Echoing Reed, Fox News' Gibson asked whether "President Barack will blame America first"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On Fox News' The Big Story with Gibson & Nauert, Republican strategist and former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed said of the recent comments made by Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama: "[I]t plays into a stereotype about the left wing of the Democratic Party, that it blames America first, that they don't see the greatness of America." Echoing Reed, host John Gibson later asked, "Does that mean that President Barack will blame America first?"

On the February 19 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with Gibson & Nauert, during a discussion of comments made by Michelle Obama, wife of Sen. Barack Obama, Republican strategist and former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed asserted, "[T]he reason why I think this isn't going to go away, unless she apologizes quickly, is because it plays into a stereotype about the left wing of the Democratic Party, that it blames America first, that they don't see the greatness of America, and it really makes me wonder as somebody who is roughly about Barack and Michelle's age, what country she grew up in." Co-host John Gibson later said to Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers, "Kirsten, let's put it this way: Michelle Obama is finally proud of the U.S. Does that mean that President Barack will blame America first?" Powers replied, "Well, actually, listening to that little speech that Ralph just gave, I mean, why do people think that about liberals? It's because people do what Ralph just did."

During the segment, Fox News broadcast an on-air graphic that featured pictures of Sen. Obama and Michelle Obama and read: "MICHELLE OBAMA FINALLY PROUD OF U.S.A. Will Prez Barack Blame America First?"

Gibson characterized Michelle Obama's comments as "the patriotism flap." As Media Matters for America documented, during the February 19 edition of Fox News' America's Pulse, host E.D. Hill asked Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume about Michelle Obama's comments. Hume went on to assert, "[T]here is this feeling, and it has affected Democratic politicians for a long time, that they are kind of embarrassed by patriotism."

From the February 19 edition of Fox News' The Big Story with Gibson & Nauert:

GIBSON: Meanwhile, the candidates' wives are battling it out on the campaign trail. Michelle Obama is now under fire for her controversial comments about being proud of her country.

MICHELLE OBAMA [video clip]: And let me tell you something. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.

GIBSON: And today, Cindy McCain came right back at her over the patriotism flap.

CINDY McCAIN [video clip]: I'm proud of my country. I don't know about you if you heard those words earlier. I'm very proud of my country, and I'm proud to be a person that has voted in elections and I hope that all of you will do so today.

GIBSON: With us now, Fox News political analyst Kirsten Powers, a Democrat, and GOP strategist Ralph Reed. Ralph, if I can go to you first. Michelle Obama apparently slipped up. Now she did it twice. What do you think the importance of what she said is -- a lot or a little?

REED: Well, I think, you know, look, they're under the glare of the spotlight now, John. And this is what it's like to be the front-runner. And it can be revealing and sometimes unintentionally so. And this is not what the Obama campaign or the candidate wanted after spending really the last two days fighting over whether or not he was cribbing or plagiarizing lines from Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's [D] speech.

Now you get this, and the problem is, the reason why I think this isn't going to go away, unless she apologizes quickly, is because it plays into a stereotype about the left wing of the Democratic Party, that it blames America first, that they don't see the greatness of America, and it really makes me wonder as somebody who is roughly about Barack and Michelle's age, what country she grew up in. I mean, I was proud of America when we won the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. I was proud when we expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. I was proud when we liberated 50 million people from the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. I was proud when we provided humanitarian aid to the victims of an earthquake in Iran and to a tsunami in Asia.

You know, I think there's a lot to have been proud about, and I think the other thing it does is it plays into this weakness that's developing that the Obama candidacy is sort of a modern political equivalent of Beatlemania rather than a legitimate aspiration to be commander-in-chief.

GIBSON: Kirsten, let's put it this way: Michelle Obama is finally proud of the U.S. Does that mean that President Barack will blame America first?

POWERS: Well, actually, listening to that little speech that Ralph just gave, I mean, why do people think that about liberals? It's because people do what Ralph just did.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
John Gibson
Show/Publication
The Big Story with John Gibson
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine, Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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