Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer on Wednesday mocked as an embarrassing attempt at chivalry President Barack Obama’s insistence that Republicans back off U.N. ambassador Susan Rice and instead “go after” him directly.
Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have threatened to block Rice’s potential nomination to be the next secretary of state, because of her repeated claims that the coordinated Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya was nothing more than a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islam YouTube video. (RELATED: GOP leaders say they won’t confirm Rice to replace Hillary Clinton)
“You called it [Obama’s] one show of passion,” Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, referring to the president’s remark about Rice, which came at press conference earlier in the day. “I would say it was his usual show of indignation, which is his default response whenever he feels defensive or backed into a corner. You know, how dare you attack my U.N. ambassador? And then he gives the strangest defense, by saying she didn’t have anything to do with the Benghazi attack. Then why the hell are you sending her out there? Why didn’t you send out the secretary of state or the CIA director or Panetta or somebody, who did know?”
“And then he does play the sort of Lancelot defending the mistress in distress. You know, it made Mitt Romney and the binders with women look positively feminist in comparison — this kind of patronizing attack on two male senators who would dare attack the girl, which was intended in his tone.” (RELATED VIDEO: During debate, Romney says his staff brought him ‘binders full of women’)
Krauthammer noted that Obama rarely holds press conferences or takes questions from reporters, making it difficult for anyone to “go after” him.
“This is all the usual, you know, if you attack his pride, he’ll strike you on that,” Krauthammer continued. “And it was clearly defensive, and it was also a stonewall. I mean, after all, what she said was absolutely and completely misleading. Either inadvertently, in which case it’s complete incompetence or on purpose, in which case it’s deception. And then he basically — he took bait on that and said look, that wasn’t her speaking. That was me speaking. If you want to pick on somebody, pick on me. Well, how can anybody pick on him or even question him, if he hasn’t had a press conference in eight months? You know, he clearly hasn’t been out there. He’s been hiding behind inquiries, behind investigations, and now behind Susan Rice. But now I think he is out there and he is vulnerable on this. I think he may regret having said that.”