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Democratic Debate Highlights On FNC Feature Dig At McCain, Skip Romney Dig

Reported by Ellen - February 3, 2008 -

Pollster Frank Luntz came on Hannity & Colmes Friday night (2/1/08) to discuss his Democratic focus group’s reaction to the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama the night before. But while Luntz highlighted Barack Obama’s swipes at Senator John McCain, he overlooked Obama’s zinger about Mitt Romney. This is just another in a series of attacks on McCain and favoritism toward Romney on the “fair and balanced” news network. With video.

During the interview, Luntz repeatedly noted the enthusiasm by Democrats for both candiates. “The Democrats were ecstatic about their debate," Luntz said. "People walked in liking both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and they left loving them,” He said he could not call a winner of the debate (Obama won eventually) until it was two-thirds over.

Promising to get to the deciding moment later (Hillary Clinton on the war in Iraq), Luntz said, “First, let’s start with Barack Obama. When he talks about fiscal responsibility and takes on the Republican Party, boy, does he score well among Democrats!” Luntz asked viewers to “Watch how quickly and how far the lines climb when he – not only talks about fiscal responsibility but then takes a shot at John McCain.” (my emphasis)

We saw a clip of Obama saying, “I don’t think the Republicans are gonna be in a real strong position to argue fiscal responsibility when they’ve added four or five trillion dollars worth of national debt." After a round of loud applause, Obama continued, "I am happy to have that argument. If John McCain, for example is the nominee. I respect that John McCain, in the first two rounds of Bush tax cuts, said it is irresponsible that we have never before cut taxes at the same time as we’re going into war. And somewhere along the line, the straight talk express lost some wheels.”

But Obama also got in a zinger at Romney which somehow got omitted from the discussion. As The Washington Post described it,

Asked about whether Romney would make a better president because of the business executive experience that the Democrats lack, Hillary Clinton said that she thought that being president was about more than just running a business.

Obama jumped in with his own rejoinder. Romney, he said with a big grin, " hasn't gotten a good return on his investment so far in this campaign."