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Is Neil Cavuto Trying to Bring John McCain Down?

Reported by Melanie - January 18, 2008 -

This has been a bad week for John McCain on Your World w/Neil Cavuto. McCain has apparently strayed too far from the radical right because it looks to me like Cavuto is trying to bring him down.

It started on Tuesday with a segment asking, per the chyron, "Should Conservatives be Worried if McCain Wins?"

On Wednesday, Fred Thompson was on to defend charges that he and McCain were teaming up against Huckabee. Yesterday Cavuto aired a segment, again per the chyron: "John McCain Pushing Tax Cuts in South Carolina: Can you Believe Him?" Today (January 18, 2008), Tom DeLay was on to deliver a vicious coup de grace in a segment captioned, "Is McCain Using Our Troops to Defend his "Amnesty' Plan?"

Cavuto introduced DeLay with,

Polls [in South Carolina] open in less than 15 hours and if, if, John McCain loses, could this be the reason why:

To undated, grainy video of McCain answering a question at a campaign stop:

Life's too short my friend. I will move on except to say that I will secure the borders. I will secure the borders first. But I'll tell you this ma'am, I'm not going to call up a soldier that's fighting in Iraq today and tell him I'm going to deport his mother. I'm not going to do that. You can do it.

Back to Cavuto:

My next guest says that he is using our troops to defend his amnesty plan for illegals and that's just wrong.

With that, DeLay was off:

I just think it's outrageous. How many of these cases are there in America? Very, very few. And where is the straight talk express? He's trying to cover up the fact that he wants to give amnesty, or at the very least, citizenship, to people that have broken our laws, that are here illegally. I think that's outrageous. It shows who John McCain is and I hope people of South Carolina will reject him.

Cavuto said McCain, "cleverly though, married the issue of security, that is, in Iraq, with this issue, to try to mute it. Do you think it will work?"

Comment: You know Fox is dissing someone when they take an eight second quote, give no background or context, and build a segment around it while drawing parallels and conclusions that, when given just a bit of thought, make no sense.

Delay said, "Well, no." He said he thinks "a lot of people are starting to learn who John McCain truly is and what his record is." DeLay said that after 9/11, "he second guessed the president every step of the way." He was "constantly trying to undermine the Pentagon, Don Rumsfeld himself," and now, "he's calling the surge the 'McCain surge.' He's taking credit where credit is not deserved."

DeLay said "McCain has done more to hurt the Republican party that any elected official I know of, starting with McCain-Finegold, he has completely neutered the Republican party. He has violated the Constitution, has undermined our ability to participate in campaigns in an open and honest way. He has teamed up with the most liberal Democrats in the senate," including Joe Lieberman. He has "fought the Republican party in everything that we've done... We'd of had a much bigger tax cut if John McCain had voted with us... We'd be drillin' in ANWR today and John McCain himself killed our ability to drill in ANWR."

I'm having uploading problems tonight but TalkingPointsMemo.com has a partial video, here.

Comment: Now that's some pretty darn strong language to air on the eve of the SC primary. So what's going on here? Fox doesn't usually eat one of its own -- they ignore them, as in Larry Craig -- but is that what this is? Is McCain too "liberal" for the radicals who Fox speaks for, or could be Fox attempting to push Independents toward McCain, hoping he does win? On the flip side, Cavuto has given Giuliani, Romney, Thompson and Huckabee favorable coverage. I guess in my gut I think they're trying to sink McCain.