Right-Wing Media Deceptively Attack Obama For Not Receiving Daily In-Person Economic Updates

››› ››› MIKE BURNS

Right-wing media have attacked President Obama for his decision to stop receiving daily in-person economic briefings. In fact, Obama still receives a daily economic briefing on paper and regularly meets with members of his economic team as well as outside economists and experts.

The Hill Reports That Obama Has Stopped Receiving Daily In-Person Economic Briefings

The Hill: "At Some Point During The First Two Years Of His Administration, President Obama Stopped Receiving The Daily Economic Briefing That He Requested When He Took Office." In a June 6 article headlined, "Daily economic briefings disappear from Obama's White House schedule," The Hill reported:

At some point during the first two years of his administration, President Obama stopped receiving the daily economic briefing that he requested when he took office.

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs announced at his own first daily briefing reporters that Obama asked for the daily economic briefing, described then as comparable to the daily intelligence briefing the president gets every morning.

"The president asked that this be added every day to his schedule," Gibbs said at the time. Gibbs added that Obama believed it is "important that each day he receive the most up to date information as it relates to the economy."

But at some point, the daily economic briefings stopped showing up on Obama's daily schedule. [The Hill, 6/6/11]

Right-Wing Media Launch Bogus Attack That Obama Doesn't Care About Economy

Varney: Obama "Doesn't Get These Daily Economic Briefings," Which Shows That "The Economy Doesn't Have His Full Attention." From the June 8 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): Despite dire new unemployment numbers, President Obama says he's not worried about the economic recovery.

PRESIDENT OBAMA [video clip]: I'm not concerned about a double-dip recession. I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we're on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen. Prior to this month we had seen three months of very robust job growth in the private sector, and -- so we were very encouraged by that. This month you still saw job growth in the private sector, but it had slowed down. We don't yet know whether this is a one month episode or a longer trend.

CARLSON: This as the White House has ended daily economic briefings now for the president. So does the president have his head in the sand? I'm not so sure --

STUART VARNEY: Well, let's not get carried away with that.

CARLSON: Yeah, let's not get carried away. Stu Varney is here to talk about how you see this. Now I don't know if you just happened to see the Dick Morris interview, but he basically said, "The president's hands are tied. He really can't do anything else." Do you agree with that?

VARNEY: Well, I do agree with that. He is in a real policy bind here.

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): It's his policy.

VARNEY: Yes, but, the public seems to think -- and I agree with this -- that the president is distracted. The economy doesn't have his full attention. He said publicly he's not quite sure what happened with that latest very bad jobs report. He's not sure whether it's a trend or not. But he's not concerned about going into a double-dip recession. At the same time he doesn't get these daily economic briefings that he used to get. It seems like he's stepped back and -- where do we go from here? We know where we are now, but where do we go from here? It looks like there's a total policy vaccum. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/8/11]

American Thinker Asks If Obama Is Committing "Dereliction Of Duty" On The Economy. In a June 7 American Thinker blog post, Ed Lasky wrote:

President Obama has given up his daily economic briefings. Maybe it took too much time away from his leisure activities.

[...]

The economy is going down the tubes; Obama fails to deal with the deficit and debt problems (except to blast Republican efforts to try to solve the problems); millions are out of work and their time out of work keeps getting longer and longer -- destroying morale, people's finances and families; and the President chose a while ago to punt on daily economic briefings. Perhaps, Gibbs was lying to impress people that Barack Obama was taking his duties seriously. But aren't daily economic briefings -- especially since the disaster of 2008 and continuing economic weakness -- a smart idea regardless.

[...]

But Obama may just have decided it cut into the time when he needs to "unwind." Or perhaps it was an annoying distraction from his basketball games over the weekend or his time at the nightclub that he has turned the East Room into via his soirees with jazz musicians and the like. One wouldn't want to take the President away from his planning for vacations and deluxe fundraising events across the nation. Maybe he is just spending too much time coining phrases to disparage Republicans ("sipping slurpees").

The president has zero real world business experience and his Cabinet has been characterized as one marked by a notable ignorance when it comes to free enterprise and economics. Is it some of that smart power that Obama and his minions boast about to skip daily economic briefings (that would serve to educated Barack Obama) while the economy is in a non-stop tailspin?

Dereliction of duty? Leading from behind? [American Thinker, 6/7/11]

Malkin: Obama "Looks The Other Way At The [Economic] Destruction, Whistling Into What He Calls America's Temporary 'Head Winds.' " In a June 8 post to her website titled, "Obama's egghead economic saboteurs," Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin wrote:

White House aides have lamented that the economic team is "exhausted." Apparently, Obama is tired of hearing from them, too. The Hill newspaper reports that he has stopped receiving daily economic briefings that were once treated with the same emergency status as national security briefings. So, the central planners continue to be paid to fail -- while their boss looks the other way at the destruction, whistling into what he calls America's temporary "head winds."

Nice non-work if you can get it. [MichelleMalkin.com, 6/8/11]

Varney: Obama "Is Not Concerned About A Double-Dip Recession" And "Now We Hear He No Longer Receives Daily Economic Briefings. I'm Calling It ... Obama Out Of Touch." From the June 8 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co.:

VARNEY: Wait a second. He is not concerned about a double-dip recession? And now we hear he no longer receives daily economic briefings. I'm calling it -- rightly or wrongly -- Obama out of touch.

