Pleasant Surprise: NPR’s Cokie Roberts Challenges Obama Claim About Historic Levels of Partisanship in Washington

NPR reporter Cokie Roberts had some harsh words for President Obama when she appeared as a guest on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, January 26th. With President Obama scheduled to give his sixth State of the Union speech on Tuesday January 28, the ABC panel had some tough advice for the embattled president.

Roberts, who in the past has made incendiary comments about conservatives, agreed with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that President Obama cannot continue to blame the GOP for his recent problems. The NPR reporter argued that, “He's now been going back and reading his history and understanding that that's the case. And so that he has to learn to deal with it.” [See video below.]

The back and forth began when Fox News host Greta Van Susteren criticized President Obama’s attitude towards Congress. Van Susteren argued that, “President Obama sometimes acts like he's the only one who had political opposition… Look at how much President Clinton got done and he had been impeached and was on trial to get thrown out and he got things done. You can't keep blaming everybody else.”

Surprisingly, the NPR host did not hold back her critique of President Obama and she admitted that “the president himself is saying now this is not the most partisan time in our history.” Roberts continued to warn President Obama, and pointed out how:

The really dangerous thing, I think, for him and for the Democrats in this poll, and that he's going to have to think about as he makes the State of the Union message, is that more people say that the Republicans have the right idea about the size and role of the federal government than the Democrats do.

Given that the State of the Union is less than two days away, Ms. Roberts’ comments are extremely revealing and do expose President Obama’s unwillingness to work with members of Congress. Political divisiveness is nothing new in Washington, and Roberts’ admission that President Obama is not embroiled in an unusually toxic political atmosphere is something that most liberal journalists have failed to admit, particularly the ones who cynically chalk up almost all Obama opposition to racism.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.