Whatever Andrea Mitchell has it seems to be catching. Repeatedly, NBC's Mitchell has claimed John McCain's declining support in the polls has to do with his pro-war stance, a stance that quite frankly isn't unpopular within the GOP base. Well on this morning's 'Today' show her colleague David Gregory, in a piece about low Republican morale, claimed the very same thing. Gregory claimed: "John McCain has lost ground in the polls because of his support for the Iraq war."
Now any GOP insider could tell them McCain's support for the war is one of the key stances that is keeping McCain afloat with the base of the party. One has to wonder if Mitchell and Gregory are just having the same conversation with themselves and coming to the same inaccurate conclusions.
The following is the full segment as it aired on the April 9th Today show:
Matt Lauer: "Now to Decision 2008. The Republicans call their party the GOP, it stands for the Grand Old Party but many of the faithful are not feeling too grand these days. NBC's chief White House correspondent David Gregory has more on that story. David, good morning to you."
[On screen headline: "Curbed Enthusiasm, Tough Times For the GOP."]
David Gregory: "Good morning, Matt. It's true. From the White House to the campaign trail this is a difficult time to be a Republican, even as the '08 candidates jockey for advantage one GOP operative says of the party faithful, there is a quote, 'morale deficit.' With the country at war in Iraq, an unpopular president and a GOP presidential field outperformed by the Democrats in the money primary Republicans are in desperate search of a turnaround."
Byron York, The National Review: "With the exception of two successful Supreme Court nominations, for Republicans things have been all downhill since the 2004 election. Katrina and then Iraq, Iraq, Iraq."
Gregory: "The party's top contenders for the White House in '08 have been knocked off their stride with polls showing a majority of Republicans dissatisfied with their choices for president. John McCain has lost ground in the polls because of his support for the Iraq war. He made matters worse during a recent trip to Iraq suggesting that Baghdad had become safe enough to walk around, a claim undermined by pictures of heavy security accompanying the Arizona senator to a local market. In an interview with 60 Minutes, Sunday, McCain admitted it was an overstatement."
Sen. John McCain: "Of course I'm gonna, I'm gonna misspeak and I've done it on numerous occasions and I probably will in the future. I regret that."
Rudolph Giuliani: "I feel I made a mistake in recommending Bernie Kerik to the President."
Gregory: "Though still the frontrunner Rudy Giuliani has seen questions about his relationship to embattled former New York police chief Bernard Kerik as well as criticism about his views on social issues affect his standing. Mitt Romney had a strong showing in the money primary hauling in $20 million only to see that overshadowed by a campaign claim-"
Mitt Romney: "I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter, pretty much all my life."
Gregory: "-that turned out to be untrue."
Romney: "I'm not a big game hunter."
Gregory: "His campaign said he had been hunting only twice."
Gregory: "For months Republicans have been in foul mood. A poll from the Pew Research Center found that only 35 percent of Americans consider themselves Republicans while 50 percent identify with the Democrats. Five years ago the parties were even with 43 percent. And in campaign '08's first quarter fundraising drive Democrats out-raised Republicans $80 million to $50 million."
Rich Galen, Republican strategist: "Well I think the fundraising reports, as one indication, show clearly that Democrats are more excited about what's coming down the pike than Republicans seem to be at this exact moment."
Gregory: "If there is a chance for GOP unity White House officials hope it will come around the issue of funding for the war in Iraq. The President has said that Democrats who want to end the war with a deadline for troop withdrawal are short-changing U.S. forces. Matt."