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Notes from the April 15, 2012 Broadcast of Meet The Press

April 15, 2012

This morning’s Meet The Press opened with Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner. In an interview taped on Friday, he said the American business sector is strong, the economic data shows growth better than any time in the last 4 or 5 years. There are lots of challenges ahead, Geithner added, and said Congress should focus on getting people back to work.

MTP coffee mug, all rights NBC NewsHost David Gregory asked the secretary about the statement from presidential candidate Mitt Romney (R-MA) that 92% of recent job losses have been among women. Geithner said the claim was “ridiculous and deeply misleading.” On oil prices, he said the rise is due partly to increased confidence about economic growth worldwide.

When asked about the need to raise the federal debt limit later this year, he said he hopes Congress will act with much less drama than it has in recent times.

In the end, Geithner characterized President Barack Obama’s economic record as “…remarkably effective crisis management at a very dark time for the global economy.”

Moving on to the “manufactured crisis” of the week surrounding comments from CNN commentator Hilary Rosen about Romney’s wife, Anne, and her lack of experience in the job market, Meet The Press was to have hosted Rosen, but she canceled her appearance.

Congresswoman (and former presidential candidate) Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said Rosen’s comments were “shocking and insulting.” Women who stay at home often have a better feel for the state of the economy than their husbands, Bachmann asserted. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said Rosen’s remarks were wrong, and Rosen apologized. And she reminded that the first piece of legislation President Obama signed after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 requiring equal pay for equal work regardless of gender.

Gillibrand tried to bring the conversation back to the presidential race and the records of the candidates. Bachmann said Gillibrand’s list of critiques of the Romney positions was “patently false.” She said, “Under every measure women’s lives are worse under Barack Obama than they would be under Mitt Romney.”

Despite this relatively serious conversation about economic policies, Gregory could not resist dragging the debate back 20 years to comments made by Hillary Clinton about baking cookies. This seemed liked an odd thing to play in the middle of a conversation between a US Senator and a high-profile member of Congress.

Bachmann said she wants to unite the Republican party, but she declined the chance to endorse Mitt Romney.

In the roundtable, Republican strategist Mike Murphy said the Rosen scandal lasts only as long as the two campaigns feed it. He said the Romney campaign was happy to see the debate move away from the economy for a few days. But, he added, the voters will push it back to the economy.

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie said the Obama campaign headquarters acted so quickly to distance themselves from Hilary Rosen and remind everyone that she does not work for the campaign that it made you think maybe she was part of the campaign.

NBC’s Chuck Todd called this a “manufactured controversy.” He also said the general election campaigns will be the most negative we have seen in this country. He added that this will lead to lower voter turn out which has its own impact on the outcome.

Gregory said that Mitt Romney has been invited to host NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Most of the panel thought this could have a humanizing effect on Romney. But Mike Murphy was more cautious about how the Romney campaign should approach this offer.

Note also that Bill Cosby appeared on David Gregory’s midweek Press Pass web broadcast and had provocative things to say about the Trayvon Martin case and the economy.

Today’s Meet The Press transcript will be here.

Also follow the show on the MTP Facebook page, track Twitter feeds from host David Gregory, Meet The Press, and Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, watch the midweek PressPass interview, and don’t forget Gregory’s blog.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra Porter permalink
    April 15, 2012 10:42 am

    I was hugely disappointed in the level of professionalism displayed by David Gregory on today’s (4/15/12) Meet the Press. Mr. Gregory is supposed to be a moderator yet he allowed Rep. Michele Bachmann to dominate the time allowed, interrupt Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and continue to talk even when he tried to let Rep. Bachmann know that her comment time was up. Sen. Gillibrand was barely allowed any time to make her points.

    I would like you to actually time the amount of time each woman was allowed to speak, and then get back to me on this. If I am right about Rep. Bachmann being allowed by Mr. Gregory to dominate the amount of time in a very unequal discussion, I would like NBC/Meet the Press to recognize this fact and ask Sen. Gillibrand to come back on the show so she can speak to the issues that were supposed to be “discussed” on today’s show.

    I watched Meet the Press faithfully for years when the great Tim Russert was the host. I thought I would continue when David Gregory took over, but I became disgusted early on by his lack of moderator skills – he allows the louder of the two guests to dominate the discussion in such a way that it reflects poor journalism on the part of the Meet the Press program and NBC in general.

    Sandra J. Porter
    Syracuse, NY

    • April 15, 2012 10:51 am

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I agree with you about the way Rep. Bachmann was allowed to keep talking and talking. She really did dominate the conversation (no stop watch needed to know this!), allowing little time for Senator Gillibrand to respond to the barrage of points.

      I doubt NBC will do anything to correct this particular exchange. Gillibrand could have employed Bachmann’s tactics… but I suspect the Democrat’s idea here is to let Bachmann keep talking… sooner or later it pays off for them.. and GOP voters have already passed judgment on Bachmann.

      • Sandra Porter permalink
        April 15, 2012 11:19 am

        Hi Keith,

        Sorry, I should have made it clear that that was the comment I posted on NBC’s main site and on the Meet the Press site. Thanks for replying right away! It boggles my mind how they could have gone from Tim Russert’s genial, thorough and fair interviews to David Gregory’s fiasco of a host. I switched over to Fareed Zacharia shortly after David Gregory took over.

        (Don’t suppose you and I are related.)

  2. April 15, 2012 11:55 am

    Our lame Senator is no match for Michele. Kirsten should try to explain why male workers in the White House make so much more money than female workers do under the present POTUS. I remember when Kirsten was a conservative; she sold her soul to get appointed Senator.

  3. Anita Beck permalink
    April 22, 2012 1:04 pm

    I too was extremely disappointed in David Gregory’s handling of the “supposed interview” with both Rep. Bachman and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Rep. Bachman was rude in her interrupting of Sen. Gillibrand when she finally did get to speak. Rep. Bachman was allowed to speak her hate filled messages, skirting the questions, much longer with no follow up questions from Mr. Gregory. I agree with the above comment writer that it is my hope that Senator Gillibrand will perhaps be an invited guest back for a one on one. I was a huge & strong supporter of Tim Russert and Mr. Gregory is falling far short in that it seems his journalism skill at “not leaning one way or the other” seem to be showing through more and more. Why are there no “follow up” questions when some guests on the show simply repeat hateful & divisive untruths over and over again? Deeply disappointed. Will try a different news venue for a while.

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