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President Obama Calls Out Fox News’ Ed Henry’s Use Of Romney Talking Points

Reported by Ellen - October 13, 2011 -

We’ve repeatedly noted how Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry promotes Repubican or anti-Obama talking points as news. Now President Obama has called him out on it. During his press conference today, Henry dredged up some past Romney’s criticisms of Obama on foreign policy and “asked” for a response. Obama’s retort: I didn’t know you were the spokesperson for Romney. Later, on America Live, Henry bristled, pretending he was merely asking a question.

Although Megyn Kelly and Henry overlooked the point later, Henry’s entire question was an effort to promote Romney’s agenda. It served the multiple purpose of a) implicitly pronouncing Romney as an important player in foreign policy, b) highlighted and gave prominence to his criticisms of President Obama and c) offered the possibility of putting Obama on defense against Romney - thereby further boosting points a) and b).

Henry started out by asking South Korean President Lee how the Obama administration has helped to “contain” North Korean’s president. But in the same mouthful, Henry asked Obama what specific steps he’d take to hold Iran accountable for the recently foiled terror plot. But then Henry gratuitously added, “especially when Mitt Romney charged last week, quote, ‘If you do not want America to be the strongest place on earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.’”

Romney’s comments have nothing to do with South Korea, North Korea or even the Iranian terror plot.

Obama responded to Henry jokingly: “Well, I didn’t know you were the spokesman for Mitt Romney.”

Later, America Live host Megyn Kelly suggested that Obama’s response was based on his fear of Mitt Romney and she and Henry disingenuously said that the question was “pretty typical to quote political opponents” and to ask for a response. Yeah, when it’s relevant to the matter at hand, not as a gratuitous remark from left field. As Mediaite pointed out, Romney’s comments were made before the terror plot had even been uncovered, so what WAS Henry’s point in bringing them up if not to score a cheap shot against Obama and for Romney?

Henry “explained” himself to Kelly in a way that just happened to further denigrate Obama. “I was trying to put it in the broader context of not just Mitt Romney but there are a lot of Republicans out there who have charged that this president leads from behind, has not shown enough leadership on the world stage. This was an opportunity for him to push back on those critics in the context of Iran,” Henry said.

OK, but when you pull a nakedly partisan stunt like that, it’s also an opportunity for the president to call you out on it. Which he did. And Henry deserved it.

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