Fox News joins MSNBC in allowing GOP strategist Tantaros to characterize Obama as a "fancy lad"

››› ››› ANDREW WALZER

A week after referring on MSNBC to Sens. Barack Obama and John Kerry as "two Ivy League fancy lads," GOP strategist Andrea Tantaros again referred to Obama as a "fancy lad," this time on Fox News' America's Newsroom. In neither case was her remark challenged by the anchors of the shows.

One week after she appeared on the July 7 edition of MSNBC Live and referred to Sens. Barack Obama and John Kerry (D-MA) as "two Ivy League fancy lads," Fox News hosted Republican strategist Andrea Tantaros on the July 14 edition of America's Newsroom, during which she called Obama "a fancy lad." Tantaros was discussing the possibility of Obama's speaking in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and called the proposition "risky," adding that "Obama needs some gravitas, and so that's why they're sending him there. He's a fancy lad. He likes fancy language with fancy backdrops. And that's exactly why they're putting him there." On neither MSNBC nor Fox News was her remark challenged by the anchors of the shows. On MSNBC, Democratic strategist David Goodfriend responded to Tantaros by saying: "Well, first of all, just in response to what Andrea said, there isn't a single Ivy League fancy guy on that ticket."

From the 4 p.m. ET July 7 edition of MSNBC Live:

DAVID SHUSTER (anchor): I mean, Andrea, I'm gonna ask you about that, but first, you know, we've got that campaign alert on the screen. Senator Jim Webb [D-VA] issuing a statement today saying that he does not want to be Barack Obama's vice president. What is your reaction to that news, and also, would Republicans savor the opportunity to go after John Kerry again, or would they fear John Kerry as Obama's running mate, simply because he been through this process before?

TANTAROS: Yeah, I mean, any person that says they don't want to be vice president, I mean, talk about a grain of salt. I think we got to take it with a triple helping of salt. And I think we've also got to take this John Kerry Washington whisper campaign also with a grain of salt. You know, I don't think that he does bring politically too much to the table. You said Massachusetts, I mean, if Barack Obama's worried about getting Massachusetts, he might as well pack it in right now. And I think, also, he's been branded and beaten by President Bush already. He's been branded as indecisive and a flip-flopper, and that's the last thing Barack Obama needs. And the Democrats don't need two Ivy League fancy lads on their ticket this year either. So --

SHUSTER: And David. What is it --

TANTAROS: I think Republicans might -- Republicans, they already -- they've already beaten John Kerry once, so I think they would get excited, they know how to beat him and they'd likely do it again.

SHUSTER: I'm going to agree and I think this is simply -- wait a second. I want to --

DAVID GOODFRIEND (Democratic strategist): Well, I find it -- I find it hard to see how --

SHUSTER: No. I just want to take on Andrea's point. Look. I think -- I think you're on to something Andrea, and I think this may be an effort more -- more to simply please John Kerry, and say, look, we owe it to you because of everything you gave us -- 2004 to at least have your name in the mix. But David, one of things that Obama certainly would like in the mix is to put Virginia in play, and doesn't this hurt him now with Jim Webb saying, "You know what, I don't want any part of being on the ticket."

GOODFRIEND: Well, first of all, just in response to what Andrea said, there isn't a single Ivy League fancy guy on that ticket. Barack Obama is an up from the bootstraps kind of guy. He did it himself. He didn't rely on his inheritance or any Roman numerals after his name, unlike other candidates. But let's talk about Virginia for a second. Barack Obama has put that state in play.

From the July 14 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

BILL HEMMER (co-anchor): On the trail now, Barack Obama is heading overseas soon, going to Germany in part to deliver a speech, perhaps at the Brandenburg Gate. That is in the heart of Berlin, a symbol of unity between the former East and West Germany. He won't be the first American to do this. Remember these moments of presidential history. First John F. Kennedy about 45 years ago, then Ronald Reagan about 20 years ago, both at the Brandenburg Gate.

KENNEDY [video clip]: In the world of freedom, the proudest boast is, "Ich bin ein Berliner"

REAGAN [video clip]: Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

HEMMER: Huge moments in history. Barack Obama, though, is not the U.S. president yet. He's still running for office, and that has raised a few eyebrows, both here and also in Germany. Is it appropriate for a candidate to deliver what is essentially a campaign speech from such an iconic site in another country? What do you think? Let's bring in Fox contributor and Democratic consultant Bob Beckel; Andrea Tantaros, political analyst and a Republican consultant as well. All right, Bob, is it a big deal?

BECKEL: Well, I don't think -- first of all, tell Megyn [Kelly, co-anchor] it's a good idea that the air traffic controllers don't drink, so it's -- that's important.

HEMMER: Let's hope not, huh?

TANTAROS: I see his point. He may be on to something.

HEMMER: At least not on the job, right?

BECKEL: That's right. The answer is I don't -- I don't quite get what the big furor is. Look, on the one hand, the guy gets beat up because he doesn't have enough foreign policy experience and that he ought to go over and meet our allies. He's going over to meet our allies and giving a speech. And look, for the last eight years, we've had a president of the United States that gets booed when he goes to Europe. It'd be a nice idea to have someone to be cheered. My guess, he'd get cheered.

HEMMER: Well -- well, it would be one thing, if just Americans were against it, but the German chancellor came out, she said it's a bad idea. The local mayor, by the way, says he's OK with it. Andrea, where do you come down on this?

TANTAROS: Yeah, well, I think it's risky, you know, and moreover, even though I disagree with Bob, I'm glad he's not an air traffic controller. I'm glad he went into politics and not that field. But you know what, I do think it's risky. I think that -- look, Obama needs some gravitas, and so that's why they're sending him there. He's a fancy lad. He likes fancy language with fancy backdrops. And that's exactly why they're putting him there. But look, I think it's going to help. A lot of liberals love Europe. They think Europe does everything better than the United States. Although our country is facing so many domestic crises, I just don't know if it's wise for any candidate to go over to another country to spend a lot of time campaigning. I think they're better off in this country. But you know what, we'll just have to just wait and see. I think it's risky.

HEMMER: Well, we're going to see this trip go from Europe to the Middle East, possibly into Iraq and places beyond.

TARANTOS: Well, why isn't he in Iraq, Bill, you know? He's going to Germany before Iraq.

HEMMER: Well, I mean that -- I mean apparently that -- that'll be one of the stops along the way. A lot of that stuff is held pretty tight because of security matters.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, MSNBC
Person
Andrea Tantaros
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live, America's Newsroom
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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