Right-wing media have responded to President Obama's State of the Union speech with predictable attacks, calling it “class warfare” and claiming it was “transparently partisan.”
Right-Wing Media Predictably Respond To Obama's Speech By Crying “Class Warfare”
Doocy: Obama Used “Warren Buffett's Secretary To Kick Off His Class Warfare Campaign.” On the January 25 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy teased a segment about Obama's speech by saying, “The president us[ed] Warren Buffett's secretary to kick off his class warfare campaign in last night's State of the Union address.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/25/12]
Fox's Ramsey: “Last Night Our President Declared War On Success In The Name Of This Class Warfare Politics.” Later during the January 25 show, Fox's finance expert Dave Ramsey said, “Last night, our president declared war on success -- in the name of this class warfare politics and this envy, he has come out and vilified the people who work like [millionaires do].” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/25/12]
Hannity: “Tonight, Instead Of Embracing An Opportunity To Bring America Together, [Obama] Elected To Invoke Class Warfare.” On the January 24 edition of his Fox News show, which aired immediately after the State of the Union address, Sean Hannity said, “Tonight instead of embracing an opportunity to bring America together the president elected to invoke class warfare and further split an already deeply divided nation by focusing on partisan issues rather than pressing ones.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/24/12, via Nexis]
Hannity: “I Didn't Get Any Sense At All Of Any Grand Vision That [Obama] Has For The Country Short Of Igniting These Embers Of Class Warfare.” Later on the broadcast, while interviewing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Hannity said of Obama's speech: “One of the thing that really struck me tonight, if he's going to go out to America and travel across this country and make the case four more years, I didn't get any sense at all of any grand vision that he has for the country, short of igniting these embers of class warfare.I didn't hear anything too inspiring.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/24/12, via Nexis]
Wash. Times: “A State Of Class Warfare: President Ignores America's Heritage As A Land Of Opportunity.” From a January 24 Washington Times editorial posted prior to the president's State of the Union address:
Whenever President Obama is in the same room as his teleprompter, expect to hear the class warrior emerge. Mr. Obama's words Tuesday were no exception.
In its sneak peak at the president's State of the Union remarks, the White House highlighted Mr. Obama's intention to say we can “either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while more Americans barely get by. Or we can build a nation where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.”
Jobs and prosperity won't grow as long as regulatory burdens stifle output, and our tax code is turned into an instrument to discourage and punish success. It's time for America to discard Mr. Obama's class-warfare message and reclaim our heritage as a land of opportunity. [The Washington Times, 1/24/12]
Hoft: “Let The Class Warfare Begin.” In a January 24 Gateway Pundit post - also written before Obama gave his State of the Union address -- right-wing blogger Jim Hoft wrote, “Barack Obama will attack the rich tonight in his State of the Union address.” The post was titled, “Let the class warfare begin... Obama SOTU Address -- January 24, 2012.” [Gateway Pundit, 1/24/12]
Obama: “We Don't Begrudge Financial Success In This Country”
Obama In SOTU: “We Don't Begrudge Financial Success In This Country. We Admire It.” From Obama's January 24 State of the Union remarks:
Tax reform should follow the Buffett Rule. If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. And my Republican friend Tom Coburn is right: Washington should stop subsidizing millionaires. In fact, if you're earning a million dollars a year, you shouldn't get special tax subsidies or deductions. On the other hand, if you make under $250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families, your taxes shouldn't go up. (Applause.) You're the ones struggling with rising costs and stagnant wages. You're the ones who need relief.
Now, you can call this class warfare all you want. But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.
We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. It's because they understand that when I get a tax break I don't need and the country can't afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference -- like a senior on a fixed income, or a student trying to get through school, or a family trying to make ends meet. That's not right. Americans know that's not right. They know that this generation's success is only possible because past generations felt a responsibility to each other, and to the future of their country, and they know our way of life will only endure if we feel that same sense of shared responsibility. That's how we'll reduce our deficit. That's an America built to last. (Applause.) [WhiteHouse.gov, 1/24/12]
Right-Wing Media Have Previously Attacked Obama For Engaging In “Class Warfare”
Fox Responded To Obama's Speech On Inequality By Crying “Class Warfare.” Fox News figures responded to Obama's December 6, 2011, speech on inequality in American by accusing him of engaging in class warfare. [Media Matters, 12/6/11]
Fox Attacked Obama's Jobs Bill As “Class Warfare.” In September 2011, Fox figures responded to Obama's job plan by accusing Obama of engaging in “class warfare.” [Media Matters, 9/13/11]
Fox Complained That A Proposal To Eliminate Tax Breaks On Corporate Jets Was “Straightforward Class Warfare.” After Obama cited tax breaks for corporate jets as an example of tax loopholes that could be closed to raise revenue, Fox News personalities criticized the proposal as unfair and accused Obama of engaging in “straightforward class warfare.” [Media Matters, 6/30/11]
Right-Wing Media Complain Obama's Speech Was “Transparently Partisan”
Hannity: The President's Address Was “Partisan.” On his Fox News show, Hannity played an excerpt of Obama's address and said, “The president's partisan address this evening comes as the battle for the Republican nomination rages on with the Florida primary only one week away.” [Fox News, Hannity, 1/24/12, via Nexis]
Fleischer: SOTU Shows Obama “Does Not Want To Work With [Republicans] To Get Things Done.” On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer claimed: “When it comes to doing the hard work of governing, [Obama] just likes to give speeches. That's the difference but then I think that's what Republicans heard tonight and why there is a sense that he work with us to get things done.” [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 1/24/12, via Nexis]
Rubin: Obama's Address Was “A Transparently Partisan Kick-Off Speech For His 2012 Election Campaign.” In her January 24 Washington Post column, Jennifer Rubin wrote:
President Obama's third State of the Union address was, as expected, a transparently partisan kick-off speech for his 2012 election campaign.
It was a painfully long and shapeless speech, designed to cheer Democrats and stick his finger in the eyes of Republicans. (He's not going to let them poison kids with mercury, thank goodness.) He talks about Washington being broken as if he were a passive observer -- which I suppose he is. He decries nasty partisanship, as if he had not accused Republicans of putting party over country. [The Washington Post, 1/24/12]
Fox Nation: “SOTU -- Too Long, Too Partisan, Too Barren Of Policy.” On January 24, Fox Nation posted an excerpt from Rubin's Washington Post column under the headline, “SOTU -- Too Long, Too Partisan, Too Barren Of Policy.” From Fox Nation:
[Fox Nation, 1/25/12]