Diane Sawyer: 2011 Debt Crisis 'Outside Obama's Control,' 'Hostage' to Tea Party

ABC's Diane Sawyer, in a Nightline interview with the Washington Post's Bob Woodward Monday, aggressively defended President Obama from any blame for last summer's debt ceiling crisis.

"Barack Obama was hostage to events outside his control" due to a "Republican Congress newly dominated by the Tea Party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

DIANE SAWYER (OFF-CAMERA): It is the kind of moment that tests a president: the nation on the edge of a financial cliff.

SAWYER: You really say in the book, “Nobody was in charge?” Isn’t it the president?

BOB WOODWARD: In Washington.

SAWYER: And is that a failure of leadership?

WOODWARD: You know, some people are going to say, “He was fighting a brick wall.” Others will say, “It's the president's job to figure out how to tear down that brick wall.”

SAWYER (OFF-CAMERA): For 44 days last summer, Barack Obama was hostage to events outside his control. The Republican Congress newly dominated by the Tea Party threatened for the first time in history to have America default on its debts.


One has to work really hard to completely ignore recent history and civics.

The President and his Party controlled both chambers of Congress for two years.

If the current White House resident wanted to create a budget that would have extended the debt ceiling in 2010 thereby avoiding this crisis in 2011, he could easily have done so. 

In fact, he could have done it without one single Republican vote.

But he and his Party chose not to because they felt it might damage their chances at the polls during the midterm elections.

Not surprisingly, Sawyer mentioned none of this as she instead blamed it all on the Tea Party:

SAWYER (OFF-CAMERA): And with just hours to go, a deal is finally struck, but one that basically puts the country through it all again in January.

SAWYER: But is that the President's fault?

WOODWARD: My conclusion is Presidents Clinton, President Reagan, and if you look at them, and criticize them for lots of things, they by and large work there will.

SAWYER: And he did not?

WOODWARD: On this, President Obama did not.

SAWYER: But here in an election year, there are going to be people who say you’re delivering some ammunition to his opposition.

WOODWARD: I am not delivering ammunition. I am trying to describe what happened.

Wouldn't it be nice if Sawyer as a so-called journalist was more interested in describing what happened than deflecting blame from the current White House resident during an election year?

Or is that asking too much from members of our media?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.