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September 14, 2012
Obama can run from the press but he can't hide
Romney met with reporters and took loaded questions from the media and responded to all of their queries before he left. This is something he has done many times over the last several months but this time it was a little different.
As reported here, several "journalists" conspired to ask Romney what they thought would be difficult and damaging questions regarding his recent Libya statements. The blatant collusion by the Liberal media members was caught on an open mic and played out just as the conspirators scripted.
Obama on the other hand, upon returning from a tough day of campaigning in Colorado, stumbled humbly through a prepared statement in the White House Rose Garden. The speech was thoughtful with regard to the victims but lacked any passion or conviction in tone or words when it came to how he is going to deal with the perpetrators. When he finished reading, he walked quickly away from the reporters as they shouted questions to him. Rushing off to another fundraiser, no doubt.
Avoiding the press is nothing new for our campaigner-in-chief. Since June he has allowed spontaneous questions from the press only three times (which, not coincidentally, is about as many daily security briefings he's attended).
In Mexico after the G20 summit Obama took three questions from handpicked journalists. They were softball questions about the economic situation in Europe. He spent twenty-plus rambling minutes responding then abruptly walked off the stage.
At another speech on the White House lawn, Obama was interrupted by a reporter asking and re-asking a question. Obama did respond but only to scold the reporter like a parent to a child. At the end of his comments Obama walked off without taking questions.
The third time was a surprise visit to a White House press briefing. Having successfully alluded the press corps for months, Obama dropped in unannounced on a the briefing. He took only four questions. A few softball questions and one thoughtful one from Jake Tapper that he responded to with his usual scripted non-answer. It has been suggested that the press conference was staged, as he appeared to be reading his answers from papers on the podium. Teleprompters would have been too obvious.
Obama did actually go off script three times over the last few months, which might account for his current lack of spontaneity when it comes to the press.
First, during an interview filled with powder puff questions from Charlie Rose, Obama made the mistake of saying that his biggest mistake in office has been not telling a good story. That's what we all want in a President - a good storyteller. Next time he can tell Charlie that he has made two biggest mistakes.
Some in his camp were complaining about the teleprompters at campaign stops so Obama tried going solo for a while. Probably not a good idea. That led to him telling us that the private economy is doing just fine. The teleprompters were immediately unboxed.
Teleprompters don't do any good though when you go off script, which is what Obama did when he channeled his inner Elizabeth Warren by saying that if we're successful we didn't built that.
We certainly can't claim that Obama is hiding from the press. He does do interviews with friendly reporters and journalists but recently he has been doing so on the condition that they only ask him questions that he provides to them. This was a good scheme until the reporters started telling their audiences that the questions were suggested by the President.
So when it comes to the tough issues like jobs, the economy and Libya, Romney will continue to stand in front of the press and meet them head on and Obama will continue to grab his teleprompters and run the other way.
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