Andrea Mitchell was born to Jewish parents in New Rochelle, New York on October 30, 1946. After earning a BA degree in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, she was hired by KYW radio in Philadelphia, first as a reporter, and then as the station's City Hall correspondent. In 1976 Mitchell went to work for the Washington-based CBS affiliate WTOP, and in 1978 she became a general correspondent for NBC News, where she has worked ever since. She has been the network's chief foreign affairs correspondent since 1994.
Mitchell has long viewed white Republicans and conservatives as being particularly inclined toward racism. During a June 2008 appearance on MSNBC, for instance, she referred to a heavily pro-Republican area of southwestern Virginia where then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was campaigning, as “real redneck, sort of, bordering on Appalachia country.”
In a December 2015 discussion about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for a temporary halt on Muslim immigration to the United States, Mitchell said: “I will tell you that the [Obama] White House views the Trump Muslim ban as pure racism … My first campaign, 1968 as a young reporter, was [that of segregationist] George Wallace. I have seen this before.”
Mitchell objected strongly in June 2016 when Donald Trump said he was being treated unfairly by U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an Indiana-born American citizen whose parents originally hailed from Mexico. Trump described Curiel, who was presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University, as “a member of a club or society [La Raza Lawyers of San Diego] very strongly pro-Mexican,” and said that it was “just common sense” that Curiel’s connections to Mexico, and his disagreement with Trump's past calls for stricter border controls, were responsible for his anti-Trump rulings. According to Mitchell, Trump's remarks were “blatantly racist.”
In November 2016, Mitchell covered the annual conference of the National Policy Institute, a Washington-based think tank that promotes white nationalism. Though the gathering consisted of scarcely 200 attendees, Mitchell tried to emphasize its significance as a barometer of anti-black racism among Donald Trump's political backers: “Supporters of Donald Trump’s election and the alt-right gathered in Washington this weekend at the Reagan Building … to celebrate with white supremacist speech and echoes of signature language from Nazi Germany.” Later in that segment, Mitchell related an anecdote she had heard about a four-year-old black girl in Harlem who, by Mitchell's telling, “said she wants to be white” because of her fear “that black people are going to be shot under [President] Trump.” Trump's election victory, said the news woman, was having a profound “effect on children in minority, in communities of color.”
Over the course of her broadcasting career, Mitchell has made plain her affinity for leftist Democrats. For example, in an April 2016 interview in which Senator Harry Reid said that “Hillary Clinton’s qualifications” for being president were more impressive than those of anyone “since the Founding Fathers,” Mitchell responded by saying that only “John Quincy Adams, maybe,” had compiled a résumé equal to that of Clinton. Just before the election that November, Mitchell characterized a Clinton campaign rally that featured appearances by such notables as Lebron James and James Taylor as “extraordinary” and “magical.”
In a similar spirit, Mitchell lauded outgoing President Barack Obama's “extraordinary” July 2016 speech at the Democratic National Convention as “the most optimistic speech, the most generous speech, politically,” that anyone could have expected to hear. She marveled at “the genuine affection” that Obama expressed for Hillary Clinton “when he said there's never been anyone, not man or woman, not me, not Bill [Clinton], as qualified to be president of the United States.” Extolling also “the creativity” of Obama's “own brilliant speech writing,” Mitchell said: “His gift is unique. I don't think we've ever had a President save Lincoln, who is as great a speechwriter as this man.”
A few weeks after Mrs. Clinton had lost the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, Mitchell told her NBC colleague Matt Lauer that members of the Clinton campaign team “do blame the media, frankly” for having contributed heavily to their candidate's defeat. A Media Research Center study, however, found that 91% of all the network news coverage of Trump during the weeks leading up to the election was hostile and negative, and that Trump’s controversies received significantly more airtime than Clinton's controversies on NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts.
When Trump was elected president in 2016, Mitchell feared that he would recklessly undo many of the supposedly vital achievements of President Obama. For example, when the Trump administration announced in April 2017 that it would be reviewing the Iran nuclear deal in light of Tehran's ongoing support for Islamic terrorism, Mitchell lamented that “the new administration appears to be ready to rip up” the “landmark” agreement which had been structured to “stop Iran from getting a bomb.” Further, she suggested that if the United States were to “break out of that deal,” it would “send a signal to North Korea and other rogue nations that the U.S. can’t be trusted to keep its end of the bargain.” (For details about the actual terms of the Iran nuclear deal, click here.)
Mitchell is a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and wide-ranging abortion rights. When President Trump signed a bill in April 2017 undoing an Obama-era regulation that had prohibited states from withholding money from Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics, Mitchell said: “This is a killer decision, this Title X decision ... and Planned Parenthood says it's really devastating.” The following month, Mitchell invited her friend, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, onto her program to denounce an upcoming vote in which House Republicans would seek to amend the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare). Said Mitchell: “[T]he winds are not blowing well for Planned Parenthood. This vote is likely to pass the House and it does defund Planned Parenthood, which means all of your clinics around the country for women's health.”
In her reports about Cuba's longtime Communist dictator Fidel Castro, Mitchell commonly issued words of praise or admiration to counterbalance any references to Castro's abuses. In a December 15, 1999 report from Cuba, for instance, she described Castro as an “old-fashioned, courtly – even paternal” man and said: “He's not just the country's head of state, he's the CEO.” After Castro's death in November 2016, Mitchell reported that many Cubans were “overcome with grief,” as exemplified by one young person who allegedly said: “It's painful for our country. This is the president we all loved.” “Leaders around the world” were “praising Castro,” Mitchell added, noting that “Cuban TV paid tributes all day and all night to the founder of the revolution, still a towering figure in the nation's imagination.” Emphasizing Castro's keen intelligence, Mitchell described him as “a voracious reader [who was] very, very aware of everything that was going on, very, very smart and very wedded to his revolutionary ideology.” In a separate report, Mitchell noted that Castro was “a declared socialist” who had “dramatically improved healthcare and literacy” in Cuba, and who, over time, had grown to “sho[w] a new tolerance for religion, welcoming Pope John Paul II in 1998.” She also suggested that Castro's mass arrests of dissidents were sometimes carried out in response to American policies, such as after “the Bush administration tightened sanctions, cutting off most travel to the island.”
For additional information on Andrea Mitchell, click here.