CBS' Reid repeated McCain's statement that Obama "impugn[ed]" his motives over GI bill, did not note McCain impugned Obama's motives

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In a report about a back-and-forth between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain over a recently passed GI bill, CBS' Chip Reid uncritically quoted from a McCain statement, in which McCain stated that, instead of "tak[ing] the time and trouble to understand this issue," Obama "prefers impugning the motives of his opponent." But, in the same statement, McCain himself impugned Obama's motives.

On the May 22 edition of the CBS Evening News, during a report about a back-and-forth between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain over a recently passed GI bill expanding benefits for veterans, CBS News Capitol Hill correspondent Chip Reid aired a clip of Obama saying of McCain: "I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans." Reid then noted that McCain, in a written statement, said of Obama's remarks: "[I]f Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue, he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent." However, Reid did not mention that, in the same statement, McCain himself impugned Obama's motives. Indeed, in a portion of McCain's remarks that Reid did not quote, McCain stated: "Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim."

From McCain's May 22 statement:

It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

[...]

Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as President, the country would regret his election.

From the May 22 edition of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

[video clip]

REID: Obama also put McCain on the defensive today for opposing a bill to pay college costs of troops returning from war.

OBAMA: I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans.

REID: McCain, who supports a less expensive version of the bill, fired off a blistering response. "If Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue, he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully," McCain said. "But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent."

[end video clip]

REID: Now, McCain may get a bit of a respite over the Memorial Day holiday. He's going home to his ranch in Arizona, but three of his guests are possible running mates, which proves yet again that politics never takes a holiday -- Katie.

KATIE COURIC (anchor): All right, Chip Reid. Chip, thanks so much.

Person
Katie Couric, Chip Reid
Show/Publication
CBS Evening News
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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