Tag Archives: Chuck Todd

President Obama Press Conference – April 30th

Barack-Obama-portrait-PD
As stated by the President, this press conference was in honor of outgoing White House Correspondents’ President Ed Henry, of Fox News. Accordingly, the first recognized was Henry, and he offered questions on Syria and Benghazi. On Syria, Henry asked what the next move is for this administration. It is not surprising that since chemical weapons are the bone of contention in Syria, that Obama went directly for what can only be considered a thinly-veiled statement referring to actions of the Bush Administration on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq:

And what we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don’t know how they were used, when they were used, who used them; we don’t have chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened. And when I am making decisions about America’s national security and the potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapon use, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got the facts.

That’s what the American people would expect. And if we end up rushing to judgment without hard, effective evidence, then we can find ourselves in the position where we can’t mobilize the international community to support what we do. There may be objections even among some people in the region who are sympathetic with the opposition if we take action. So, you know, it’s important for us to do this in a prudent way.

When pressed by Henry on the question of whether or not the U.S. would act militarily against the Assad regime in Syria, Obama came short of stating that would happen, opting to merely state that he has options outlined by the Pentagon. What those options are were not mentioned, for security reasons.

On Benghazi, the question was on members of the administration that have apparently been blocked from testifying about what they know about the attack that lead to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, and three members of the consulate staff.

Ed, I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody’s been blocked from testifying. So what I’ll do is I will find out what exactly you’re referring to. What I’ve been very clear about from the start is that our job with respect to Benghazi has been to find out exactly what happened, to make sure that U.S. embassies not just in the Middle East but around the world are safe and secure and to bring those who carried it out to justice.

It’s not surprising that Obama denied that anyone was being blocked from testifying, but it’s also unlikely that there will be any follow-up on the question as promised. Obama moved on to the next reporter after this.

Jessica Yellin of CNN offered the next question on whether or not we, as a nation, are moving backwards in national security and intelligence, citing Senator Lindsey Graham’s concerns on the matter. Note that the question focused on the failure in preventing the Boston bombing, not the subsequent reaction and investigation.

No. Mr. Graham is not right on this issue, although I’m sure it generated some headlines. I think that what we saw in Boston was state, local, federal officials, every agency, rallying around a city that had been attacked, identifying the perpetrators just hours after the scene had been examined. We now have one individual deceased, one in custody. Charges have been brought.

I think that all our law enforcement officials performed in an exemplary fashion after the bombing had taken place. And we should be very proud of their work, as obviously we’re proud of the people of Boston, all the first responders and the medical personnel that helped save lives.

What we also know is that the Russian intelligence services had alerted U.S. intelligence about the older brother as well as the mother, indicating that they might be sympathizers to extremists. The FBI investigated that older brother. It’s not as if the FBI did nothing. They not only investigated the older brother; they interviewed the older brother. They concluded that there were no signs that he was engaging in extremist activity. So that much we know.

Obama did go on to note that we need to be vigilant to prevent a future attack, stated that the Department of Homeland Security and FBI had done their jobs, and stated that we need to go on living our lives.

The next question was from Jonathan Karl at ABC, and bluntly asked if the President felt that he had the ability to pass his agenda, given the push back he has been getting from both sides of the aisle in Congress. Sequestration was also brought up in this segment, particularly the FAA.

Look, we — you know, we understand that we’re in divided government right now. Republicans control the House of Representatives. In the Senate, this habit of requiring 60 votes for even the most modest piece of legislation has gummed up the works there. And I think it’s — comes to no surprise, not even to the American people, but even to members of Congress themselves, that right now things are pretty dysfunctional up on Capitol Hill.

Despite that, I’m actually confident that there are a range of things that we’re going to be able to get done. I feel confident that the bipartisan work that’s been done on immigration reform will result in a bill that passes the Senate and passes the House and gets on my desk. And that’s going to be a historic achievement. And I’m — I’ve been very complimentary of the efforts of both Republicans and Democrats in those efforts.

