The Death Of Another Fox News Talking Point

Hannity: “The President Will Talk To Syria, Iran, Vladimir Putin, But He Won't Talk To” Republicans


Fox News' Sean Hannity repeated the recent Fox talking point that President Obama was willing to negotiate with Iran, Syria, and other foreign actors, but refused to even speak with Republican members of Congress. In fact, the president has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to negotiate and recently spoke with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and other congressional leaders.

On the September 30 edition of Hannity, host Sean Hannity asked his guest. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), about the President's willingness to work with Republicans to avoid a looming government shutdown over GOP efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act. Hannity said, “The president will talk to Syria, Iran, Vladimir Putin, but he won't talk to members of the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate. Do I have that right?” Graham responded, “You got it right.”

Hannity claimed Obama was unwilling to even “talk” with Republicans in Congress. In reality, Obama called Speaker Boehner and other GOP leaders earlier today. According to Reuters:

President Barack Obama urged House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Monday to back legislation to fund the government for six weeks and to vote on it quickly to avoid a government shutdown in hours.

The White House said Obama, in a phone call to the top Republican in Congress, asked Boehner to drop House Republican attempts to tie continued funding of the government to cutting money for Obama's signature healthcare law, the central obstacle holding up an agreement. 

Despite Hannity's claim, Obama's call to congressional leaders was even reported in his show's on-screen text:

On Screen Text

And though the text describes the news as “Breaking News,” Reuters reported on the call over an hour before Hannity aired.

Furthermore, the president has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to work with Republicans, stating only hours earlier:

OBAMA: I'm always willing to work with anyone of either party to make sure the Affordable Care Act works better, to make sure our government works better. I'm always willing to work with anyone to grow our economy faster, or to create new jobs faster, to get our fiscal house in order for the long run. I've demonstrated this time and time again, oftentimes to the consternation of my own party. 

Hannity's lie is just the latest in a series of falsehoods about the Affordable Care Act and the budget battle that are making the rounds on Fox News.