, among the most influential conservative commentators over the last half century, died Friday in Washington at age 89, the Weekly Standard announced on its Web site.

Kristol, whom Esquire Magazine once hailed as the godfather of neo-conservatism, served as editor of several conservative publications over the last five decades including Commentary magazine and The National Interest.

In 2002, President Bush awarded Kristol the Medal of Freedom, calling him a "brilliant writer of remarkable insight and wit, [who] profoundly improved public discourse on the ideas he championed."

His son, William Kristol, is the current editor of The Weekly Standard.

Filed under: Irving Kristol
September 18th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
13 years ago

Michelle Obama: A secret weapon in health care reform?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - She stood by her husband throughout the contentious 2008 presidential campaign and during heated health care reform debates during his presidency.

Now, as the reform debate is reaching a fever pitch, first lady Michelle Obama is weighing in on the issue by focusing on how health care can affect families.

"What she's doing is putting a personal and human face on the issue ... there's nothing more crucial," said Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "Everybody gets sick, and everybody has someone in the family that gets sick."

"I think if you can humanize it and personalize it, it suddenly brings it home to people - especially those who are screaming and yelling about the government taking over," Quinn said.

On Friday, the first lady, a former hospital administrator, spoke about the issue to a crowd at the White House, highlighting her own family's experience with health care.

In one touching moment, Obama recalled when daughter Sasha exhibited signs of potentially deadly meningitis when she was 4 months old.

"We didn't know what, but he [the doctor] told us she could have meningitis, so we were terrified. He said get to the emergency room right away," she said. "Fortunately, things worked out."

Full Story

Filed under: Health care • Michelle Obama
September 18th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
13 years ago

Former CIA chiefs call on Obama to stop interrogation probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Seven former CIA directors are urging President Barack Obama to stop the criminal investigation of people involved in the CIA's harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.

In a letter sent to the president Friday, the former directors called on Obama to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's decision last month to reopen an investigation that they say would put intelligence officers in "continuous jeopardy" and make them risk averse.

The letter was signed by former directors who served both Democratic and Republican presidents, including three who worked in the most recent Bush administration.

Filed under: CIA • President Obama
September 18th, 2009
02:11 PM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee takes aim at 'Romneycare'

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-governor Mitt Romney."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – An old rivalry flared up again at the annual Values Voter Summit on Friday, when Mike Huckabee took aim at the health care system in Massachusetts that was implemented in 2006 by then-Gov. Mitt Romney.

Huckabee - who did serious damage to Romney's presidential hopes last January by winning the Iowa caucuses and has made clear his disdain for the former Massachusetts governor - told the crowd at the conservative conference that the Bay State health care system is a model for the kind of government-run health care President Obama wants to implement.

"It's going to bankrupt their entire budget," Huckabee said of the Massachusetts system, which requires residents to purchase health care or risk tax penalties. "In fact, the only thing inexpensive about Massachusetts health care bill is that there you can get a $50 abortion."

"Frankly if that's where we're headed with the public option and government run health care, thank you but no thank you, our wallets and our babies will be better off without it," Huckabee said.

Romney's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom quickly shot back, calling the claims "not true."


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney
September 18th, 2009
02:06 PM ET
13 years ago

RGA calls Corzine a 'failure' in new ad

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="RGA calls Corzine a 'failure' in new ad."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican Governor's Association launched a new attack ad Friday calling Gov. Jon Corzine a "failure" to the state of New Jersey.

"New Jersey pays more in property taxes than anyone else in the country," the 15-second spot says. "And seems to get more than our share of corruption than anyone else in the country."

"Corzine, tax, waste debt, failure," the ad concludes.

While the RGA would not disclose the size of the buy, "Corzine Failed," will air on broadcast TV with "significant points behind it," according to RGA communications director Mike Schrimpf

In response to the ad, Corzine spokesman Sean Darcy likened Christie to a continuation of Bush economic policy—which favored tax breaks for the wealthy.

“While Governor Corzine has provided almost seven billion dollars in direct property tax relief for New Jersey residents, Christie embraces the Bush economic policies of more tax breaks for big corporations and the very wealthy – which slashes the exact revenue the state spends on property tax relief,” Darcy said in a statement. “Christie also said he would have rejected President Obama's stimulus funds for New Jersey, which would lead directly to a $2 billion property tax increase.”

Democrats say Corzine has pulled even with GOP opponent Chris Christie among registered voters, while Republicans point out that Christie maintains a healthy advantage among likely voters in the state - though that edge dropped into the single digits in a Monmouth University/Gannett survey released earlier this week.

The poll, conducted between September 8 and 10 shows Christie leading Crozine 47 percent to 39 percent, with 5 percent polling for Independent candidate Chris Daggett.

Filed under: Jon Corzine
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