Tonight on FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier, President Barack Obama effortlessly rolled through an at times combative interview with Baier, who tried to talk about special deals on the healthcare bill and emails from “the people” who oppose healthcare reform, but Obama was more than up to the task as he used Fox News to push his own healthcare reform message.
Here is the video:
Baier came right out the gate with the Fox News anti-healthcare stance by asking about the Slaughter Solution. Obama answered, “What I can tell you is that the vote that’s taken in the House will be a vote for health care reform. And if people vote yes, whatever form that takes, that is going to be a vote for health care reform. And I don’t think we should pretend otherwise. Bret, let me finish. If they don’t, if they vote against, then they’re going to be voting against health care reform and they’re going to be voting in favor of the status quo. So Washington gets very concerned about these procedural issues in Congress. This is always an issue that’s — whether Republicans are in charge or Democrats in charge — when Republicans are in charge, Democrats constantly complain that the majority was not giving them an opportunity, et cetera. What the American people care about is the fact that their premiums are going up 25, 40, 60 percent, and I’m going to do something about it.”
Baier pressed the president for an answer on the Slaughter Solution, and Obama said, “What I’m saying is whatever they end up voting on — and I hope it’s going to be sometime this week — that it is going to be a vote for or against my health care proposal. That’s what matters. That’s what ultimately people are going to judge this on. If people don’t believe in health care reform — and I think there are definitely a lot of people who are worried about whether or not these changes are, in some fashion, going to affect them adversely. And I think those are legitimate concerns on the substance — then somebody who votes for this bill, they’re going to be judged at the polls. And the same is going to be true if they vote against it.”
The host then shifted gears and read some anti-healthcare emails from Fox News viewers. Obama countered with, “I’ve got the exact same e-mails, that I could show you, that talk about why haven’t we done something to make sure that I, a small business person, am getting as good a deal as members of Congress are getting, and don’t have my insurance rates jacked up 40 percent? Why is it that I, a mother with a child with a preexisting condition, still can’t get insurance? So the issue that I’m concerned about is whether not we’re fixing a broken system.
Baier later brought up the GOP talking point that Obama is transforming one sixth of the American economy, but the president rebutted this claim, “Now, you keep on repeating the notion that it’s one-sixth of the economy. Yes, it’s one-sixth of the economy, but we’re not transforming one-sixth of the economy all in one fell swoop. What we’re saying is is that for the vast majority of people who have health care, they’re going to be able to keep it. But what we are saying is that we should have some basic protections from insurance company abuses and that in order for us to do that, we are going to have to make some changes in the status quo that we’ve been debating for a year.”
It went on and on with the overmatched Fox Newser trying desperately to make Obama look like the dictator/raging socialist that his network portrays him as, while Obama kept chugging along and selling healthcare reform. Obama excels in these kinds of situations. Unlike George W. Bush, he thrives off of a hostile audience. Why haven’t the Republicans realized that they are playing right into President Obama’s hands? Fox News provided Obama with the perfect sounding board to bring healthcare home successfully. You would think that at some point the GOP and Fox News would realize that they are helping Obama every time that they feebly challenge him.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association