CHARLES PAYNE (Fox Business contributor): I'm calling it completely out of touch. You know, I watched that press conference yesterday when Angela Merkel, and there were times when I just wanted to -- I just wanted to scream. He talked about the economy slowing down periodically because people every now and then thought about the ten years before he came in. In other words, every now and then we would think about Bush and not go to the mall. It's just crazy. But you know, listen. He's played golf 70 times, people keep saying that's OK. It's not OK. This president has a "let them eat cake" attitude toward this whole thing. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 6/8/11]

Bolling: "The Daily Vital Economic Briefings Have Disappeared From The President's Schedule. ... The Economy Not A Huge Priority For The President." From the June 7 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money:

ERIC BOLLING (host): So is Obama's team deserting a sinking ship, and what happened to all those -- those all-important daily economic briefings anyway?

[being video clip]

ROBERT GIBBS (former White House press secretary): The president asked that this be added each day to his schedule as the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and an economic emergency. He felt it was important that each day he received the most up-to-date information as it relates to the economy.

REPORTER: When did the president stop doing the daily presidential economic daily briefings?

JAY CARNEY (White House press secretary): You know, I think it happens periodically.

REPORTER: It used to be a daily thing with the PDB. I'm just curious when it stopped being a daily thing?

CARNEY: I'll have to go check. Again, it's sort of -- it happens occasionally, it doesn't happen all the time, and I think that was always the case, but I can check. I don't have any scheduling changes to announce.

[end video clip]

BOLLING: Alright, the daily vital economic briefings have disappeared from the president's schedule. Joining me know is Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah. Sir, the economy, not a huge priority for the president. Am I missing it or is he just completely off base? [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 6/7/11]

Radio Host Lars Larson: Obama's Decision Shows That He Is "As Disconnected From Reality As It Comes." From the June 7 edition of Fox News' America Live:

MARTHA MacCALLUM (guest host): There are some brand new questions today concerning President Obama's handling of the U.S. economy. Just days after a string of bad economic news, the president today said, as he was speaking with Angela Merkel, he said he is not worried about a double-dip recession for our country. Doesn't think it's going to happen. His comments came after word that his top economic adviser has decided to back to his teaching job and after we found out that he stopped receiving daily economic briefings, which he had asked to receive every single day. That's not happening anymore. He requested those back in 2009. Take a listen to what the press secretaries said about this back then and now.

[being video clip]

GIBBS (former White House press secretary): The president asked that this be added each day to his schedule as the country is in the midst of an economic crisis and an economic emergency. He felt it was important that each day he received the most up-to-date information as it relates to the economy.

REPORTER: When did the president stop doing the daily presidential economic daily briefings?

CARNEY (White House press secretary): You know, I think it happens periodically.

REPORTER: It used to be a daily thing with the PDB. I'm just curious when it stopped being a daily thing?

CARNEY: I'll have to go check. Again, it's sort of -- it happens occasionally, it doesn't happen all the time, and I think that was always the case, but I can check. I don't have any scheduling changes to announce.

[end video clip]

MacCALLUM: That was a very awkward press secretary moment there. Let's bring in our panelists and talk about this a little bit. Lars Larson, syndicated radio host, and Rob Thompson, radio talk show host. Gentlemen, thank you for being here. You know, this is a tricky one. You know, take a look at this Lars. Do you think -- first of all, you know, the answer should have been, "We talk about the economy on such a -- you know, several times a day given what's going on in the world." Right?

LARS LARSON: Yup. But the problem is the president has taken the "hear no evil" approach to the economy. I mean, this is the guy who stands there and tells people who can't afford gasoline, "Go out and buy yourself a new hybrid van." He's about as disconnected from reality as it comes. And I'm sure that to the president when he drives by in his economic limo and runs over the fate of Americans who are out there looking for jobs and trying to pay the bills it probably does feel like bumps in the road when he runs over millions of unemployed Americans and people who can't make their mortgages. But he's not solving the problem and there are some clear things he could be doing, Martha. [Fox News, America Live, 6/7/11]

In Fact, Obama Still Receives A Daily Economic Briefing On Paper And Has Regular Meetings On Economy

White House Spokeswoman: Obama "Routinely Meets With Members Of His Economic Team" And "Receives Daily Briefing Documents From The National Economic Council." On June 6 The Hill reported:

White House officials said the meetings slowly petered out, but Obama still receives a daily economic briefing on paper.

[...]

White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said the president receives updates and briefings on the economy in a number of ways.

Brundage said in an email that "the president routinely meets with members of his economic team, both on an individual basis and in groups, and receives updates from his economic staff from their daily staff meeting."

"In addition, he receives daily briefing documents from the National Economic Council and gets regular updates from the vice president on a series of issues, including the ongoing deficit negotiations," Brundage said. "The president also requests meetings with outside economists and experts." [The Hill, 6/6/11]

White House Official: Obama "Requests Regular Meetings Several Times A Week And Daily Updates From His Economic Policy Team." From The Hill article:

"The president requests regular meetings several times a week and daily updates from his economic policy team, just as he does with his national security team and other senior advisers in the White House," one administration official said.

Additionally, the official said, the president gets daily briefing documents from his National Economic Council and regular updates from Vice President Biden. [The Hill, 6/6/11]

Even FoxNews.com Reported That Obama Receives Daily Briefing Documents On Paper. From a June 7 FoxNews.com blog post:

President Obama no longer receives his formal daily economic briefing, a practice that was started when he first came into office.

At some point recently, they ditched the everyday routine, and the White House says now his updates consist of meetings and updates.

"The president requests regular meetings several times a week and daily updates from his economic policy team, just as he does with his national security team and other senior advisers in the White House," said White House Spokeswoman Amy Brundage.

And she adds, they come in a variety of ways, "For example, the President routinely meets with members of his economic team, both on an individual basis and in groups, and receives updates from his economic staff from their daily staff meeting."

He also gets regular updates on paper, getting daily briefing documents from the National Economic Council Brundage says.

She says the president asks to meet with outside economists and experts and receives several updates from Vice President Biden. [FoxNews.com, 6/7/11]

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