On MSNBC Live, Andrea Mitchell followed Contessa Brewer in airing a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's remarks on Meet the Press in which Clinton seemingly declined to respond in the affirmative when asked by Meet the Press host Tom Brokaw if he would say he "admire[s]" Sen. Barack Obama and "think[s] he's a ... great man." Mitchell called Clinton's comments "hardly an endorsement" of Obama and "not as effusive as you would expect." But Mitchell did not air or otherwise note Clinton's statements moments later that he "certainly admire[s]" Obama and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.
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On the September 29 edition of MSNBC Live, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell aired a heavily cropped version of former President Bill Clinton's remarks during an interview broadcast on NBC's Meet the Press the previous day, then called Clinton's comments "hardly an endorsement" of Sen. Barack Obama and "not as effusive as you would expect." Specifically, Mitchell aired a clip of Clinton seemingly declining to respond in the affirmative when asked by Meet the Press host Tom Brokaw, "Would you use the same words for him [Obama] that you have used for Senator [John] McCain -- that you admire him, and that you think he's a -- and that he's a great man?" But Mitchell did not air or otherwise note Clinton's statements moments later that he "certainly admire[s]" Obama and that Obama's "greatness will ... become apparent" when he is elected president.
Additionally, the video clip misleadingly cropped Clinton's statement, "Hillary is the one who told me to go help him [Obama]. She said this guy's got real skills." Omitting what Clinton said just before, the clip as cropped falsely suggested that Clinton had said he was going to "go help" Obama's presidential campaign only at Sen. Hillary Clinton's request. But as Media Matters for America noted, Clinton was in fact referring to his appearance at a fundraiser for Obama's Senate campaign in 2004.
As Media Matters documented, earlier on the September 29 MSNBC Live, host Contessa Brewer aired the same heavily cropped version of Clinton's remarks, after claiming that Clinton "seemed to give" Obama "a half-hearted endorsement."
From the 1 p.m. ET hour of the September 29 edition of MSNBC Live:
MITCHELL: Well, speaking of performances, let me show you Bill Clinton with Tom Brokaw, asked about Obama on Meet the Press.
[begin video clip]
BROKAW: Would you use the same words for him that you have used for Senator McCain -- that you admire him, and that you think he's a --
CLINTON: I certainly --
BROKAW: -- and that he's a great man?
CLINTON: Well, I don't -- look, I had my first conversation with him in my entire life in Harlem. ... Hillary's the one who told me to go help him. She said, "This guy's got real skills."
[end video clip]
MITCHELL: That's hardly an endorsement. I mean, that's not as effusive as you would expect. It almost made Darrell Hammond look like, you know -- Clinton was parroting Hammond's Saturday Night Live routine on this very subject.
STEPHANIE CUTTER (senior adviser to Obama and chief of staff for Michelle Obama): Right.
MITCHELL: What is going on there?
CUTTER: Well, I know that he's going to Florida for us later this week, and he is an incredible advocate for us, particularly in states like Florida. You know, Bill Clinton still has, you know, quite a following out there, particularly amongst the Democratic Party. You know, quite often on the campaign trail, we hear, "Why can't you bring us back to the Clinton years? Why can't we have the Clinton economy after the past eight years of failed policies?" -- the policies that John McCain is purporting to follow now.
You know, we are excited to have Bill Clinton out on the campaign trail later this week. We hope we'll get him out as much as possible between now and Election Day. We're just -- we're thrilled to have him onboard.