Fawning Fan Girl Journalist to Obama: 'Congratulations'; 'I've Never Seen You Lose'
Barack Obama on Wednesday submitted to his first press conference since March. Some of the White House journalists didn't seem to hold the long wait against him, however. One reporter, Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune, turned into a gushing fan, congratulating the President on his reelection. Parsons cooed to Obama that she had "never" seen him "lose." [MP3 audio here.] Other questioners, including CNN's Jessica Yellin, exhorted the President to not "cave" when dealing with Republicans.
After calling on Parsons, Obama added, "Christi was there when I was running for state senate." With a big grin on her face, the Tribune reporter extolled, "That's right. I was!...I have never seen you lose."
Yellin pushed the President from the left, demanding, "...Two years ago you said that you wouldn't extend the Bush era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So, respectfully sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won't cave again this time?"
She followed up by wondering, "You have said that the wealthiest must pay more. Would closing loopholes instead of raising rates for them satisfy you?"
Mark Landler of the New York Times insisted that "many people" think Hurricane Sandy "is further proof of how a warming globe is changing our weather." He pressed, "What specifically do you plan to do in a second term to tackle the issue of climate change? And do you think the political will exists in Washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of a tax on carbon?"
Lori Montenegro of Telemundo lectured Obama on immigration, saying "the criticism in the past has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the hill."
She needled, "Will you send legislation to the hill?...Does that include a legalization program?"
Obama did face some tough questions, including ones on Libya by NBC's Chuck Todd and others. But several journalists either lobbied the President to be more liberal or fawned over him.
A sampling of some of the November 14 questions can be found below:
JESSICA YELLIN (CNN): Mr. President, on the fiscal cliff, two years ago you said that you wouldnât extend the Bush era tax cuts, but at the end of the day, you did. So, respectfully sir, why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you wonât cave again this time?
YELLIN: You have said that the wealthiest must pay more. Would closing loopholes instead of raising rates for them satisfy you?
LORI MONTENEGRO (Telemundo): Thank you, Mr. President. On immigration reform, the criticism in the past has been that you did not put forth legislation with specific ideas and send it up to the hill. This time around, you have said again that this will be one of the top priorities for a second term. Will you then send legislation to the hill? And exactly what do you envision is broad immigration reform? Does that include a legalization program? And also, what lessons, if any, did Democrats learned from this last election and the Latino vote?
BARACK OBAMA: Christy Parsons? Hey.
CHRISTI PARSONS (Chicago Tribune): Thank you, Mr. President. And congratulations, by the way. One quick follow-upâ
OBAMA: Thanks. Christi was there when I was running for state senate.
PARSONS: That's right. I was!
OBAMA: Christi and I go back a ways.
PARSONS: I have never seen you lose. I wasn't looking that one time.
OBAMA: There you go.
PARSONS: [Laughs] One quick followup and then I want to ask you about Iran. I just want to make sure I understood what you said. Can you envision any scenario in which we do go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year? And on Iran, are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve the nuclear program issue? Are we headed toward one-on-one talks?
OBAMA: Well, obviously, we can all imagine a scenario where we go off the fiscal cliff. If-- if, despite the election, if despite the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff and what that means for our economy that there's too much stubbornness in Congress that we can't even agree on giving middle class families a tax cut, then middle class families are all going to have a big tax hike.
OBAMA: Mark Landers. Where is Mark? There he is. Right in front of me.
MARK LANDLER (New York Times): Thank you, Mr. President. In his endorsement of you a few weeks ago, Mayor Bloomberg said he was motivated by the belief that you would do more to confront the threat of climate change than you're opponent. Tomorrow, you are going to New York City, where I assume you're going to see people in New York City tomorrow that are suffering from Hurricane Sandy which many people are saying that is further proof of how a warming globe is changing our weather. What specifically do you plan to do in a second term to tackle the issue of climate change? And do you think the political will exists in Washington to pass legislation that could include some kind of a tax on carbon?
OBAMA: You know, as you know, Mark, we can't attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around globe is increasing, faster than was predicted even ten years ago. We do know that the arctic icecap is melting, faster than was even predicted five years ago.
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.