Sunday, October 7, 2012

Krugman Slams Press Over Debate Dishonesty


Today on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, economist Paul Krugman had some strong words for the press, who praised Romney's "style" this past week after the Debate in Denver instead of fact-checking his lies on his shifting positions.

The show also featured Republican pundit Peggy Noonan, Mary Matalin and her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, and Democratic spokesman Robert Gibbs. Some of their statements are below as well . . .

At one point Matalin accuses Paul Krugman of being a liar for saying that Paul Ryan has a "voucher" plan. *eyeroll*

Complete Transcript Here

KRUGMAN: I don't know whether to blame Lehrer or blame the president but it was kind of amazing because Romney was not only saying things that are not true, he was saying things that his own campaign had previously said weren't true. The one that got me was not the stuff about taxes but the thing about covering people with pre-existing conditions which his plan does not, which he has said that before and his campaign has walked it back in the past and there he was right again saying, well, my plan covers people with pre-existing conditions which is displaying a kind of contempt to the public...

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you think it's the moderator's job to call him on that...

KRUGMAN: No, I'm not sure whose job it is, but it is -- there's a contempt for the whole process. There's a contempt for us people, because he's thinking the news media will not cover me on this, as long as they say it forcefully they'll say I won, which is more of the ways...

MATALIN: Oh, you're going to say the press is against Obama now?

KRUGMAN: The press just doesn't know how to handle flat out untruths.


KRUGMAN: When you say my covers pre-existing conditions when it doesn't and when your own campaign has admitted in the past that it doesn't, what do you say? That's amazing.

MATALIN: You have Mitt characterized -- and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare from the efficiency of Medicare administration to calling it a voucher plan, so you're hardly...

KRUGMAN: It is a voucher plan.

MATALIN: You are hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar. Here's what else...


NOONAN: I think one of the key things about the debate is it's changed -- we will look back on it as an historic moment in this election. It upended things. This is what it upended. Barack Obama was supposed to be the sort of moderate centrist fellow, who looked at Mitt Romney, this extreme, strange fellow. By the time that debate was over, Mitt Romney seemed a completely moderate, centrist figure, who showed up as Mitt Romney the governor, not as Mitt Romney the candidate.

KRUGMAN: Except that everything he used to claim his centrism wasn't true, so this is a question, does that start to take its toll over the next few months.


STEPHANOPOULOS: And finally, will we see a different game from President Obama in the next debate?

GIBBS: Well, again, I think now that Barack Obama has had the opportunity to meet both Mitt Romneys, I don't doubt that he'll make some adjustments. I know he's looking forward to the next debate.


PEGGY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yeah, I thought the president barely showed. I thought "The New Yorker" cover -- the now famous "New Yorker" cover in which they had a candidate Romney at a podium looking at the empty chair where Mr. Obama would have been, captured it all. I am very curious about what the heck happened. Was it a strategic mistake on the part of the Obama campaign to play it a certain way and it didn't work or were there other factors involved? To me it is a mystery and one of those delicious things that will probably be answered in the big books about 2012 but, yes, the president was bad, Romney was good.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You want to jump right in here.

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: This is classic Obama. He really, really wants to be the president of national unity. He's always wanted to be the reconciliation candidate and his instincts always in confrontations is to not go for the jugular but to go for the capillaries. He doesn't -- did the same thing in 2008. People forget just how weak his campaign was through August of 2008 when he just was refusing to make the obvious case against McCain and then he toughened up but also...

STEPHANOPOULOS: In the debate he toughed up in 2008.

KRUGMAN: Because he needs to be -- have his head against the wall.

So this was classic. This was him - this was the real Obama who does not like -- he really wants to be a president of the whole nation. And he somehow has a hard time wrapping his mind around the necessity to take a tougher line.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I said on CNN I said I didn't want to come to this conclusion but sitting watching I have to come to it. He just didn't want to be there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it wasn't strategy?

CARVILLE: I don't think it was. We'll know the next debate. I mean he's obviously either got to be different or it's going to be pretty bad but just looked like to me he really didn't want to be there. His mind wasn't on it. He didn't want to engage. He just wanted to get through the 90 minutes. And I'm sure he's a very competitive guy. I hope -- knock on wood - we're going to see a different President Obama at Hofstra.

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