Ed Schultz: Obama's 'Lay Off My Wife' Line 'Really Short-Sighted'

Liberal talk-radio star Ed Schultz has been a Barack Obama guy. In April, he spoke at a Democratic fundraiser in Fargo, and caused Obama to disassociate himself from Schultz’s remark that John McCain is a "warmonger." Sampling the show in the noon hour here in Virginia on Tuesday, Schultz said Obama’s "lay off my wife" comments on ABC were a "little sensitive" and "really short-sighted." Schultz thought it implied to people "And don’t believe her when she's on the stump." Here’s a summary from my quick note-taking:

The consensus E-mail from across America to this program is, if Obama doesn’t want the Republicans to pick on his wife, then let her stay home in the kitchen and not make speeches on the stump.

Then he said listeners also said the media should be "hammering Cindy McCain" for failing to release her tax returns and the media is accepting the "bogus excuse" that she’s protecting the privacy of her kids when she could be making unscrupulous "Sudanese investments."

Then he returned to the spousal point. He said everyone should ideally have their spouse as their best friend and career adviser. He said the Clintons clearly ran as a team in 1992, and that people thought when they elected George W. Bush they would get his dad as an unofficial adviser. He declared:

Family connections count. So I don’t mind the scrutiny. I just don’t think it’s important to have the insults, so I think Barack Obama may be a little bit sensitive in this arena, that his best surrogate so far has been Michelle Obama. And to maybe leave the impression that she’s not going to have an influence on him if he’s President of the United States I think is really short-sighted. Because she will. She’s too intelligent to stand in the kitchen. Okay? No offense, but that’s a fact. She is going to be an advocate for what she believes to be important for America. And that brings her to a level of public scrutiny that it would for anybody else. Now do I agree with the nasty 527 stuff that’s out there? The twisting of the comments, the patriotic – but I really think Barack was a little sensitive when he said "Lay off my wife." That’s a little like saying "And don’t believe her when she’s on the stump." This I think is a very fair approach to all of this. I do believe that criticism of a spouse is fair game, if it’s not dirtball politics. I mean, if it’s a fact, it’s a fact. If it’s not a fact, then obviously maybe that’s what he was talking about.

He added that he thought Laura Bush had "her hands on the Bush administration," and Nancy clearly had Ronnie’s ear. So he insisted that to suggest Michelle Obama won't be important in an Obama White House wouldn't fly.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis