John King Calls 'Point, Set, Match Obama' for President's 'Ask Osama bin Laden' Retort

As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's supposedly impartial media have been gushing and fawning over President Obama's press conference retort to Republican accusations of his appeasement, "Ask Osama bin Laden."

Doing his part Thursday was CNN's John King who proudly declared on the program bearing his name, "Point, set, match Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JOHN KING: A fun little quiz before we go tonight. What's an 11- letter word for weak? Mitt Romney knows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. Appeasement betrays a lack of faith in America, in American strength and in America's future.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Rick Santorum's got it, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president, for every thug and hooligan, for every radical Islamist, he has had nothing but appeasement. We saw that during the lead up to World War II. Appeasement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: And don't count out Michele Bachmann.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama must immediately end his doctrine of appeasement and weakness toward Iran and pursue decisive common sense strategies, ignored or rejected currently by this administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Appeasement. It's a page from the age-old Republican presidential playbook. Whatever it takes, do whatever it takes, make the Democrat look timid and weak.

Well, here's tonight's "Truth." It won't work this time. To borrow a sports cliche, the best defense is a good offense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Point, set, match, Obama.

Sure, there are things in the president's foreign policy record that are plenty fair game for criticism. You could build a long list of them. But bin Laden is dead, Anwar Awlaki, too. Not to mention Muammar Gadhafi.

And the sanctions he placed against Iran tonight are as tough or tougher than any put in place by the George W. Bush administration.

So Republicans would be best to look elsewhere for an Obama vulnerability. After all, "ask Osama bin Laden" is a pretty bulletproof comeback, or a slam dunk, as the Bush Iraq war team might say.

President Obama, as a matter of fact, gets his highest marks on terrorism and foreign affairs. It's his low approval rating on the economy that is his glaring weakness.

Truth is the appeasement line isn't really meant for all of us anyway. It's a serving of red meat for foreign policy conservatives who hope one of those Republicans wins so they can get all the jobs back at the State Department and the Pentagon.

But truth be told, this is a less red meat and a more eat your peas time for conservatives, now watching a Democratic president find and kill the terrorists who eluded them, all the while expanding the use of drone strikes and other covert tools in a terrorism fight.

Well, kudos to the troops and the intelligence professionals. That's what most of those conservatives say when you raise those points. But just as any president -- any president -- gets the blame for a bad economy, the commander in chief, including this commander in chief, gets credit for important international achievements. And the sooner conservatives accept that, the less they will have to hear this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al Qaeda leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)


King was so impressed with this retort he felt it deserved an encore. That's almost akin to MSNBC's Chris Matthews talking about a presidential candidate giving him a thrill up his leg.

Let me clue in all the Obama-loving media who thought this was such a marvelous response by the President: the assassination of bin Laden has nothing to do with the President's policies toward Iran, Israel, and the Palestinians. This is what Bachmann, Romney, and Santorum were talking about Wednesday.

As Bloomberg reported:

Republican presidential candidates slammed President Barack Obama's policies toward Israel today, accusing him of undermining security in the Middle East.

Addressing a Republican Jewish group in Washington, the candidates accused Obama of failing to halt Iran's suspected efforts to develop a nuclear weapon, emboldening terrorist groups and taking a more sympathetic approach toward Palestinians than Israelis.

Seems pretty clear, right?

Yet America's press are collectively doing a victory lap for an albeit clever retort by the President that in reality had nothing to do with what the candidates were actually criticizing him for.

More importantly, since when is it the job of news anchors to defend the White House resident from attacks by his political opponents, especially in the middle of a reelection campaign?

Is this what Americans should expect in the next eleven months: so-called journalists parrying every statement by the Republican candidates and eventual nominee?

Sadly, the answer is yes, for the nation's press are willing to do whatever it takes to get Barack Obama reelected even if it means they have to break every rule of journalism to do it.

Fasten your seatbelts.

(H/T Steve Malzberg)

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.