ABC's Tapper uncritically reported McCain's claim that Obama is "anti-troops"

››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

ABC's Jake Tapper reported that Sen. John McCain "has attacked Obama for being ... anti-troops." On-screen, a clip from a McCain campaign ad displayed the text "Against Troop Funding," with several references to congressional votes. But Tapper did not note that McCain has also voted against legislation funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that Sen. Barack Obama has voted numerous times to fund the wars.

On the August 18 edition of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson, senior national correspondent Jake Tapper reported that Sen. John McCain "has attacked [Sen. Barack] Obama for being ... anti-troops." On-screen, a clip from a McCain campaign ad displayed the text "Against Troop Funding," with several references to congressional votes. But Tapper did not note that McCain has also voted against legislation funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that, as CNN host and Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote, "Obama has frequently voted to finance the war but was one of 14 Senate Democrats to oppose a war-funding bill last year -- after Republicans removed troop withdrawal deadlines -- saying he did not want to be 'validating the same failed policy in Iraq.' "

According to a May 24, 2007, press release, Obama said he voted against an appropriations bill that included funding because it was "a choice between validating the same failed policy in Iraq that has cost us so many lives and demanding a new one." He continued: "We must fund our troops. But we owe them something more. We owe them a clear, prudent plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else's civil war. We need a plan to compel the Iraqi people to reach a political accommodation and to take responsibility for their own future. It's time to change course."

From the August 18 edition of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

TAPPER: For many Democrats, it's about time. One liberal columnist chided Obama over the weekend for being, quote, "excessively genteel." And some Obama supporters out in the country and in Washington, D.C., agree.

MARK MELLMAN (Democratic pollster): The natural state of this race is to be a referendum on George Bush and John McCain. But Obama, I think, in the last couple of weeks, has allowed himself to become the center of the conversation.

TAPPER: McCain has attacked Obama for being a shallow celebrity, anti-troops, to blame for the energy crisis, and today he called him a flip-flopper who put self-interest before country.

McCAIN [video clip]: Behind all of these claims and positions by Senator Obama lies the ambition to be president.

TAPPER: McCain's attacks, combined with Obama's own miscues, seem to be forcing Obama to make more of an effort to convince voters he is one of them.

OBAMA [video clip]: My story is your story. We have a common story. We have a common story of previous generations making sacrifices and working hard, so that we would have a better life.

TAPPER: At a fundraiser, Obama told supporters to keep their stress to a minimum. For many Democrats, that is proving very difficult. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, Defense Funding
Network/Outlet
ABC
Person
Jake Tapper
Show/Publication
ABC World News Tonight
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.