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Carl Cameron Subtly And Slyly Spins The Iowa Caucuses Process

Reported by Ellen - December 30, 2007 -

“Campaign” Carl Cameron visited Hannity & Colmes Friday night (12/28/07) to discuss the upcoming Iowa caucuses. Cameron, a FOX News political correspondent since 1996, was memorably caught by Outfoxed schmoozing with then-candidate George W. Bush and bragging about how the then-Mrs. Cameron was campaigning with Bush’s sister. So it was no surprise that even during a discussion titled “Caucus 101,” Cameron managed to work in a dig at Democrats’ process and numbers, hide the fact that the Republicans’ would be even smaller, and also denigrate the Republican results which will likely favor FOX News’ regular target, Mike Huckabee. With video.

Cameron was asked by Alan Colmes to explain the upcoming caucusing process in Iowa. “It’s complicated,” Cameron said. “Start with the idea that there’s three million people in Iowa. There’s about two million registered voters and the largest group of them is actually independents. And then the Republicans and the Democrats are gonna caucus, essentially in similar places, often in the same buildings, etc. But they’re holding two, totally different events. The turnouts for the Democrats is historically between about 100 and 125,000 people which is an UNBELIEVABLY SMALL PERCENTAGE (his emphasis) of that registered voter population of two million.” He said that a bigger turnout is expected this year.

Cameron detailed the Democratic caucus procedures in which groups of people get together to choose a presidential candidate. Then he added, “There’re some dark arts to the caucus, too,” He went on to state that the chairman of each caucus “has a tremendous amount of power. They can slow down the process by saying ‘We’re gonna take a coffee break before the next vote’ and go and win over some people. Or, if that doesn’t serve their particular favorite concerns, they can just really gavel it through and get the whole thing over quite quickly.”

Cameron continued, “Republicans, by the way, don’t do that. They never really bought into the whole caucus thing. What Republicans do is they get together and they talk and they gather in groups and stuff like that. But basically, they just do a vote.”

Cameron next cited the turnout for the Republican caucuses. But after stressing the “unbelievably small” Democratic numbers, he downplayed the fact that Republican numbers are significantly smaller. Here’s how he couched it so that if you weren’t paying attention, you might miss that fact (even I had to replay the recording to make sure): “If in the Republican caucus you only get a total turnout of about 85-95,000 people which is what they’re talking about.." Then he focused on the outcome. "...and a candidate has a third of that in the polls right now, that’s a total of 30,000 votes. It’s almost nothing. It’s like an aldermanic race in most American cities, a dogcatcher’s contest.”

What a coincidence that in discussing the Republican caucus, Cameron denigrated the insignificance of the result. Not only is FOX News’ favorite candidate Rudy Giuliani, is expected to lose in Iowa while one of their favorite targets, Mike Huckabee, is doing well in the polls.