Good Morning America's David Kerley on Saturday parroted Democratic talking points, mocking Mitt Romney for "embarrassing missteps." Kerley openly wondered how the campaign could get things "so wrong."
The ABC correspondent played up the location of a Romney speech, Friday, and harped on the Republican for saying he had a "couple" Cadillacs. Kerley complained, "So, what were they thinking?...For what was billed as a big speech, how did they get it so wrong? " He continued, "Romney in a cavernous football stadium, just 30 yards of chairs, some of them empty and the entire stands completely empty."
Kerley even added his own editorial commentary. After insisting that the candidate "awkwardly drew attention to his wealth," the journalist editorialized, "A couple of Cadillacs? One at a home in California and one at a home in Boston."
On Monday's GMA, John Berman hit Romney for a comment he made about NASCAR. He gloated, "Democrats jumping on those comments, saying more proof Mitt Romney is out of touch."
Over on CBS This Morning, host Charlie Rose insisted that Romney pointing out that he has friends who are NASCAR team owners was "another quote Mitt Romney may want to take back."
In the 2008 campaign, journalists refrained from attacking millionaire John Edwards as phoney and out of touch. In fact, Good Morning America repeatedly hyped the marriage of John and Elizabeth Edwards, eagerly relating details of the couple's 30th anniversary. Later it would be revealed that the Democrat was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife.
A transcript of the February 25 GMA segment, which aired at 7:09am EST, follows:
DAN HARRIS: It's your voice, your vote. Battleground Michigan. T-minus three days until what will likely be a tipping point in this race. And at this do or die moment, the Romney campaign now dealing with two embarrassing missteps. Let's get more this morning from David Kerley who is in Washington. David, good morning, to you.
ABC GRAPHIC: Three Days to Battleground Michigan: Did Romney Make Two Mistakes?
DAVID KERLEY: Dan, you're absolutely right. We're at this very critical point with this Michigan primary days away. Romney in a little bit of trouble so he needs to get everything right. Correct? So, what were they thinking?
UNIDENTIFIED: I give you the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney.
KERLEY: For what was billed as a big speech, how did they get it so wrong? Romney in a cavernous football stadium, just 30 yards of chairs, some of them empty and the entire stands completely empty. [Audio of chanting protesters.] And not much better outside where workers reminded Romney that he opposed the auto bailout, saying, "Let Detroit go bankrupt."
MITT ROMNEY: I love cars.
KERLEY: But that didn't stop Romney, who awkwardly drew attention to his wealth again when he called himself a car guy.
ROMNEY: I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.
KERLEY: A couple of Cadillacs? One at a home in California and one at a home in Boston. Romney did add a few details to his economic plan. A 20 percent cut to income taxes. Raise the retirement age for Social Security and also raise the eligibility age for Medicare.
ROMNEY: Look, those are the kind of common sense changes we have to have. We have got to fix our balance sheet.
KERLEY: With so much on the line, the Michigan primary is proving to be a pivotal moment in the campaign. The gloves are coming off. Romney pummeled Rick Santorum during the debate.
ROMNEY: While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save the bridge to nowhere.
KERLEY: And he's not letting up on the airwaves.
ROMNEY AD: Rick Santorum is called the ultimate Washington insider.
KERLEY: Santorum, too, has a punch or two left. Even though he also opposed the auto bailout, he's hitting Romney in a new ad.
SANTORUM AD: Who is on the side of Michigan workers? Not Romney.
KERLEY: Negative on the air, but last night, Santorum was Mr. Nice.
SANTORUM: We have seen too much just nasty politics on issues that, well, frankly, I haven't even talked about, have I?
KERLEY: He may have toned it down a little bit last night, but expect him to continue to go after mitt romney. He'll call him a resolute liberal. It's a critical pivot point in the race, Dan, and they're racing for the last vote there is in Michigan.
HARRIS: The L-word, a big, a big fighting point. Thank you, David Kerley.