Wash. Post’s Colby King, Krauthammer spar over Fox News’ role in 2012 election

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
Font Size:

One of the main complaints by the left has been the intensity of criticism President Barack Obama has received during the past three years. With the presidential election looming, Washington Post columnist Colby King worries the heat will only intensify.

On this weekend’s broadcast of “Inside Washington,” King called out the Republican Party, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh as part of a movement to gin up “nastiness to fire up the base.”

“For the past three and half years, Republicans and Fox News have painted Barack Obama as the devil incarnated,” King said. “[T]hey have reasons to get this ‘son of Karl Marx’ out of the White House. But they have to be careful about how they go after Barack Obama. There is a base out there, and if there is a feeling that he is being treated unfairly, that they are trying to take Michelle Obama and those nice kids, cute kids out of the White House — take his job away that the American people gave him, there will be people who will come out there and turn out. We are early in this part of the campaign, but you can count on the nastiness to fire up the base. The nastiness is going to come out. The Limbaughs will let it all hang out, and you will see a response to that. It will be a reaction.”

That remark got a response from “Inside Washington” co-panelist and King’s Washington Post colleague Charles Krauthammer, who downplayed the strength of Fox News and said that Obama’s reelection bid isn’t going to be at all like his 2008 campaign.

“I mean, give me a break on the Fox News,” Krauthammer replied. “I’m flattered that Fox News, of which I am a small part, is so powerful. … But come on. What Mark [Shields] was saying, if look at the numbers for John McCain — it was the enthusiasm, the increase in the turnout for the base that was so important for Obama, and that was easy. The man in 2008 was a dream. Now you have reality. Compare reality and dream — there’s no enthusiasm. It’s pretty obvious. It’s not exactly discovering hot water.”

Krauthammer went on to explain how everything came together to give the president an edge in 2008.

“The man was the most charismatic candidate in ‘08 that we have had probably since Reagan, perhaps even more,” he continued. “And that was a unique election. It was a perfect storm. You had a financial collapse, war weariness, eight years of Republicans. It was over before it started. The Italian Communist Party could have won the election in 2008, and some will say it did win the election, but I wouldn’t say it myself.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter

Jeff Poor