On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews and Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman praised former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) while speculating on their potential as Republican candidates in the 2008 presidential race. Matthews said of Giuliani: "He looks like [a] president to me." When Matthews called a potential McCain-Giuliani ticket something for "Democrats ... to go home and worry about," Fineman agreed that it would be like "Starsky and Hutch."
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In a profile of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as one of "America's 10 Best Senators," Time magazine credited McCain for spending "his entire Senate career exposing wasteful pork-barrel projects," and praised him for using his "backwater committee, Indian affairs," to "launch an investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff." But Time neglected to mention a recent McCain proposal for $10 million in federal money for the University of Arizona law school, as well as reports that McCain shielded Republican colleagues from his committee investigation.
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Senate immigration bill "does not address border security in any meaningful way" because it would "add 2,500 border patrol [agents] a year and that's it." In fact, in addition to doubling the number of border patrol agents over the next five years, the bill would also increase interior enforcement and electronic surveillance and provide for construction of additional barriers and fences along the border.
Discussing a recent report by Citizens Against Government Waste detailing wasteful government spending or so-called "pork," ABC News Washington correspondent Jake Tapper claimed on Good Morning America that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) "is such an opponent of pork he's almost kosher." Tapper apparently overlooked a bill recently introduced by McCain asking for $10 million in federal money to establish a law center in his home state as a tribute to the late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
On NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert did not challenge Sen. John McCain's assertion that the Bush administration's false prewar claims about Iraq represented a "colossal intelligence failure" and that "[e]very intelligence agency in the world believed that he [former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mass destruction." In fact, many of the Bush administration's most dramatic prewar claims -- about Iraq's supposed nuclear program, its alleged ties to Al Qaeda, and its willingness to attack the United States -- had been questioned by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Substituting for host Bill O'Reilly on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, John Kasich said that Sen. John McCain made a "smart move" by seemingly embracing Rev. Jerry Falwell -- whom McCain had called an "agent of intolerance" six years earlier -- in advance of the 2008 presidential election.
Reporting on the disappointed reaction of Sen. John McCain to the lobbying reform bill that was passed by the Senate on March 29, CBS' Gloria Borger mentioned McCain's pledge that continued congressional investigations into the Jack Abramoff scandal should "light a fire under [McCain's] colleagues." However, Borger ignored reports that, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, McCain steered the investigation into the Abramoff scandal away from examining any potential wrongdoing by his Republican colleagues.
Chris Matthews again characterized Sen. John McCain as "a maverick," without providing any justification, adding that "everyone knows he's a solo fighter pilot out there." Matthews also asked Republican strategist Ed Rogers if Rogers's description of Republicans as "a pretty conservative lot, when it gets down to our activists and our workers," would "exclude John McCain."
In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."
Chris Matthews said that if Republicans choose Sen. John McCain as their 2008 presidential candidate, they will have "vote[d] for somebody who is not actually one of them." Matthews then mentioned five hot-button issues that he said "aren't the issues [McCain] talks about." In fact, on three of those issues, McCain is very much "one of them."
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.
An editorial in the Los Angeles Times misrepresented the position of President Bush on a South Dakota law banning all abortions except in cases in which a woman's life is threatened by a pregnancy. MSNBC host Chris Matthews also misstated Sen. John McCain's position on the bill.
A Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Chris Matthews described a recent flap between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain as "the new kid on the block versus Mr. Straight Talk," a reference to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign slogan, Straight Talk America, and his Straight Talk Express campaign bus. Matthews then proceeded to describe what he called "the big fight in Washington."
Substituting for Rush Limbaugh on Limbaugh's radio show, Roger Hedgecock said that the dispute between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain shows "how Democrats treat African-American" officeholders. According to Hedgecock, "[T]hey get put back on the plantation."