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Team Romney: ‘We have a no-whining rule’ about media coverage

Senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie said the campaign has a “no whining rule” when it comes to media coverage of the presidential race.

“We have a 'no whining' rule in Boston about coverage in the media,” Gillespie told "Fox and Friends" on Wednesday. “We just deal with the facts.”

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Republicans have long complained about a liberal bias in the mainstream media, and frustrations have been voiced in this cycle about soft coverage of President Obama and tough coverage of Romney.

Conservatives have also criticized a possible bias in polls that show Obama building a lead over Romney in several key swing states. President Obama has posted noticeable gains in most recent polling, which is magnified by the fact the race had been almost completely static ahead of the conventions.

In a post titled “Media double standards,” Washington Post conservative writer Jennifer Rubin on Wednesday criticized a lack of media outrage over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) comments that Romney had “sullied” Mormonism.

Rubin also said coverage of Obama’s remarks this week that violence in the Middle East represented “bumps in the road” was soft and showed a bias. “Media double standards are nothing new, but it seems that nothing will provoke more exacting coverage of the president,” she wrote.

Gillespie on Wednesday echoed an argument made by some conservatives in recent weeks that polling sample sizes are disproportionately weighted to include too many Democrats.

Obama leads by almost 4 percentage points nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, and a Quinnipiac University-CBS News-New York Times poll released Wednesday showed Obama with a double-digit lead in Ohio, and a 9 percentage point advantage in Florida.

He argued Romney’s internal polls suggest a much tighter race.

“It is not consistent with our polling,” Gillespie said. “In every single one of them they have a Democratic voter participation that is higher than the Democratic voter participation in 2008, I don’t know anyone on the ground in any of these swing states that believe there will be a higher percentage of the electorate in 2012 than 2008, and yet in every single one of these surveys there’s a higher percentage. Which explains, by the way, how Romney could be tied or leading among independents in these polls, and then losing the net poll to President Obama — it does not make sense.”

Democrats counter that the sample sizes used in polls are accurate because there is no reason to think the makeup of the 2012 electorate will be proportionately different from 2008. They also point to census data that show minorities making up a greater share of the population, something driven by the surging Hispanic population.

On Wednesday, Gillespie argued that the Romney team’s internal polling reflected a more accurate picture of the race.

“We have professionals who do this for a living,” he said. “I like to say we live in reality, not reality TV. In terms of our ground game, our targeting of voters in a state like Ohio … we feel very good about our turnout and we feel we’re going to carry these swing states and win the Electoral College.”