On MSNBC's Morning Joe, David Shuster asked Clinton campaign chief strategist Mark Penn if it was a "mistake" when he "brought up a word and reminded people of [Sen.] Barack Obama's past drug use" on Hardball in December 2007. But, Penn was not the one to bring up Obama's past drug use; it was Chris Matthews. Matthews, as well as Norah O'Donnell, have falsely asserted that Penn brought up the issue.
On Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski said of Sen. John McCain, "[F]or the most part, he really does stick to his views even if they're unpopular," adding that McCain's "views on immigration were unpopular, and he stood by them even at the peril of his campaign." In fact, McCain once called for comprehensive reform that addressed the creation of a guest-worker program, a path to citizenship, and border security, but now says he supports addressing border security first.
In again refusing to acknowledge that former White House senior political adviser Karl Rove was involved in leaking the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame to conservative columnist Robert D. Novak, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that Rove was not a source for Novak.
Joe Scarborough stated on the February 1 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe: "Media Matters actually gets very agitated when we call [former New York City Mayor] Rudy Giuliani 'America's Mayor.' In fact, they did a whole post on us calling Rudy 'America's Mayor,' so we decided to call him 'America's Mayor' about 48 times."
The New York Times' Leslie Wayne asserted that Sen. Barack Obama is "benefiting from millions of dollars being spent outside campaign finance rules," suggesting that the four groups she identified in the article are not subject to campaign finance regulations or, worse, are violating them. But three of the groups she named are political action committees (PACS) or have PACS and thus are subject to campaign finance restrictions, and she offered no evidence that they are not in compliance with those restrictions.
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough asserted that Congressional Quarterly's Craig Crawford is "the only human being on the face of the Earth, other than Bill Clinton, that doesn't think Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark was inappropriate." He also said Crawford is "the only guy who has defended ... Bill Clinton's Jesse Jackson remark." But Jackson has reportedly said that he does not "read anything negative into Clinton's observation."
Despite the fact that MSNBC had earlier aired Hillary Clinton saying, "I want to congratulate Senator [Barack] Obama tonight and I want to also thank the people of South Carolina for welcoming us into their homes, and their communities," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claimed that when Clinton "congratulated Senator Obama, she did it by a paper statement." Further, before Clinton's speech, Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson claimed that the "Clintons don't play by the normal rules," adding: "Where is the grace that we all expect out of losers in campaigns, which is you congratulate in words, not in just a statement, your opponent?" In fact, the statement issued by the Clinton campaign noted that Clinton had "called Senator Obama to congratulate him and wish him well."
PolitiFact.com asserted that "[i]n 2001, [Sen. John] McCain voted against a $1.35-trillion tax cut package, arguing that the tax cuts should be balanced by spending cuts." This assertion is false. While McCain now claims that was his reason for voting against the tax cuts in 2001, that was not the reason he gave at the time of the vote itself. In a floor statement, McCain did not mention the absence of offsetting spending cuts; rather, he stated: "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle class Americans who most need tax relief."