And on the FAA, and Congress:

Well, hold on a second. The — so the alternative, of course, is either to go ahead and impose a whole bunch of delays on passengers now, which also does not fix the problem, or the third alternative is to actually fix the problem by coming up with a broader, larger deal.

But, you know, Jonathan, you seem to suggest that somehow, these folks over there have no responsibilities and that my job is to somehow get them to behave. That’s their job. They are elected, members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and for the American people. So if, in fact, they are seriously concerned about passenger convenience and safety, then they shouldn’t just be thinking about tomorrow or next week or the week after that; they should be thinking about what’s going to happen five years from now, 10 years from now or 15 years from now.

The only way to do that is for them to engage with me on coming up with a broader deal.

And that’s exactly what I’m trying to do is to continue to talk to them about are there ways for us to fix this. Frankly, I don’t think that if I were to veto, for example, this FAA bill, that that somehow would lead to the broader fix. It just means that there’d be pain now, which they would try to blame on me, as opposed to pain five years from now. But either way, the problem’s not getting fixed. The only way the problem does get fixed is if both parties sit down and they say, how are we going to make sure that we’re reducing our deficit sensibly; how are we making sure that we’ve investing in things like rebuilding our airports and our roads and our bridges and investing in early childhood education and all — basic research, all the things that are going to help us grow, and that’s what the American people want.

The last questions were offered by Bill Plante of CBS, Chuck Todd of NBC, and Antonieta Cadiz of the Chilean press, offering questions on Guantanamo Bay, ObamaCare, and Immigration respectively. Obama did make a parting statement on NBA player Jason Collins “coming out of the closet”. A full transcript of the press conference is available at the Washington Post website.

Liberal Math = Todd + Akin = Entire GOP

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd thinks Mitt Romney is to blame for the Akin meltdown.  Yes, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and the entire Republican Party is responsible for what Mr. Akin said about ‘legitimate rape.’  It’s definitely not the media’s fault.  That’s “a chicken and egg conversation,” which Todd had with Laura Ingraham on her radio show on August 22nd:

Courtesy of Real Clear Politics:

Chuck Todd, NBC News: The entire political community should be held accountable for this, including the Romney campaign. They’ve lost some traction on the economy and I don’t know why.

Laura Ingraham: But you don’t think the fact that the most, not all, but most in the media establishment have spent the last 48 plus hours obsessing about the comments of one Republican senatorial candidate trying to tar the pro-life movement, Paul Ryan, all of it, with the comments of one man. You don’t think that gets in the way of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney speaking about economic renewal?

Todd: Well, this is a chicken and egg conversation. This is a distraction. I don’t think it’s a distraction you can quote, blame on the media on this one. It’s not media bias, it’s media, it’s what they’re covering, and the fact is we are under-covering the economy, we are under-covering — but you cover the campaign that is in front of you

This is classic liberal math.  It’s easy and stupid. Akin is representative of the entire GOP.  According to Gateway Pundit, the Obama team is starting to fundraise off of this equation. Leading the charge is Sandra Fluke–who penned this letter featured on Obama’s campaign website.

In a recent statement that was both factually inaccurate and horribly offensive, Republican Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said that victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan tried to distance themselves from the remark—but the fact is they’re in lockstep with Akin on the major women’s health issues of our time. Just this morning, the Republican Party voted to include the “Human Life Amendment” in their platform, calling for a constitutional ban on abortions nationwide, even for rape victims. Several Romney supporters and advisers stood silently by while this vote took place, and the Los Angeles Times reports that the platform “was written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”

President Obama spoke out yesterday in response to Akin’s comments: “What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”

This controversy is not an accident, or a mistake, or an isolated incident. It’s a reflection of a Republican Party whose policies are dangerous for women.

There is a clear choice for women in this election.

I entered this national debate on women’s rights in February, when, as a Georgetown Law student, I testified before members of Congress on the issue of contraception.

Without knowing me or my story, Rush Limbaugh called me a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his radio show.

