Mark Halperin says Mitt Romney's campaign has the worst relationship with the media of any major candidate he's covered. But, according to the man from Time, it has nothing to do with the fact that Romney is the front-runner to take on the MSM's Chosen One. No, Halperin assures us, "it's not a partisan thing." The fault lies entirely with the Romney campaign itself, which reportedly has kept the press at arm's length.
Halperin's comments came in the context of a Morning Joe segment today in which Mike Allen discussed a Politico item on a media "charm offensive" that the Romney campaign is conducting. View the video after the jump.
Now, it may well be that the Romney campaign has been overly cautious in its dealings with the press, ruffling some media feathers along the way. But for Halperin to claim that the press's partisan leanings play absolutely no role is . . . risible.
As for Halperin's point that George W. and McCain enjoyed positive press relations: perhaps W did early in his campaign--but does Halperin remember the way Dan Rather and others savaged Bush during the Florida recount? And sure, the MSM loved McCain during his maverick days when he regularly skewered fellow Republicans. But as a candidate against their beloved Barack Obama? Not so much.
Watch Halperin make his incredible claim.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, Mark, I have heard there's a real hostility, not necessarily between Mitt Romney and his family and the press, but the top people on the Romney team. Which has always just stunned me, that people that are in charge of press operations, they let the press know that they hate them. I saw this all the time in Congress, and it's just not--as I always said, cause people said why do you get such good press, which I did. I said, well, even a dog knows when you hate him. And if you think you can scowl around and treat people that are reporting you like second-rate citizens, don't be shocked when they don't write everything in your favor.
MARK HALPERIN: I've covered presidential elections since 1988. It's not a partisan thing. George Bush, George Walker Bush, and John McCain were both Republican candidates who got plenty of positive coverage and had good relations with the press. Mitt Romney's campaign--they're working on it now--has the worst relationship with the media of any major candidate I've covered.
SCARBOROUGH: Who does?
HALPERIN: Mitt Romney.
SCARBOROUGH: Oh, OK.