Steve Hayes: ‘You Knew the Media Were Going to Obsess on This and Obsess on It They Did’

Mitt Romney was correct in his critique of President Barack Obama’s “Arab Spring” policies but, on the timing, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes cautioned on FNC’s Special Report, Romney should have known the media would use it against him:

You knew the media were going to obsess on this and obsess on it they did. They’re so now fascinated by this process story, using this process story to beat up Mitt Romney rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture question about the policies.

Hayes marveled at the news media’s misplaced focus. “What we’re witnessing is perhaps a partial collapse of the Obama doctrine – the ‘leading from behind’ manifesto,” yet “all we heard about all day today” from the media was “whether Mitt Romney should have put out a statement at that time.”

Audio: MP3 clip

From the panel segment on the September 12 Special Report with Bret Baier:

I think on the substance Mitt Romney’s critique is the right critique. I mean, the President did send mixed signals. The administration, from the first tweet from the embassy in Egypt, did lead with an apology. Even subsequent statements by Hillary Clinton, where she added in a denunciation of the violence, always led with what was tantamount to an apology. So I think, on the substance, he’s got a very good case.

On the timing, would I have done the press conference today? I probably wouldn’t have, but that has much more to do with the fact that you knew the media were going to obsess on this and obsess on it they did. They’re so now fascinated by this process story, using this process story to beat up Mitt Romney rather than taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture question about the policies.

I mean, you have in effect, what we’re witnessing is perhaps a partial collapse of the Obama doctrine – the “leading from behind” manifesto that has governed the way the administration conducted foreign policy over the past three-and-a-half years. And all we heard about all day today was the media and whether Mitt Romney should have put out a statement at that time.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center