Many Americans stepped forward to tell me they agreed with me, and supported my right to speak out without being verbally attacked. President Obama stood with us.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand? He didn’t even condemn the remark, instead saying only: “It’s not the language I would have used.”

Since that moment, I’m even more resolved to continue the fight to make sure every single woman—and every man who cares about the women in his life—knows exactly what’s at stake in this election. The Republicans are frighteningly clear on these issues.

The party platform itself includes a “salute” to states that have pushed “informed consent” laws, such as those that force women seeking an abortion to first undergo an invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound.

Just last year, Paul Ryan joined Todd Akin and more than 200 other Republicans in co-sponsoring legislation that would have narrowed the definition of rape, limiting which victims of rape were “legitimate” enough to receive financial assistance for access to abortion care.

Mitt Romney famously says he would “get rid of” Planned Parenthood if he had the chance. And both Romney and Ryan pledge to go back to a system where insurance companies can discriminate against women and charge us more than men for the same health insurance.

Akin’s comments shouldn’t be surprising. But this isn’t about him—just like it was never about me.

President Obama has told us what he’s fighting for: “I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.”

Republicans, led by Romney and Ryan, have made it clear that they want to make our decisions for us.

President Obama trusts us to make our own.

It’s as simple as that.

The narrative has shifted thanks to Akin.  Let’s give him a round of applause for this avoidable distraction that could cost us a Republican congress an much more less that 100 days from Election Day.  Drop out!

UPDATE:  If Chuck Todd seriously thinks the media isn’t to blame, then then he will be hard pressed to explain their obsession over Akin’s gaffe for 96 minutes over a three an a half day period.

As reported by Scott Whitlock of the Media Research Center:

The media obsession with a gaffe by Congressman Todd Akin continued on Wednesday and Thursday morning. The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts and morning shows offered five additional segments, bringing the amount of coverage to a massive 96 minutes (and 45 segments) over three and a half days. The disparity between Akin and gaffe-prone Vice President Biden’s “chains” controversy from last week is now five-to-one.

The massive amount of coverage is obviously favorable to the Democrats, a point Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos underlined: “Mitt Romney hoping to shake off those controversial comments from Congressman Todd Akin about abortion and rape. President Obama and his team doing everything they can to make it stick.”

Reporter Jake Tapper helpfully parroted that the Democrats are “trying to turn [Akin] into Mitt Romney’s second running mate.”

He added, “The White House trying to link Paul Ryan to Akin because they both backed a bill that would have narrowed one of the few exceptions for federally funded abortions, from instances of rape to forcible rape.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer Pivots on Trial Lawyers

In my last post about Sen. Boxer and the rest of the Democratic Caucus I forgot to mentioned her shameful trial lawyers pivot in her interview with Chuck Todd yesterday morning.  In their exchange, Todd touched upon this point when the Senate Democrats failed to pass the bill stating “oh trial lawyers” you know they—they the boogeyman– trial lawyers is always a favorite boogeyman of the right. Oh trial lawyers will take advantage of this loophole and it will just be a bunch of money for them and hold back businesses.  Did you guys need to put a better way of how you would implement this law?”

 

Boxer responded in kind stating  Chuck, “if that was the case we would never pass a civil rights law. We would never pass any laws protecting people and protecting consumers. You have to see that when the Republicans bring up trial lawyers, it’s a way to distract from the fact that they’re doing the bidding of the wealthiest few, who are employers, who just want to pocket that money.”

We're Number 1! We're Number 1!

In actual fact, trial lawyers are the biggest contributors to the Democratic Party and to say they don’t want anything in return is gross naïveté.  Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon wrote today, June,7, 2012, that:

In 2008, lawyers and law firms donated more than $230 million to federal political candidates and committees, 76 percent of which went to Democrats.

