Imagine If Bachmann Had Said It: Networks Skip Obama Confusing Kansas and Texas
The same networks that jumped on every flub by Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have, so far, ignored video of President Obama confusing Kansas with Texas. Only Fox News and CNN played the clip.
Special Report's Bret Baier, however did cover the President's speech about taxes, calling the moment "inauspicious." He then showed Obama, in Osawatomie, Kansas, asserting: "Well, it is great to be back in the state of Tex -- oops." Panelist Charles Krauthammer quipped, "Look, it's hard to remember all 57 states." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Good Morning America's Josh Elliott couldn't find time for the "oops" moment, but did make sure to highlight that Obama had traveled to "conservative Kansas." GMA has repeatedly hit Bachmann for her "historical flubs" and Herman Cain's "awkward" moments.
On Tuesday's Nightly News, Chuck Todd similarly skipped the moment, but parroted the President's talking points: "Mr. Obama again cast himself and the Democratic Party as the protectors of a middle class under Republican assault."
On the Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley touted, "President Obama took his campaign for reelection today to the American heartland where he portrayed himself as a champion of the middle-class in the mold of one of his Republican predecessors."
The networks really had no excuse for ignoring the gaffe. In previewing the speech Tuesday, the morning shows all announced that Obama would be in Kansas. GMA's Elliott explained, "And President Obama travels to Kansas today to pressure Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut that expires at year's end."
CNN's Newsroom on Tuesday did highlight the moment, but attempted to spin it as a joke:
BROOKE BALDWIN: But if I may, I want to begin with – I don't know if it was a gaffe or not. Off the tip-top, did you hear the President say hello Texas, and then he meant Kansas, made some – made some mention of Bill Self who I know is the Kansas Jayhawk's basketball head coach. Was that purposeful or not?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN chief White House correspondent: I think that the President was just riffing with the crowd a little bit there. I don't know if he made a gaffe or not, Brooke. But I think – I think that this was a pretty big speech for the President and also sort of his natural forte.
Rarely are Republicans like Bachmann and Perry given the benefit of the doubt.