Bob Woodward: If Shutdown or Debt Ceiling Causes Economic Calamity, It’s On Obama’s Head

Bob Woodward broke free from the liberal media template on Monday morning, partially blaming President Obama for the current impasse over government funding and the debt ceiling. Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the veteran journalist claimed that a potential economic collapse or downturn would fall on Obama’s head.

Former George W. Bush staffer Nicolle Wallace and Obama acolyte David Axelrod were locked in an extended argument about the president’s role in all of this when Woodward cut in with the perspective of a wise old Washington veteran: “[T]he president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the presidency of Barack Obama.”


Woodward noted that speakers of the House rarely make it into the history books, so John Boehner is likely to escape blame from historians while Obama would be remembered as presiding over an economic disaster. The venerable reporter said of Obama: “It’s on the president’s head. He’s got to lead. He’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here, I think, is a baffling element.”

It’s nice to hear a reporter in the mainstream media suggest that President Obama is not entirely free from blame in our present budgetary troubles.

Below is Woodward's complete comment:

BOB WOODWARD: Can I enter in here just for a moment because I think it’s a good question. And there is something the president could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. A reasonable position. “I will not be blackmailed,” he said. But he should be talking. They should be meeting, they should be discussing this, because as I think Steve Rattner showed earlier, the American economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the presidency of Barack Obama. Speaker Boehner, indeed, is playing a role on this. Go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. I’ll bet no one can name who was the speaker of the House at the time. Henry Thomas Rainey. He’s not in the history books. It’s on the president’s head. He’s got to lead. He’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here, I think, is a baffling element.

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