Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on Wednesday couldn't be bothered with spending much time on the scandal in Libya that left four Americans dead. Instead, he thrilled over the President's performance during a White House press conference. "An Obama smackdown," proclaimed the unabashed fan of the Democratic president. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Moran enthused, "The 44th President, today, was ready to rumble. You heard and saw it most emphatically when he leapt to the defense on Susan Rice." Moran explained that the United Nations ambassador is "under fire for claiming the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was not a terrorist attack but a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film." But the journalist quickly moved on to the battle between Senator John McCain and Obama. Declaring a winner, he cheered, "Today, an Obama smackdown."
After briefly discussing the scandal enveloping David Petraeus, Moran declared, "But the real takeaway from the White House today? There's nothing like a re-election to give the President a jolt of confidence."
Oddly, after highlighting the President's "smackdown" of Republicans, the journalist closed by lecturing, "Bridging those differences, or even just beginning to heal them, that's the real task ahead for President Obama."
Just last week, the reporter snarled at Rush Limbaugh for "slandering" Obama's voters, claiming the conservative has "contempt" for them.
On November 5, Moran wistfully announced, "Looking at Barack Obama today, on the last day of his last campaign, it is impossible not to think back to what seemed a hinge of history."
A partial transcript of the November 14 segment can be found below:
TERRY MORAN: But the real takeaway from the White House today? There's nothing like a re-election to give the President a jolt of confidence.
BARACK OBAMA: I've got a mandate to help middle class families and families that are working hard to try to get in the middle class. That's my mandate.
MORAN: Gone was the lackluster, stumbling Obama of the first debate in Denver.
OBAMA: Well, ah, ah, ah.
MORAN: And gone, too, was the grimly determined campaigner of the final stretch.
OBAMA: The status quo in Washington has fought us every step of the way.
MORAN: The 44th President, today, was ready to rumble. You heard and saw it most emphatically when he leapt to the defense on Susan Rice, his ambassador to the United Nations. She's under fire for claiming the deadly attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya was not a terrorist attack but a riot sparked by outrage over an anti-Muslim film.
SUSAN RICE: What this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in Cairo. Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.
MORAN: Rice is now a leading candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state. Top Republicans led by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, they vowed to block her nomination.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: I don't trust her. And the reason I don't trust her is because I think she knew better and if she didn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of America.
MORAN: Today, an Obama smackdown.
OBAMA: If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And should I choose, if I think that she would be the best person to serve America, in the capacity of the State Department, then I will nominate her.
MORAN: But wait. Isn't this supposed to be a moment for bipartisanship? As the country approaches the fiscal cliff, steep tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year unless Washington can do a deal, what kind of leadership will the newly emboldened Barack Obama bring to those old, bitter debates?
OBAMA: So, I will, you know, examine ways that I can make sure to communicate my desire to work with everybody. There are probably going to be still some very sharp differences.
MORAN: Bridging those differences, or even just beginning to heal them, that's the real task ahead for President Obama.