NBC Reporter Warns Obama Call to Fluke an 'Overreach' and 'Nakedly Political'

On Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, after the panel roundly bashed Rush Limbaugh and Republicans for not denouncing him enough, correspondent Savannah Guthrie surprisingly criticized President Obama's response to the controversy: "The President also in danger, perhaps, of an overreach by calling this law student [Sandra Fluke]....that seemed a little nakedly political."

Time's Mark Halperin quickly ran to Obama's defense: "I don't think that's an overreach, it's a brash political move, clearly political." He then gushed over the President's skill in handling the issue: "...the President talking about both the appreciation for religious liberty and the reproductive health issues. No other politician in the country's doing that classic triangulation and being bold and being out front on that, having his allies out there in an organized way."

Here is a transcript of the March 4 exchange:

11:17AM ET

(...)

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: The President also in danger, perhaps, of an overreach by calling this law student, she 30 years old...

MIKE MURPHY: Yeah.

GUTHRIE: ...in the guise of saying, "Are you okay?" I mean, obviously the Democrats want to make the most of the opportunity, but to me, that seemed a little nakedly political.

MURPHY: And meanwhile, the Chinese graduate 2,000 engineers while we're arguing about this. The whole thing was cringe-worthy.
            
MARK HALPERIN: Tale of two candidates. I don't think that's an overreach, it's a brash political move, clearly political. But look, the President's the – you look at Romney versus Obama on this, and the President talking about both the appreciation for religious liberty and the reproductive health issues. No other politician in the country's doing that classic triangulation and being bold and being out front on that, having his allies out there in an organized way. Romney, timid, not willing to repudiate Limbaugh, and not seizing the moment to talk about big issues. Even though he should be focused on the economy, you can't drive the news by yourself.

(...)   

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC