Just seconds after donating a fawning interview to Barack Obama about the meaning of being a father, the journalists at Good Morning America on Friday provided White House spin with a look at the "foot-in-mouth" "gaffes" of the Republican presidential candidates.
Reporter Jake Tapper insisted, "This looks as though it's going to be a tight race, so everyone is jumping on any possible gaffe." Tapper oddly included the fact that "at a San Francisco book signing, Republican Tim Pawlenty [was] attacked by Code Pink with glitter." Having glitter dumped on you is a gaffe?
It's not as though Obama didn't have his own problems this week. As Tapper reported on his Political Punch blog, the President on Tuesday blamed a slow recovery partially on ATMs: "You see it when you go to a bank and you use an ATM; you don't go to a bank teller." Tapper did not include this fact in his story and ABC has totally ignored it.
(To his credit, he did feature Obama's joke that "shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.")
Former Clinton operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos introduced the segment as "this week's foot-in-mouth watch."
Stephanopoulos then derided, "Plenty of fodder for all sides to pounce on at this early stage of the campaign. Jake Tapper has been keeping tracks of the gaffes from the White House." (Naturally, Stephanopoulos did not mean that White house gaffes would be exposed.)
The MRC's Alex Fitzsimmons noted the media blackout of the ATM comments on Wednesday.
A transcript of the June 17 segment, which aired at 7:14am EDT, follows:
ABC GRAPHIC: Gaffes on the Trail: Rough Day for GOP Candidates
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now the latest on the 2012 campaign he's [Obama] going to be in the middle of and this week's foot-in-mouth watch. Plenty of fodder for all sides to pounce on at this early stage of the campaign. Jake Tapper has been keeping tracks of the gaffes from the White House. Good morning, Jake.
JAKE TAPPER: Good morning, George. That's right. The latest Gallup poll has President Obama narrowly losing to a generic Republican. This looks as though it's going to be a tight race, so everyone is jumping on any possible gaffe. At Buddy Brew Coffee in Tampa, in swing state Florida, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney seemed to be riding high on the campaign trail as he went to connect with struggling Floridans. In this state with 10.8 percent unemployment, Romney tried to relate.
MITT ROMNEY: I could also tell my story, I'm also unemployed.
TAPPER: Ha, ha ha? His aides say he was just joshing around about being unemployed. Of course, Romney is worth hundreds of millions of dollars but Democrats quickly pounced. The head of the DNC, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz telling Romney, quote, "Being unemployed, Mr. Romney, is not a joke, not to my constituents in Florida or to millions of Americans across the country." Earlier this week, it was Romney saying Obama doesn't take economic hardship seriously enough. After the President referred to deterrents to the recovery as-
BARACK OBAMA: Bumps on the road to recovery.
TAPPER: Romney pounced with this campaign video featuring voters.
MAN IN AD: I'm an American, not a bump in the road.
TAPPER: This is becoming a Republican theme.
OBAMA: Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.
TAPPER: Newt Gingrich last night-
NEWT GINGRICH: Mr. President, it wasn't very funny to the 14 million unemployed Americans to learn that you didn't know what you were doing and that your plans didn't work.
TAPPER: Some other odd moments on the campaign trail, Romney at a New Hampshire diner pretending to have his rear end pinched. And at a San Francisco book signing, Republican Tim Pawlenty attacked by Code Pink with glitter.
WOMAN: Where's your courage to stand for gay rights and reproductive rights?
TAPPER: George, you might recall earlier this week Tim Pawlenty took heat. On Sunday, he criticized Romney's health care plan as 'Obamneycare' and then, Monday, during that debate with Republicans, he backed off that attack. Last night on Fox News he said it was a mistake and he should have continued that attack. Kind of a rocky start for Tim Pawlenty.
STEPHANOPOULOS: He gave the answer last night that a lot of people expected him to give on Monday. Okay, Jake.