Liberal Columnist Mike Barnicle: Obama 'Deified' in '08, Media 'Largely to Blame'

Liberal columnist Mike Barnicle confessed Friday that the media "deified" Barack Obama during his 2008 Presidential campaign. Both Barnicle and former MSNBC host Donny Deutsch, on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," admitted that Obama had no executive experience when he took office as president and that hurt him in his first two years in the Oval Office.

"This guy took office, he had never really run anything in his life, and it's very easy to be an ideologue," Deutsch said of Obama. "And he learned," he added. Barnicle noted that Obama "has never been executive, he's never run anything, he's never managed anything."

"Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough questioned why Obama took so long to focus on a job-centered agenda rather than liberal policies such as health care and cap-and-trade. Barnicle confessed that Obama "was glorified and deified during his campaign, largely by the media. We have to admit that, I mean, we have to plead guilty to that."
 

At the end of the segment, the panel unanimously agreed that Obama has learned from his mistakes and is now "acting like a president."

"As his presidency progressed he looked around, he looked at his allies – Harry Reid in the Senate, Nancy Pelosi in the House, terrific people – and said 'If these are my allies, I mean they are screwing up left and right. I've got to do something here, I've got to get this train back on the tracks'," Barnicle explained of Obama. "And he's trying to do that now."

A transcript of the segment, which aired on December 10 at 6:49 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

DONNY DEUTSCH: You know what? He's learned. This guy took office, he had never really run anything in his life, and it's very easy to be an ideologue and go "It would be great if the world is like this, and power to the people." And he learned. And he's in charge. And he's making the right move.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But Mike Barnicle, how long did it take him to learn, Mike Barnicle – it's not like you didn't say, starting in March of 2009, this guy is off track, he better start talking about jobs. And when Bob McDonnell won in 2009, we kept saying jobs, jobs, jobs, "Bob's for jobs." And when Scott Brown won in January of 2010, we said it's about jobs, jobs, jobs – stop being distracted. I guess I'm stunned that he was so tone-deaf to this, and kept saying "Oh, we can do more than one thing at a time, we can fight over a very bad health care reform bill for a year and a half, and then just magically one day lose so many seats and go "Okay, I'm Jack Kemp now. Let's cut taxes on everything."

MIKE BARNICLE: You know, Joe, I mean he was glorified and deified during his campaign, largely by the media. We have to admit that, I mean we have to plead guilty to that. We're going to have Ed Rendell on here in a couple of minutes. Barack Obama has never been an executive, he's never run anything, he's never managed anything – I think what happened is, as his presidency progressed he looked around, he looked at his allies – Harry Reid in the Senate, Nancy Pelosi in the House, terrific people, and said "if these are my allies, I mean they are screwing up left and right. I've got to do something here, I've got to get this train back on the tracks. And he's trying to do that now.

SCARBOROUGH: And I've got to say, if you listen to what you guys are saying, it sounds like the winds of change are blowing across the "Morning Joe" set. And Donny said it, I think Mike has said it, and Pat has said it – have you guys all agreed that Barack Obama – in your opinion, not mine, but in your opinion – that Barack Obama has learned from his mistakes and he is starting to act like a President?

BARNICLE: Yeah.

PAT BUCHANAN: Yep, I think so.   

SCARBOROUGH: Wow. That's good news for the White House, I think.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014