The industry gave $43.2 million to President Obama in 2008 and was his top source of campaign donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The industry is also the number one source of political donations for 48 of the 53 members of the Senate Democratic caucus over the course of their careers. In total, lawyers and law firms have contributed more than $132 million to Senate Democrats—all of whom supported the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.), and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) are the only Democratic caucus members for whom lawyers are not the top source of political donations. Lawyers are the second-highest contributors to all of those senators except for Sanders.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), who has been one of the most aggressive critics of Republican opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act, has received more than $5.4 million from lawyers and law firms over the course of her career. A number of those firms specialize in the very sort of lucrative class action lawsuits likely to proliferate under the measure.

Yeah…this move isn’t political in the slightest.

(h/t Washington Free Beacon/Andrew Stiles/ Kyle Becker)

Sen. Barbara Boxer Ignores Liberal Hypocrisy on PFA

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California)

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer’s interview with Chuck Todd on The Daily Rundown was the typical liberal jargon that is commonly seen on MSNBC.  However, this time the political opportunism amongst Senate Democrats was palpable, especially with this “fair pay” business.  We’ve all heard the statistics that women make only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, but when this so-called Paycheck Fairness Act failed was pushed added to the agenda, I was floored.

First of all, as Chuck Todd reiterated this morning, the bill was never going to get the sixty votes needed to proceed to a vote for approval.  Therefore, this willful campaign of self-martydom by liberals was a ploy to make Republicans look evil and continue the war on “women narrative.”  However, what is fascinating is the fact that Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s female staffers earn 27.6% less than their male counterparts.  According to the Washington Free Beacon:

Pelosi’s female employees earned an average annual salary of $96,394 in fiscal year 2011. Male employees earned $123,000 on average, a difference of 27.6 percent.

The gap is even larger if calculated using the median salaries for men and women. For Pelosi’s female employees, the median annual salary was $93,320 in 2011, compared to $130,455 for male employees—a difference of $37,135, or 40 percent.

Pelosi’s entire staff—men and women—earned an average annual salary of $108,150 and a median salary of $114,662. By both measures, women made considerably less.

 In the Senate:

Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.

Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent.

That is well above the 23 percent gap that Democrats claim exists between male and female workers nationwide. The figure is based on a 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, and is technically accurate. However, as CNN’s Lisa Sylvester has reported, when factors such as area of employment, hours of work, and time in the workplace are taken into account, the gap shrinks to about 5 percent.

A significant “gender gap” exists in Feinstein’s office, where women also made about $21,000 less than men in 2011, but the percentage difference—41 percent—was even higher than Murray’s.

Barbara Boxer stated on the senate floor that “Senator Mikulski’s bill says you can’t be reprimanded or punished because you’re trying to find out if you’re being paid fairly. That’s why we have to pass this law and anyone voting against it– is taking a stand against women, is taking a stand against fairness, is taking a stand against justice — is taking a stand against our families.”  Yet, her female staffers made $5,000 less than male staffers last year.

Obama's Record Low & Matt Lauer's Sad Face

Today Show’s Matt Lauer had NBC’s Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd on to discuss the very discouraging results of the latest NBC News/WSJ approval poll.  Lauer did his best to keep a stiff upper lip, but the disappointment was palpable.  And why not?  NBC’s own poll shows President Obama’s disapproval rating at a record high at 51%.  Even worse, 59% disapprove of his handling of the economy, although Todd does his best to deflect the miserable numbers by suggesting it was a “pretty pessimistic public” that they polled – as if the public’s pessimism and Obama’s dismal numbers are two mutually exclusive sentiments.  The most damning part of the poll – 73% think the country is headed in the wrong direction.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that every nation has a leader, and a leader leads, and if 73% of Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction that means 73% of Americans think the country is being led in the wrong direction.  This is basically a disapproval rating, and Todd and Lauer know it.  Kudos to Lauer and the Today Show for even airing the results of this poll, but maybe next time they can work on teaching Lauer not to look like he just got dumped by the prom queen when he’s reporting unfavorable Obama numbers.  Todd also deserves an honorable mention for pushing the “silver lining”, which is – Obama’s “likability” is still polling very high.  If only “likability” helped businesses hire more Americans.

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