ABC's "GMA" led with the death of the Curse of the Bambino. NBC's "Today" led with the Joy of Sox. CBS' "Early Show" led with grown men crying last night. Giuliani says of missing explosives "the actual responsibility was on the troops there"
On NBC's "Today," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was asked by Matt Lauer about the missing explosives in Iraq and said: "The President was cautious. The President was prudent ... the actual responsibility was on the troops there. Did they search carefully?" Giuliani then moved back to saying: "The President was not willing to put blame on the troops."
CBS Report on Satellite Photos: CBS' David Martin had a report on satellite photos of the missing explosives site in Iraq. "The Pentagon has located some old satellite photos of this weapons complex where those missing munitions were stored. These were photos that were taken before US troops ever got there and they show what intelligence analysts at the time called unusual vehicle activity, meaning there were a lot of trucks there. This is a huge complex and there could have been trucks there for any number of reasons having nothing to do with hauling away these explosives. So what the Pentagon is trying to do now is correlate the specific geographic coordinates of those bunkers where the explosives were stored with these satellite photos to see if there is evidence that trucks were parked outside those bunkers. If they can come up with that, that, obviously, would support the Bush Administration's argument that these weapons could have been taken away by Saddam's regime before US troops ever got there in the first week of April 2003, and, obviously, would undercut the Kerry Administration's (sic) argument that the Administration is guilty of incompetence for not having sent in enough troops to protect this weapons site from looters. Whatever these photos show- and they may not be conclusive in the end – whatever they show this case of the missing weapons has turned into the issue for both campaigns in the closing days of this race."
SEN. EDWARDS INTERVIEW ON "TODAY":
NBC's Campbell Brown interviewed Sen. John Edwards on "Today." He was asked about missing explosives, Social Security and his Christopher Reeve comment.
Edwards said: "We know that these explosives were there. We know the Bush Administration was notified ... they weren't secured ... now they are missing. Those are the facts." Brown challenged Edwards on the explosives, saying that they may have disappeared before the US got there. Edwards responded by saying: "They had a responsibility to secure this material. It was important for the security of Iraq, it was important for the safety of our troops ... what we know is that they didn't do it."
Edwards defended his use of an article in Fortune magazine about raising the retirement age that he used to criticize Bush even though Bush was not mentioned in the article by saying that the members of the Social Security Administration are part of the Bush Administration and by saying that Bush had recently been quoted in the New York Times (Magazine) as saying he was going to push for Social Security privatization. Edwards said: "Now he says he doesn't want to privatize" but quickly added that it's "fair game" and that "it's information that the American people deserve to know."
On Reeve, Edwards said: "What I was saying is that Chris Reeve represents hope." Edwards said if you listen to his own doctor, they didn't talk about a cure when Reeve was first injured but now he does.
MEL SMACKS ARNOLD ON GMA:
An emotional Mel Gibson appeared on ABC with Diane Sawyer to make a stinging critique of California Prop. 71, which would earmark state funds for embryonic stem cell research. Gibson said he called California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and when he raised the proposition's support for embryonic stem cell research, Schwarzenegger told him "Uh, I've got to go give a speech now, Mel," Gibson said in his best (or worst) Schwarzenegger impression. "Arnold," Gibson added, "I'm still waiting for your call."
Asked whether he would support embryonic stem cell research if he or his children suffered from a disease that could be cured only by such research, Gisbon said "I would not accept it. I would find a cure," and said there were alternatives.
Of the Presidential candidates, Gibson shook his head and said "I have not seen the candidate who I would support... but when God hands you lemons, you make lemonade… I'll decide which of these guys is the biggest lemon and I'll squeeze him for all he's worth."
ABC's Charlie Gibson said the race for President is a statistical tie: Kerry 49, Bush 48 according to ABC's tracking poll.
STEPHANOPOULOS ON MOVABLE VOTERS:
ABC's George Stephanopoulos said that "President Bush has to feel like the Boston Red Sox" if he receives the support of a significant number of undecided/moveable voters. Stephanopoulos Noted that historically these voters break away from the President, and most of them this year believe the country is moving in the wrong direction and are concerned more about Iraq and the economy than they are about the war on terror, but that the Bush campaign points out many of them believe the President is going to win and hope that will break them their way.
ABC's Dan Harris mentioned Kerry's statement calling the Red Sox "America's team" and gave extensive time to Kerry's attacks on President Bush over the missing explosives. Harris also Noted that the candidates' staff is pleased the World Series is over – so Kerry can't up late; "A tired candidate makes mistakes."
CBS' Bill Plante played Bush's final campaign commercial, "an emotional appeal," and mentioned the President's appeal to Democrats before saying "Well here's the thing -- There were no Democrats in the audience… That was a ticketed event."
CBS' Jim Acosta played video of Kerry's visit with schoolchildren in Iowa and said "it will be tough to know who the headliner is later today" when Kerry and Springsteen appear together.
NBC's O'Donnell said President Bush "lashed out" at Sen. Kerry and accused him of "denigrating our troops." She said Kerry advisors have admitted publicly that they don't know what happened in Iraq. The explosives story "overshadowed" Bush's effort to make a last minute appeal to Democrats. O'Donnell said Bush will keep up the focus on abortion and gay marriage. She said Bush will hit the same swing states as he did on Wednesday.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell said Kerry has been wanting Bush to respond to the explosives story and he immediately charged that Bush's comments were insufficient. She said Kerry charged that it is the President who has failed the troops. She also said a Kerry crowd used cell phones to call undecided Iowa voters.
MICHAEL J. FOX ON "TODAY":
Michael J. Fox told NBC's Katie Couric that "It's a little disingenuous" for Bush to talk about how he is the first President who funded embryonic stem cell research because "he was the first President who had the opportunity to." Fox said that when President Bush was presented with the opportunity, he did not "fully embrace it."