ABC Train Trip to Obama Land: 28 Minutes to Dem Guests; Only 14 to GOP

On Friday, "Good Morning America" concluded its week long train trip to election battleground states and ended up devoting 28 minutes to high profile Democrats and just over 14 to Republicans, a disparity of two-to-one. The tour, which was designed to see what average Americans think about the presidential election, featured mostly Democratic guests. Senator Barack Obama appeared on Monday, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, Joe Biden on Thursday and Michelle Obama and Jill Biden on Friday. The only GOP representation came in the form of a short interview with John McCain on Tuesday and another on Wednesday with the senator and Cindy McCain.

Additionally, while Senator McCain appeared jointly with his wife on Wednesday, Barack Obama alone received two segments on Monday, totaling nearly eight and a half minutes. Michelle Obama was featured, along with Senator Biden's wife, on Friday for another five and a half minutes. (McCain's brief appearance on Tuesday was not originally announced in the ABC schedule, lasted less than three minutes and only dealt with the financial problems on Wall Street.)

The tone of the Democratic interviews also varied from those with the McCains. While Diane Sawyer pressed John and Cindy McCain on abortion on Wednesday, reporter Kate Snow on Thursday simply quizzed Joe Biden on why the Democrats were not further ahead in the polls. (Correspondent Claire Shipman did briefly discuss the issue with Jill Biden and Michelle Obama, but she didn't question the Democrats as to whether their position was too liberal for America.)

Similarly, Sawyer gushed to Hillary Clinton on Tuesday that people had come up to her with a request that she ask a certain question: "And several of them said to me, I'd like to know, have there been hard days since June and how she's [Clinton] dealt with them?" When she challenged the New York senator, it was mostly on issues related to not being tough enough. The host also prompted Clinton to endorse a statement that McCain is too old to be president.

The only tough interview came when news anchor Chris Cuomo grilled Obama on Monday about a new campaign spot that implies McCain is out of touch and too elderly to be commander in chief. He pressed at one point, "But the ad is a negative ad. You paint him as an old man. You say he can't use a computer. He's never sent an e-mail. What does that all mean?"

To read more about Snow's interview with Joe Biden, see a September 18 NewsBusters post.

For additional details about Sawyer's questioning of John McCain about abortion and Roe V. Wade, see a September 17 NewsBusters post.

See a September 16 NewsBusters post for more on Sawyer's attempt to get Hillary Clinton to agree with the contention that McCain is too old.

Finally, for a recap of Chris Cuomo's surprisingly tough interview with Barack Obama, check out a September 15 NewsBusters post.

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