Discussing remarks by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and former Sen. John Edwards, that they would not commit "by January of 2013, to have all American troops out of Iraq," NBC's David Gregory described this as "a really measured position," and asserted, "Edwards particularly, who was embracing the left wing of the party's view that you have to end the war now, and the others even voting for cutting off funding." But Gregory's suggestion that Clinton's and Obama's current positions are inconsistent with their having "even vot[ed] for cutting off funding" -- an assertion that is itself misleading -- is false. And Gregory offered no evidence that Edwards has shifted position either.
On Meet the Press, Pat Buchanan said of the September 26 Democratic presidential candidate debate: "I think the Democratic Party doesn't know how far to the left they are moving. I mean, they said there that smoking is going to be a federal crime in public places." In fact, two of the candidates in that debate -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- said they opposed a federal law at this time banning smoking in public places and voiced their support for letting local communities develop such laws.
On Meet The Press, Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody asserted: "At the end of the day ... this issue [terrorism] helps the Republicans more than the Democrats because they're going to be able to enforce this idea that the Democrats want to go at this with law enforcement and the Republicans don't." Neither Tim Russert nor his other guest, CNBC's John Harwood, challenged Brody's assertions; in fact, Democrats have offered strategies for fighting both Al Qaeda in Iraq and the main Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
On Meet the Press, NBC News' Richard Engel asserted that "if you pull back the troops, the troops themselves are going to be furious. They have done so much and worked so hard ... that if you start pulling them back ... they're going to be livid." However, neither host Tim Russert nor other guests mentioned recent reports indicating that some members of the military would not be opposed to drawing down troop levels in Iraq.
Karl Rove asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup Poll," and added: "The only person who comes close is ... hers are at 49. The only other candidate to come close was Al Gore with 34, I believe." In fact, Gallup's polling results show that President Bush's unfavorability ratings as he entered the 2004 general election campaign were consistently above what Rove claimed to be "close[st]" to Clinton's unfavorability rating -- "Al Gore with 34" percent.
In appearances by Karl Rove on Sunday morning talk shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC, not one interviewer asked whether an August 19 Washington Post article was accurate in stating that, according to White House officials, one of Rove's "two basic rules" in putting together briefings for political appointees was "to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act," a federal law that limits political activities by federal employees. As the article noted, "the Office of the Special Counsel ... has concluded that the Hatch Act was violated" during a briefing that was conducted by a Rove aide for political appointees in the General Services Administration.
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