CBS' Schieffer twice asserted McCain will try to convince voters Obama will raise taxes -- without noting the charge is false

››› ››› CHRISTINE SCHWEN

On two successive nights, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain will tell voters that Sen. Barack Obama is going to raise their taxes without noting that the charge misrepresents Obama's tax plan. In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes only on single people earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.

On two successive nights, CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain will tell voters that Sen. Barack Obama is going to raise their taxes without noting that the charge -- which McCain has made repeatedly -- misrepresents Obama's tax plan. On the October 16 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, Schieffer said that McCain "wants to emphasize that Barack Obama is going to raise taxes and he's [McCain's] not. I mean, that's what he's going to have to argue from here on in if he has any chance." On the October 17 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, Schieffer said that McCain's "people believe now his chance is to convince voters that Obama is a big-spending liberal who's going to raise their taxes." On neither newscast did Schieffer note that Obama has, in fact, proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers and raising taxes only on single people earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.

Indeed, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, the Tax Policy Center concluded that compared with McCain, "Obama would give larger tax cuts to low- and moderate-income households and pay some of the cost by raising taxes on high-income taxpayers." Even McCain's own chief economic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

From the October 16 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

KATIE COURIC (anchor): How do you think each candidate did, Bob?

SCHIEFFER: I think McCain had a pretty good night. I think he made the points he wanted to make. He wants to emphasize that Barack Obama is going to raise taxes and he's not. I mean, that's what he's going to have to argue from here on in if he has any chance. As for getting in Barack Obama's face, Barack Obama is one cool customer. It was very interesting to watch him. Clearly, McCain was trying to rattle him. But if he did, it never showed.

COURIC: Well, Bob, we thought -- think you did a great job, so congratulations on that.

From the October 17 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

COURIC: Bob Schieffer is our chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation. Bob, it's been quite a week for you. Meanwhile, with two and a half weeks left until the election, how do you see things shaping up?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I tell you, Katie, after seeing those reports and looking at where this race is right now, I think you can only come to one conclusion: It is going to be very hard for John McCain to win. The way most of the experts see it now, McCain has got to win all 18 states where he is the heavy favorite plus all of the eight states we now believe are tossups, including the ones we've been reporting on tonight. But that still won't get him to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. To do that, he has also got to win two of the states that are now leaning to Obama -- say, Colorado and New Mexico.

I think his people believe now his chance is to convince voters that Obama is a big-spending liberal who's going to raise their taxes. I think you're going to hear that over and over. But with where this race seems to be right now, that is going to be a hard sell and a very steep hill to climb.

COURIC: All right. Bob Schieffer. Bob, thank you so much.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Bob Schieffer
Show/Publication
CBS Evening News
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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