CNN's Bash uncritically repeated McCain's mischaracterization of Obama's tax plan

››› ››› GREG LEWIS

Uncritically repeating Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, CNN's Dana Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, or that McCain's own chief economic policy adviser has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

During the October 25 broadcast of CNN Newsroom, congressional correspondent Dana Bash again uncritically repeated Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan. Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, while raising taxes only on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year. Indeed, McCain's own chief economic policy adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."

As Media Matters for America has noted, 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."

From the 12 p.m. ET hour of the October 25 edition of CNN Newsroom:

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD (anchor): Well, both spending time there but, Dana, as for McCain, is there a particular message that he thinks -- that he needs to have crafted just for New Mexico? We know, really, from coast to coast the economy is issue number one. But has he crafted something different for the voters there?

BASH: You know, my understanding is no. In fact, the point the McCain people tell me is they're trying to keep a national message going, and that national message is, as you said, particularly focus on the economy. What McCain aides insist, Fredricka, is that their internal data shows that they are making a little bit of headway, particularly with the message that we've heard for the past week and a half or so on using Joe the Plumber as a vehicle, as a metaphor to talk about the issue of taxes, to really use a tried-and-true philosophical discussion, really, between Democrats and Republicans. He's been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes.

And also, he's been trying to use that to reach out to some of those blue-collar voters that he thinks -- that the McCain campaign really thinks are getable. Even some maybe Democratic blue-collar voters who may not be that comfortable voting for Barack Obama. So that's something I guarantee you we're going to hear again today here in New Mexico.

Also, a discussion that we've been hearing a little bit more about, particularly as the election -- Election Day gets closer and John McCain's prospects don't looks as good. He's been warning more and more, Fredricka, about what it would mean if Barack Obama were to be in the White House, and that would mean total Democratic control. That is something that he's been trying to sort of, you know, say to people: wait a minute, you should be alarmed about this. There will be no Republican in Washington to have kind of a check and balance. So, unclear if that's going to work, but he's certainly been trying over the past couple of days.

WHITFIELD: OK, nothing beats a failure but a try, right? All right, Dana Bash, thanks so much, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, appreciate it.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Dana Bash
Show/Publication
CNN Newsroom
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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