Media repeat Cindy McCain's attack on Obama troop-funding vote, ignore John McCain's troop-funding vote

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

The CBS Evening News, Fox News' The Live Desk, and the Politico's Jonathan Martin noted Cindy McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports pointed out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In reports on Cindy McCain's speech at a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, campaign event, the CBS Evening News, Fox News' The Live Desk, and the Politico's Jonathan Martin all noted McCain's attack on Sen. Barack Obama that his "vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body." However, none of their reports pointed out that Sen. John McCain himself voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as Obama noted during the first presidential debate on September 26.

On the October 8 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk, co-host Martha MacCallum repeated Cindy McCain's attack on Obama, saying: "[W]e don't usually hear that kind of talk from Cindy McCain, but she was very outspoken. And she said that it sent a chill through her when he fought to turn down funding for the troops in a Senate bill in the past. So, some pretty strong words from Cindy McCain today." Similarly, on the October 8 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, correspondent Chip Reid reported that "Cindy McCain, John McCain's wife, jumped into the fray today, sharply accusing Obama of abandoning the troops by voting against funding for the war in Iraq." And in an October 8 blog post, the Politico's Jonathan Martin quoted Cindy McCain's comments after noting that she "took one of her most personal shots yet at Barack Obama today."

However, none of the reports noted that Sen. McCain voted against a March 2007 bill that would have funded the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and would have provided more than $1 billion in additional funds to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as Media Matters for America has noted.

By contrast, on the October 8 edition of NBC's Nightly News, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell played the clip of Cindy McCain's attack, and then noted: "In fact, Obama voted against money for the troops once, in May 2007 -- he said because the bill didn't include a timetable for withdrawal. But John McCain also voted against a troop-funding bill two months earlier for the opposite reason: because that bill called for a troop withdrawal."

Additionally, none of the three -- Reid, MacCallum, and Martin -- mentioned that Cindy McCain previously told NBC's Ann Curry, "My husband is absolutely opposed to any negative campaigning at all."

From the October 8 edition of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

REID: And even Cindy McCain, John McCain's wife, jumped into the fray today, sharply accusing Obama of abandoning the troops by voting against funding for the war in Iraq, Katie.

From the October 8 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk:

MacCALLUM: We also should mention -- and we want to get into this a little bit with the panel in a little while -- that before Barack Obama came out, Cindy McCain came out. And she had some pretty strong comments with regard to Barack Obama. She talked about -- basically saying that she doesn't think that -- she thinks that he should spend a day in the shoes of a person who has a loved one fighting overseas. And we don't usually hear that kind of talk from Cindy McCain, but she was very outspoken. And she said that it sent a chill through her when he fought to turn down funding for the troops in a Senate bill in the past. So, some pretty strong words from Cindy McCain today, as well.

TRACE GALLAGHER (co-host): Yeah. And then after Cindy McCain spoke, of course, Governor Sarah Palin came up, and she kind of -- you know, she reiterated that, saying -- talking about her son who is also fighting in Iraq right now. The theme they're trying to build here is that -- it goes off to John McCain's theme that only one person has fought for you and that only one family knows what it's like to actually sacrifice -- to send their children into a war zone. So that's kind of the point they've been trying to make over and over again on the campaign trail.

From Martin's October 8 blog post:

Cindy McCain, with her husband and Sarah Palin at a rally in Pennsylvania, took one of her most personal shots yet at Barack Obama today.

"The day that Sen. Obama cast a vote to not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body let me tell you," Cindy McCain said in introducing the GOP ticket. "I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying."

The McCains have both largely avoided discussing the military service of their two sons during the campaign. Jimmy McCain, the younger of the two, is a Marine who has already served a tour in Iraq. His brother, Jack, is at Annapolis.

Cindy McCain is plainly unhappy with Obama. Her comments this afternoon come a day after she said in Nashville that the Democrat had waged "the dirtiest campaign in American history"

From the October 8 edition of NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams:

MITCHELL: In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, today, the Republican candidate's wife, Cindy McCain, accused Barack Obama of not supporting the troops in Iraq, including her son.

CINDY McCAIN [video clip]: The day that Senator Obama decided to cast a vote to not fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body.

MITCHELL: In fact, Obama voted against money for the troops once, in May 2007 -- he said because the bill didn't include a timetable for withdrawal. But John McCain also voted against a troop-funding bill two months earlier for the opposite reason: because that bill called for a troop withdrawal.

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