Fox's Carlson baselessly suggested Obama is more "concerned" with Limbaugh than "economy" and "Al Qaeda"

››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

Fox News' Gretchen Carlson suggested that President Obama is more "concerned" with Limbaugh than with "the economy" and "Al Qaeda." But the concern Obama reportedly expressed was with congressional Republicans, who he said were "listen[ing] to Rush Limbaugh" and not "get[ting] things done."

During an interview with nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh on the January 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson suggested that President Obama is more "concerned" with Limbaugh than with "the economy" and "Al Qaeda." Carlson also said to Limbaugh: "[I]n his first week in office ... Barack Obama chose you as his enemy, instead of, like, Al Qaeda, or possibly putting the economy on a higher platform." But the concern Obama reportedly expressed was with congressional Republicans, who he said were "listen[ing] to Rush Limbaugh" and not "get[ting] things done," including on the economy.

Limbaugh responded to Carlson, in part, by saying:

LIMBAUGH: You know, I think the Democrat Party, as a whole, and Obama look at conservatives as a bigger threat to what they want to get done than you -- than, say, [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I really do. He's willing to extend an olive branch to Ahmadinejad. He's going to send him a letter. I don't think he'll send me a letter.

According to the New York Post, Obama mentioned Limbaugh during a January 23 meeting with Republican leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss the stimulus bill. The House passed the bill on January 28 without any Republican votes.

From the January 23 New York Post article:

President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration.

"You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done," he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package.

One White House official confirmed the comment but said he was simply trying to make a larger point about bipartisan efforts.

"There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats," the official said. "We shouldn't let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done."

From the January 29 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Here's what's happening right now: President Obama on the attack against radio host Rush Limbaugh, but shouldn't he be focusing more on the bigger issues affecting this country like um, hmm, the economy or how about Al Qaeda? Well, Rush Limbaugh is going to be here to weigh in. He is here live this hour.

[...]

CARLSON: But what I want to ask you when we come back is whether or not Barack Obama should be more concerned with things like the economy and maybe Al Qaeda -- if in fact we still are in a war on terror -- than you?

DOOCY: That's right. Plus, Rush has got a great -- he's got his own stimulus plan. He writes about it today in The Wall Street Journal, and he talked about it on the air this week on his show. More with Rush Limbaugh, live from sunny Palm Beach, in a moment.

[...]

CARLSON: Before we went to break, I said something about the fact that in his first week in office, that Barack Obama chose you as his enemy, instead of, like, Al Qaeda, or possibly putting the economy on a higher platform. And so, we came up with this new photo. Did you know that you're now on Mount Rushmore?

LIMBAUGH: Not officially. Can I see it?

DOOCY: Yeah.

CARLSON: Do you see it? It's on your screen. Look how good you look there.

DOOCY: Yeah. Lincoln's got nothing on you.

LIMBAUGH: That looks like it's been there all along with most of the --

CARLSON: But what do you make of the fact that you have been listed as somewhat, in some minds --

DOOCY: Public enemy #1.

CARLSON: -- yeah -- in the first week.

LIMBAUGH: Well, as I said, I don't think this was accidental, and I think that Obama does -- look. You know, I think the Democrat Party, as a whole, and Obama look at conservatives as a bigger threat to what they want to get done than you -- than, say, [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I really do.

He's willing to extend an olive branch to Ahmadinejad. He's going to send him a letter. I don't think he'll send me a letter. I don't think he will invite me to have adult beverages at the White House, as he did other Republicans, and so forth.

I mean, it's -- you know, and -- but this is what America is. That's fine. We have always been a partisan political culture. We've always been fighting for what we all believe, principally, and this is what the Republican vote was all about. They held to principles last night.

But I'm not -- look, [former President Bill] Clinton mentioned me all over the place, too, so, it's just that they know that I am the direct route to conservative base voters, and if they could discredit me, if they could marginalize me, they think that they've got Republicans out of the way.

DOOCY: All right. Rush Limbaugh, we thank you very much for joining us.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Barack Obama, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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