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MSNBC's Mitchell Touts Planned Parenthood Poll Claiming Palin Not Trusted on 'Women's Health Issues'

During Tuesday's 1PM ET hour on MSNBC, anchor Andrea Mitchell highlighted a new poll from the left-wing pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood that claimed that voters do not trust Sarah Palin on so-called "women's health issues": "A new poll suggests that she may have a tough time getting voters to trust her on at least one front....54% of registered voters do not trust Palin on those issues."

Later in the same segment, deciding to get in a few more shots at Palin, Mitchell claimed that the former Alaska governor's new book, 'America by Heart,' had not appeared on the New York Times best seller list: "All of a sudden, Sarah Palin, with a new book, is not on the list....unless there was something wrong with my edition of The New York Times, she's not on it, with a book that's just come out." Well, apparently there was something wrong with the Times' Sunday December 5 best seller list, because its December 12 list had Palin's book debuting at number two behind George W. Bush's 'Decision Points.'

On Friday, NBC's Today even included a report from correspondent Norah O'Donnell on Palin and Bush vying for the top spot: "You can call it the battle of the books, if you want. President George W. Bush versus Sarah Palin and in that match-up Bush gets top billing. Two book-selling behemoths....President Bush is number one, leading Sarah Palin to tweet, "just heard America By Heart is #2 New York Times bestseller list, behind President Bush's good book, so thanks for sharing inspiration."

On the Planned Parenthood poll, Mitchell defined "health issues": "That includes abortion, birth control, and sex education." She also described the group's liberal leanings: "A poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood - so we should point out that it is a Democratic poll, a Democratic interest group." However, she quickly added that the poll was conducted by "a Democratic pollster, Peter Hart, who we trust."

Mitchell got reaction to both issues from Politico's Andy Barr. On the poll, he warned, "you want to be cautious on these polls because it's a Democratic firm," but did give it some credence: "...take a step back, it does seem, especially when you look at the independent numbers, Palin not very trusted on this issue, which is key for her." He went on to conclude: "...it does speak to that kind of cap that insiders worry about with her in terms of her support among independent voters on a more, kind of a general spectrum."

Being as uniformed on the New York Times best seller list as Mitchell, Barr accepted her assertion that Palin's book was not on it: "That's kind of surprising. I mean, given that everything else she's done has turned to gold. The one thing with this book, though, is it's not, you know, really her thing. She didn't write the whole thing, it's largely like a compilation, so it doesn't quite have like the same juice behind it." That led Mitchell to make this snarky comment: "And you're suggesting she wrote the first book, I gather." She laughed and added: " I'm just being evil."

Here is a full transcript of the December 6 segment:

1:18PM ET SEGMENT:

ANDREA MITCHELL: If Sarah Palin runs for the White House in 2012, a new poll suggests that she may have a tough time getting voters to trust her on at least one front, women's health issues. That includes abortion, birth control, and sex education. A poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood - so we should point out that it is a Democratic poll, a Democratic interest group, but a Democratic pollster, Peter Hart, who we trust, did this poll for Planned Parenthood - says that 34% of registered voters - excuse me, talk about bulloxing this up - 54% of registered voters do not trust Palin on those issues. Only 24% of the voters do. Politico's Andy Barr is here to straighten it out, since I obviously can't today. Andy, what's the significance of this poll?

ANDY BARR: Well, like you said, you want to be cautious on these polls because it's a Democratic firm, Democratic issue, and it's pegged as trusting Planned Parenthood versus Palin and there's more trust for Planned Parenthood. But if you try to, like, take a step back, it does seem, especially when you look at the independent numbers, Palin not very trusted on this issue, which is key for her. I don't think it really has anything to do with how she'd perform among Republicans. You know, she has kind of an unquestioned credential there, but it does speak to that kind of cap that insiders worry about with her in terms of her support among independent voters on a more, kind of a general spectrum.

MITCHELL: And it does tap into the large cohort of suburban women, for instance, who are very active in politics and have been key voters, swing voters in a lot of states, Pennsylvania and other states, so it would have more impact in a general election, as you point out, than in a Republican primary, where she really is the leader.

One of the things that was very striking is The New York Times best seller list - Sunday best seller list. All of a sudden, Sarah Palin, with a new book, is not on the list. George W. Bush is leading the list and a lot of other political books are on there, but unless there was something wrong with my edition of The New York Times, she's not on it, with a book that's just come out.

BARR: You're right. That's kind of surprising. I mean, given that everything else she's done has turned to gold. The one thing with this book, though, is it's not, you know, really her thing. She didn't write the whole thing, it's largely like a compilation, so it doesn't quite have like the same juice behind it. There aren't like the juicy revelations. Like you remember last time this year, there was like issue after issue after issue with 'Going Rogue' that people were responding to and everything was in the news all the time. This one, much more vanilla in nature, so not shooting up the best seller list.

MITCHELL: And you're suggesting she wrote the first book, I gather.

BARR: Well I-

MITCHELL [LAUGHS] : It's okay, I'm just being evil.

BARR: As much any politician writes their book, you know.

MITCHELL: Right, they all have help.

BARR: Right.

MITCHELL: Thank you very much, Andy Barr, from Politico.


-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.