ABC, CBS, CNN aired Bush's "cut and run" attack on Democrats, ignored Democratic response

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

On September 28, ABC, CBS, and CNN all aired President Bush's attack on Democrats as "the party of cut and run" but did not include a Democratic response, in contrast to NBC.

On September 28, ABC's Word News, the CBS Evening News, and CNN's The Situation Room and Lou Dobbs Tonight all aired a clip of President Bush's September 28 attack on Democrats as "the party of cut and run" but failed even to mention the Democratic response to Bush's comments. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) issued a September 28 press release in response to Bush's comments, stating that "the failure of his [Bush's] policies has made the American people less safe." In contrast, NBC's Nightly News aired a clip of Bush's attack, after which anchor Brian Williams noted: "Democrats responded instantly, saying it's the president's failed policies that have made this country less safe and have increased terrorism elsewhere."

At a September 28 Republican fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, Bush said:

BUSH: The stakes in this war are high, and so are the stakes this November. Americans face the choice between two parties with two different attitudes on this war on terror. Five years after 9-11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.

Reid, in his response, referred to the recently declassified portions of the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, which indicate, among other things, that the Iraq war is "cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement" and that "the underlying factors fueling the spread of the [jihadist] movement outweigh its vulnerabilities":

If George Bush is so confident that his national security policies are working, he should release the entire National Intelligence Estimate on terrorism and let the American people decide for themselves. The fact that he won't speaks volumes about how the failure of his policies has made the American people less safe.

George Bush has no credibility left on national security. No matter how many stump speeches he gives on the campaign trail, the American people can see the damage his tough talk has done to America's safety. It's time to be tough and smart so we can change course and give Americans the real security they deserve.

Reid's response went unreported on ABC, CBS, and CNN.

From the September 28 broadcast of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON (host): President Bush, today, accused Democrats of playing politics with the Iraq war. During a campaign appearance in Alabama, he said Democrats are using the National Intelligence Estimate that ties Iraq to rising terrorism to try to win votes in November.

BUSH [video clip]: -- obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR, and the party of Harry Truman, has become the party of cut and run.

GIBSON: The president was in Alabama to raise money for Republicans -- something he does a lot in a year with a lot at stake in the midterm elections.

From the September 28 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

KATIE COURIC (host): President Bush hit back hard today at Democrats who have been attacking his Iraq policy, especially after an intelligence report tied the war to an increase in terrorism worldwide. Here he is at a Republican fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama.

BUSH [video clip]: The Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.

COURIC: In tonight's "Free Speech," a suggestion that in all the finger-pointing about terrorism, the fingers are missing the point.

From the September 28 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

WOLF BLITZER (host): And just a short while ago, President Bush fired back at his Democratic critics on Iraq. He's campaigning in Alabama right now for Governor Bob Riley. And he spoke about the recently leaked finding of a National Intelligence Estimate, that the Iraq war has rallied Muslim extremists.

BUSH [video clip]: Five years after 9-11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.

BLITZER: Those words from Mr. Bush just weeks after he called for political unity on the fifth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. We're going to have much more on the political war over Iraq -- our [CNN contributor] Bill Bennett and [Democratic strategist] Donna Brazile -- they're standing by to join us in our "Strategy Session."

From the September 28 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight:

LOU DOBBS (host): President Bush today used some of his strongest language yet to defend his record in the war against terrorism and radical Islamist terrorists. The president told a political fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, that the Democrats offer, quote, "nothing but criticism, destruction [sic], and endless second guessing," end quote.

President Bush said that the party of FDR and Harry Truman has become "the party of cut and run," as he put it.

Earlier, President Bush went to Capitol Hill to meet with Republican lawmakers before they leave the nation's capitol to begin their campaigns for the upcoming midterm election.

NBC, however, during the September 28 edition of Nightly News, noted the Democratic response:

WILLIAMS: And there is this development tonight on the war in Iraq. President Bush was at a fundraiser in Alabama today and used some of the harshest language ever to criticize Democrats -- accusing them of being soft on terrorism and the war in Iraq.

BUSH [video clip]: Five years after 9-11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.

WILLIAMS: Democrats responded instantly, saying it's the president's failed policies that have made this country less safe and have increased terrorism elsewhere.

Network/Outlet
CBS, ABC, CNN
Show/Publication
Lou Dobbs Tonight, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, The Situation Room
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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