Good evening, gentle reader. Good to be back. I did have a wonderful time, though; I was getting my eyebrows lowered at a thoroughly swanky, decadent spa in – no, never mind, I’ll leave it to your imagination. Meanwhile Fox News has been busy lowering something else: namely the tone of the political debate. Ellen has already noted the dedication with which Fox News is spinning President Obama's remarks about success being not only a matter of individual initiative but also “because we do things together.” They were doing it again on last night's On the Record, with Brit Hume as chief spinmeister.
Greta Van Susteren began by playing a clip of Romney getting hot under the collar about Obama's remark: “it's insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America. [wild cheers] I’m convinced [Obama] wants …Americans to be ashamed of success. I want Americans to -- to -- to welcome and to -- to celebrate success and to encourage people to reach as high as they can, and in some cases to build enterprises. I don't want government to take credit for what the individuals of America accomplish.”
She then asked Hume for his take, and he backed up the Romney spin. “The president was making, I think, a perfectly understandable point over the weekend, that the government plays a role, that government creates an infrastructure, roads and bridges and our legal system [etc.] But then he took it a step farther when he said, Look …if you've got a business, you didn't build that, someone else made that happen.”
Van Susteren expressed surprise that with "all of us" trying to guess what Obama's context was (Really? I thought all of us were waiting to see if Romney would release his tax returns), Obama hasn’t “dialed it back” or clarified his comments. He won’t, Hume replied, because "he's basically said what he thinks.” Look, he added, at how much of his “disappointing” stimulus package went “to protect government jobs.”
One thing pleased Hume - the force with which Romney spoke on the issue (well, of course; nothing will fire him up like criticism of his filthy-rich friends). “I do think that the public will largely agree with what -- what the president -- what Mr. Romney is saying here. (Oopf. Interesting slip of the tongue). Whether he'll follow that up with advertising and convert this into a major campaign issue, and whether it will work remains to be seen. But I think the opportunity may be there for him.”
Now Mr. Rmoney, you’ll have a few minutes here to read our questions, followed by the answers we want, memorize it then get in front of the Fux Nuze cameras. Don’t worry, it’s being taped! We have 10 questions so we’ll tape for 40 minutes then edit for the best effect.
actual full broadcast Q&A session:
time mark 04:21 MR – Obama
time mark 08:13 MR – care
time mark 14:34 MR – dies
time mark 15:07 MR – with
time mark 19:54 MR – me
time mark 23:43 MR – thank
time mark 36:37 MR – you