While many in the media and elsewhere criticize the current crop of prospective Republican presidential candidates and question whether any of them could pose a serious threat to President Obama, Fox News senior political contributor Brit Hume has a different take: he doesn’t seem to think that it will be a problem defeating President Obama in 2012.
On “Fox News Sunday,” Hume explained that the economic problems the country is facing could be problematic for the political status quo.
“If these high gas prices were unaccompanied by higher prices that people are feeling at the grocery store and elsewhere, it wouldn’t be nearly so large a problem,” Hume said. “This is the season of the year when gas prices tend to spike anyway, which is why it’s unfair to compare Jan. 20 a few years ago with today. But be that as it may, he will receive blame for this. In addition, I think it’s very important – people’s feelings about the economy, despite declining unemployment, despite the fact that there is now steady growth have not improved and when the conventional wisdom in Washington settles, as it seems to recently on the idea that the president is a sure bet for re-election.”
Hume disputed that so-called “conventional wisdom” and said that if the economy remains how it is, Obama will lose in 2012, just so long as Republicans don’t nominate a “freakish candidate.”
“I think it’s upside down,” Hume said. “If the election were held today, in my view, Barack Obama would lose. He might lose big. Obviously, he’s got some time. Events change. He would lose to any reasonable nominee from the Republican Party. The Republican Party might be able to lose the election if they nominate some extremely colorful freakish candidate, but my view of this is this election, Juan [Williams] – as you may have heard me say before, is unlikely to be about the Republican nominee. It will be about President Obama and his record and if the public decides it wants to make a change, and it would do that if the election were held today, they will elect a Republican.”
Hume’s co-panelist Juan Williams was skeptical of Hume’s declaration, since it’s not yet clear who the Republican nominee will be for the 2012 presidential election. But Hume invoked the 1980 presidential election, in which Ronald Reagan ultimately defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter, as a parallel to our current era since many of the same criticisms were then being leveled against the Republican field.
“Thirty-two years ago, 1979, the Republican field was in chaos,” Hume said. “It had the aged former actor followed by the right named Ronald Reagan. It had an assortment of other candidates that nobody thought was presidential timber as the election year approached, and look what happened. The fact that people are discontent with the field now, how many times have we seen this? How many times?”