ABC and CBS Eat Up Obama’s ‘Sharp’ and ‘Pointed’ Retorts

“In the presidential campaign,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley announced Thursday night, “President Obama fired back today at Republican opponents who criticized his foreign policy using words like ‘timid,’ ‘weak’ and ‘appeasement.’”

Over on ABC, fill-in anchor David Muir trumpeted “a very pointed response from President Obama” to the charge he’s had a weak foreign policy as an admiring Muir maintained “you can almost see him choosing his words as the question is asked.” Both then played Obama’s response from a late morning news conference:

Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field, whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there. Ask them about that.

As if not being a hindrance to ongoing military operations against terrorists addresses his policies toward nations, such as Iran.

Pelley proceeded to tout how Obama “also had a sharp answer when he was asked whether Congress will extend the current payroll tax cut.” Reporter Norah O’Donnell affirmed “he was combative, he was unwielding, vowing to fight Congress, those Republicans, tooth and nail in order to get extensions passed on his payroll tax cut as well as unemployment insurance even if it means canceling his Christmas vacation...”

From ABC’s World News on Thursday night, December 8:

DAVID MUIR: Now to politics and tonight a very pointed response from President Obama as he took questions at the White House today. The President was asked about, among other things, the criticism from Republican candidates when it comes to his handling of foreign policy. And you can almost see him choosing his words as the question is asked.

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Republican candidates have taken aim at your approach to foreign policy, particularly the Middle East and Israel and accused you of appeasement. I wanted to get your reaction to that.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field, whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever’s left out there. Ask them about that.

MUIR: The President today.

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CBS Evening News:

SCOTT PELLEY: In the presidential campaign, President Obama fired back today at Republican opponents who criticized his foreign policy using words like “timid,” “weak” and “appeasement.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever's left out there. Ask them about that.

PELLEY: The President also had a sharp answer when he was asked whether Congress will extend the current payroll tax cut which expires December 31st. Norah O’Donnell is at the White House tonight. Norah?

NORAH O’DONNELL: Scott, it was interesting to hear President Obama say today that his personal frustration level with Congress is off the scale. Today he was combative, he was unwielding, vowing to fight Congress, those Republicans, tooth and nail in order to get extensions passed on his payroll tax cut as well as unemployment insurance even if it means canceling his Christmas vacation....

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center