CNN’s Gloria Borger: Obama’s Being ‘Disingenuous’ On 'Red Line' in Syria

CNN has done a generally good job of covering the Syrian crisis over the past couple of days, with many of its analysts and anchors casting a skeptical eye on President Obama’s proposed military strike. On Wednesday morning’s CNN Newsroom, chief political analyst Gloria Borger called out the president for his ridiculous assertions that his red line is really the world’s red line and his own credibility is not currently on the line.

After anchor Wolf Blitzer had played a clip from Obama’s press conference in Sweden earlier that day, Borger noted that the president was trying to shift the onus off of himself. He claimed that the “red line” he mentioned a year ago was actually the world’s red line, and that it was not his credibility on the line, but that of the international community (as well as the U.S. and Congress). Borger tore into the president:


"And it seemed to me a little bit disingenuous, to use David Gergen's word, because these were his words. This is his credibility and it may be the world’s credibility as well, and when you’re president of the United States, you know, the buck stops here."
 

She added, “[Y]ou know, the new talking point seems to be, from John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and the president himself, which is that this is the world's red line. Yes it is, but it was also his.”

Kudos to Gloria Borger for calling President Obama out as he attempts to spin his way out of trouble. Will other journalists follow her lead and make the same obvious points?

Below is a transcript of the segment:

CNN Newsroom
09/04/13
10:06 AM

WOLF BLITZER: You know, Gloria, as someone who’s covered the intelligence community over the years, when I hear the president say repeatedly, and other U.S. officials, we have high confidence that these chemical weapons were used, high confidence is very significant, but it’s not absolute certainty, if you will. It’s a little bit less than that. Is that a problem at all?

GLORIA BORGER: I think it could be a problem, but in talking to people on Capitol Hill, going to those classified briefings, I would have to say that more come out of those classified briefings pretty convinced than those who say that the evidence is pretty thin. There are some who believe that the evidence remains thin. The one thing in watching that clip, Wolf, that sort of strikes me, is that the president was actually trying to say to the world, this isn't about me. And also for domestic political consumption. This isn't about my credibility, because that’s been the charge domestically. This isn't about my red line, because domestically people have said, why did he use those words? And it seemed to me a little bit disingenuous, to use David Gergen's word, because these were his words. This is his credibility and it may be the world’s credibility as well, and when you’re president of the United States, you know, the buck stops here. And if you're taking the high moral ground about the use of these awful chemical weapons, then why not just buy into it and accept it and the – you know, the new talking point seems to be, from John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and the president himself, which is that this is the world's red line. Yes it is, but it was also his.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.