Is Obama "Urkel" or "Carlton Banks"? Media conservatives respond to "ass to kick" comment
Research ››› ››› MATT MCLAUGHLIN & TODD GREGORY
Right-wing media figures have responded to President Obama's remarks about finding out "whose ass to kick" in regard to the Gulf oil spill by saying that Obama has gone "street" and gone "a little gangsta" and by comparing him to fictional characters Steve Urkel and Carlton Banks.
Lauer says "critics" want Obama to "kick some butt"; Obama replies that experts help him know "whose ass to kick"
Lauer: "I never thought I'd say this to a president." In a June 7 interview that aired on the June 8 edition of NBC's Today, Lauer told Obama that "critics" are saying this "is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and -- I never thought I'd say this to a president -- but kick some butt." Obama responded in part by saying that he spends time consulting with experts not because "this is a college seminar," but because "they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick":
LAUER: Critics are now talking about your style, which is the first time I've heard that in a long time. And they're saying here's a guy who likes to be known as cool and calm and collected, and this isn't the time for cool, calm and collected --
LAUER: -- that this is not the time to meet with experts and advisers. This is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and -- I never thought I'd say this to a president -- but kick some butt.
LAUER: And I don't mean it to be funny.
OBAMA: No. And I understand. And here's what -- I'm going to push back hard on this, because I think that this is just an idea that got in folks' heads and the media has run with it. I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago, I was meeting with fishermen down there standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be.
And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick, right?
So, you know, this is not theater. Most of the decisions that I make on a day-to-day basis, I make because I have gathered the best information possible in very difficult situations, and my job is to figure out how can I move the federal government, the private sector, all the various players who are involved, to perform some very, very difficult tasks?
And I don't always have time to perform for the benefit of the cable shows. What I do have is dedication and commitment to make sure that the people who are actually being affected by this are going to get the best possible service from me. And as long as I'm president, that's the approach that I'm going to take to this job.
Media conservatives respond that Obama is going "gangsta" and going "street"
Drudge: "Obama goes street." On the evening of June 7, the main headline on the Drudge Report linked to a clip of Lauer's interview with the words "Obama goes street: seeking 'ass to kick' ":
[Drudge Report, 6/7/10]
Davis: Obama went "a little gangsta" with comment about "whose ass to kick." Filling in for Rush Limbaugh, radio host Mark Davis highlighted what he called the "audio of the day," stating that Obama had sought to use his "potty mouth" because his "leadership skills are dashed against the rocks." He then said Obama was "going a little gangsta for us to feign authoritative behavior." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/8/10]
Davis: Obama's comment is "like Urkel channeling Jay-Z." Later in the Limbaugh show, Davis complained that Obama's comments were "galvanizingly off-putting" because they were "so contrived and so orchestrated." He added that the comments were "like Urkel channeling Jay-Z." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/8/10]
Crowley: Obama "is Carlton Banks, not Suge Knight." In a blog post headlined "Gulf Oil Leak: Carlton Banks to the Rescue!" Fox News political analyst and radio host Monica Crowley likened Obama to fictional character Carlton Banks, writing that "Obama trying to show he's an angry avenger when he's essentially an automaton isn't going to work either. He is Carlton Banks, not Suge Knight. He's a navel-gazing, community organizing law professor, not a put-a-cap-in-your-ass gangbanger." [BigGovernment.com, 6/8/10]