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CNN Hypes Romney Tape as 'Monumental Gaffe,' 'Manna from Heaven for the Left'

Who needs campaign staff when you have CNN to tout your "very, very damaging" attack ad? Host Piers Morgan gave President Obama some free publicity Tuesday night while CNN kept the anti-Romney media firestorm raging.

"I'm going to play a new Obama ad which basically sums up how he's going to attack him [Romney]. And it's very, very damaging. Watch this," Morgan told his guests, after he hyped Romney's "monumental gaffe" about the 47 percent of Americans paying no income taxes. 

[Video below. Audio here.]

"I mean on the face of it, this is a monumental gaffe, isn't it, by Mitt Romney?" Morgan asked liberal columnist Charles Blow. Host Erin Burnett called it "manna from heaven for the left" on her OutFront show.

"Are you guys rubbing your hands with glee?" Morgan teed up Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). "Do you think it's a game-changing moment in this election battle?"

CNN also boosted the Obama campaign spin that Romney is out of touch with ordinary Americans.

"And it also reinforces the anti-Romney narrative that he is out of touch, that he doesn't understand the problems of ordinary Americans. And that's not what the Romney campaign wants to do right now," sounded political analyst Gloria Borger.  

"Part of his problem, Donald, it seems, is he [Romney] seems to have this inability to talk in a way that people find relatable to the common man and woman in America," Piers Morgan told guest Donald Trump.  

Earlier on Tuesday, anchor Brooke Baldwin said the Romney campaign faces a "tsunami" of problems. That hype continued into the evening with CNN issuing a dire outlook for the Romney campaign. Morgan stated, "if you're Mitt Romney, you are in big trouble," citing poll numbers.

A transcript of the segments, which aired on CNN on September 18, is as follows:

CNN
THE SITUATION ROOM
9/18/12
[6:06 p.m. EDT]

GLORIA BORGER, CNN senior political analyst: And it also reinforces the anti-Romney narrative that he is out of touch, that he doesn't understand the problems of ordinary Americans. And that's not what the Romney campaign wants to do right now.

(...)

CNN
ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
9/18/12
[7:01 p.m. EDT]

ERIN BURNETT: The criticism of Romney has been withering. And it has been a rough two weeks in terms of headlines for the Romney campaign. You know he didn't get a convention poll bounce, but the President did. And then Politico reported this week that Romney's senior advisers are fighting and not on the same page. And then there were the two incidents, as I'll call them. First, criticizing the President for supposedly apologizing for the attacks on the American Embassy in Cairo. Romney was criticized by the left, sure, but also from the right by people like John McCain. And now this sound bite from the fund raiser. Now this was manna from heaven for the left, of course. But you know some Republicans also disavowed it.

(...)

CNN
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
9/18/12
[9:02 p.m. EDT]

PIERS MORGAN: (to Sen. Dick Durbin) Are you guys rubbing your hands with glee? Do you think it's a game-changing moment in this election battle?

(...)

MORGAN: (to Donald Trump) Your man's in a lot of trouble, isn't he? He's dug himself a monumental hole.

(...)

MORGAN: Part of his problem, Donald, it seems, is he seems to have this inability to talk in a way that people find relatable to the common man and woman in America. The reason I think it's very appropriate for you to get into this is that you're a very rich guy, much richer than Mitt Romney, but you've never had an inability to communicate to the poorest guy on the street.

(...)

[9:18]

MORGAN: Let me start with you, Charles. I mean on the face of it, this is a monumental gaffe, isn't it, by Mitt Romney? Because whichever way you try and spin it, he basically called half of America a bunch of scrounging victims.

(...)

MORGAN: Michael Gerson, it's very, very hard to defend, isn't it? Because if you're in the Romney camp, it comes off the back of a couple other major gaffes, by common consent major gaffes, including the Libyan way he behaved over that attack. When you are in that camp now, what do you do? How do you get him out of this hole?

(...)

MORGAN: There's a new Wall Street Journal poll tonight and NBC News combined with them, gives the President his highest job approval rating since March at 50 percent. It also shows him beating Mr. Romney among likely voters, 50 percent to 45 percent, so 5 percent clear lead there with just two weeks before the campaign hits a major landmark with the first candidates' debate. I mean, Charles, if you're Mitt Romney, you are in big trouble. There's no way of saying you're not. You're in big trouble. What is he going to do?

(...)

MORGAN: I'm going to play a new Obama ad which basically sums up how he's going to attack him [Romney]. And it's very, very damaging. Watch this.

-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center