Chris Wallace On Biden's Swine Flu Gaffe: 'Is He Nuts?'
While network evening news broadcasts were covering for Joe Biden's swine flu gaffe, Fox News's Chris Wallace called the Vice President's advise that folks avoid getting on airplanes or riding subways "a serious mistake" and "reckless" leading the "Fox News Sunday" host to ask, "Is he nuts?"
Appearing on WOR radio's "Steve Malzberg Show" Thursday, Wallace also discussed how "exquisitely sensitive to anything that's negative, any criticism" President Obama is, adding how the recent attacks of Tea Party attendees and Fox News commentators "doesn't strike me as very presidential."
Wallace also said Obama's press conference Wednesday night wasn't "very newsy" lacking both good questions and good answers, and later took the President to task for claiming the information we received from interrogated terrorists that led us to thwart a string of second attacks on our nation could have been gotten other ways.
Highlights below the fold (14-minute audio available here):
CHRIS WALLACE (on Biden's swine flu gaffe): I don't know, but I think it was a serious mistake. And actually, of all the things, all the gaffes, all the feet in the mouth that he has committed in recent days, I think probably the worst. The last thing you need is loose talk or careless talk in the middle of -- I agree with you, I don't think it's a public health crisis, but certainly, you know, a public health alert. And this just is very reckless, and, and, it just makes you wonder what's the matter with this guy that he can't. I mean, I don't know, I'm able to get on and off the air without saying, I hope, most times without saying something stupid. He doesn't seem to be able to do that...I just think this is really a bad thing, and, you know, I mean on a variety of levels. First of all, if people who were legitimately concerned if not scared it certainly only adds to that. In addition to which we're in an economic situation, and you're saying to people, "Don't get on airplanes and don't get on subways?" I mean, is he nuts?
WALLACE (on Obama's comments concerning the Tea Parties and Fox News): He's definitely thin-skinned, there's no question about it. That was exactly the metaphor I was going to use. And I've seen this myself, you know with the "Obama Watch" that we did a couple of years ago to try to get him on. For a guy who's got 65, 67 percent approval ratings, he is exquisitely sensitive to anything that's negative, any criticism. And he likes to always say, "Well, you know, that's a democracy, and that's the way it's supposed to work." But he really does seem to feel any shot that somebody takes at him, and, you know the Tea Parties certainly are a legitimate and form of peaceful, first amendment, you know, right of assembly, in people not happy with the direction of the government. And for him to belittle it the way he did, and to belittle the commentators who pay attention to it, it doesn't strike me as very presidential.
WALLACE (on Wednesday's press conference): I didn't think it was a very interesting news conference. I didn't think the questions were very good. I find it astonishing that the economy contracted we found out in the first quarter by 6.1 percent, much higher than the administration forecast. That his budget that, you know, would increase the national debt by 2019 to 80 percent of GDP, and none of that was asked about...I didn't think the questions were very newsy. I didn't think the answers were very newsy. And one thing if I may, just one thing that bothered me was when the interrogation thing, when he said, "Look, you know, we got this information, but, you know, we could have gotten it other ways." I just have one question: how does he know that? How does he know, because I had Michael Hayden, the former CIA director on "Fox News Sunday" two Sundays ago, and I asked him about Abu Zubaydah, and he said to me -- now either he's lying, or he doesn't know, and I don't believe either -- he said, "Abu Zubaydah shut up, and it was only after we started the enhanced interrogation that we got the information that led to the capture of Ramzi Binalshibh, which led to the capture of KSM, which led to information about the second wave of terrorist attacks. You know, he can say we could have gotten it other ways, I don't know how he knows that.
Wouldn't it be nice if other media representatives asked such questions Wednesday night rather than how enchanted Obama is to be president?