Fox News' Banderas ignored McCain's smear of Obama, while repeating McCain's charge that Obama was making "a dig at John McCain's age"

››› ››› ANNE SMITH

Referring to comments Sen. Barack Obama made during a CNN interview, Fox News' Julie Banderas stated that Obama "made what some are calling a dig at John McCain's age." But Banderas did not provide the full context of Obama's remark, nor did she note that Obama was responding to a smear by McCain.

On the May 9 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, guest anchor Julie Banderas asserted that Sen. Barack Obama "made what some are calling a dig at [Sen.] John McCain's age," referring to comments Obama made during a May 8 CNN interview. Banderas then said to her guest, Brown University professor Wendy Schiller, "Let's first address Obama's comments by basically saying, or possibly bringing up the age issue by saying that McCain is losing his bearings." However, Banderas did not provide the full context of Obama's quote or note that Obama was responding to a smear by McCain. In response to McCain's recent statement that "I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States," Obama stated: "I've said that they are a terrorist organization, that we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they're willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And, so, for him to toss out comments like that, I think, is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination."

In the May 8 interview on CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer read McCain's April 25 statement: "I think it's very clear who Hamas wants to be the next president of the United States. ... I think that people should understand that I will be Hamas' worst nightmare. Senator Obama is favored by Hamas. I think people can make judgments accordingly." Obama replied:

OBAMA: Yeah, this is offensive.

And I think it's disappointing, because John McCain always says, well, I'm not going to run that kind of politics. And then to engage in that kind of, you know, smear, I think, is unfortunate, particularly since my policy towards Hamas has been no different than his.

I've said that they are a terrorist organization, that we should not negotiate with them unless they recognize Israel, renounce violence, and unless they're willing to abide by previous accords between the Palestinians and the Israelis. And, so, for him to toss out comments like that, I think, is an example of him losing his bearings as he pursues this nomination.

Banderas asked Schiller: "Let's first address Obama's comments by basically saying, or possibly bringing up the age issue by saying that McCain is losing his bearings. He has been around. He's 71 years old. He's been in the Senate for more than 21 years. He knows how to stand up to a guy like Obama. What do you think?" Following Schiller's response, Banderas said, "Obama's campaign spokesperson, Bill Burton, said that by saying 'clearly losing one's bearings' has no relation to age. When you think of losing your bearings, you're kind of thinking 'losing your marbles' and you're thinking 'crazy.' I mean, a little bit, right?" Schiller responded, "Right, right. I mean, I think they can't get away with saying, you know, that they're not trying to hit McCain."

From the May 9 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

BANDERAS: Meantime, McCain's likely opponent, Barack Obama, made what some are calling a dig at John McCain's age. So, will this be an issue in the general election? We're talking now to Wendy Schiller, associate professor of political science at Brown University, also a regular guest on The [O'Reilly] Factor. Thank you so much for talking to us.

SCHILLER: Good morning.

BANDERAS: Let's first address Obama's comments by basically saying, or possibly bringing up the age issue by saying that McCain is losing his bearings. He has been around. He's 71 years old. He's been in the Senate for more than 21 years. He knows how to stand up to a guy like Obama. What do you think?

SCHILLER: Well, I think just like you said -- he's been around for a long time. And I think every time Obama says "age," you know, McCain says "experience." And so, it's a risky strategy for Obama, I think, to go after McCain on his age. Also, let's not forget: Who votes the most frequently? What's the biggest turnout rate, highest turnout rate? People over 65 in this country. People are living longer, more active. Nobody over 70 wants to be told that they're irrelevant. So I think on a double level, I think Obama's taking a risk here. And I don't know that it's going to pay off for him.

Last night, McCain looked sharp, articulate, with it. He had charm; he was approachable. And he was experienced. Every answer he gave O'Reilly was, "Listen, I know what I'm talking about. I've been there. Here's what I would do." And it seemed very reasonable and very easy to understand by the average voter. And I think Obama's going to have a little bit of trouble in the sense that he uses fairly lofty rhetoric a lot. He's not as approachable. I mean, John McCain, on a one-on-one or a small-town meeting -- you know, he's really a star.

BANDERAS: Obama's campaign spokesperson, Bill Burton, said that by saying "clearly losing one's bearings" has no relation to age. When you think of losing your bearings, you're kind of thinking "losing your marbles" and you're thinking "crazy." I mean, a little bit, right?

SCHILLER: Right, right. I mean, I think they can't get away with saying, you know, that they're not trying to hit McCain. But, you know, listen, Obama's got another thing to do now, right? He's got to prove he's tough enough to run against John McCain. And just like John McCain said, he's been through worse than a political campaign. Obama's got to prove not only to the superdelegates and the Democratic Party, but to voters in general he can run the country and will be as tough as McCain. So, waging a tougher campaign, a nasty campaign, doing what he has to do to win --

BANDERAS: Right.

SCHILLER: -- that's partially what he needs to do to show the American people he can be a president.

BANDERAS: Right.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Julie Banderas
Show/Publication
America's Newsroom
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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