Politics

AP Reporter: 8 Years In, Obama Admin Thinks They’re ‘The Only Smart Ones In Town’

Derek Draplin Associate Editor

Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace, responding to a recent New York Times profile of national security adviser Ben Rhodes, says that the White House will view the article as “another example of how Washington doesn’t get what the Obama administration is trying to do” because the administration thinks that “they are the only smart ones in town.”

“Since this article came out, have you talked to people at the White House?” Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” asked Pace.

“Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s interesting because this White House really prides themselves on being the smartest kid in the room. That’s kind of their approach to so many things, they take that approach in dealing with the media, in dealing with Capitol Hill, in dealing with think tanks.”

“I think that what you saw in this article is a little bit about how the sausage is made, which is always kind of an ugly thing to look at, but I think that they look at this article and I think that they will probably take the criticism of it, which is plenty and coming from people that are even friendly to them, as just another example of how Washington doesn’t get what the Obama administration is trying to do. They really have this attitude, frankly, that they are the only smart ones in town and the only ones who kind of understand the goals here.”

The May 5 profile of Rhodes written by David Samuels in The New York Times Magazine and titled “The Aspiring Novelist Who Became Obama’sForeign-Policy Guru” has been fraught with criticism.

The profile largely reveals Rhodes’ disdain for Washington journalists and the foreign policy establishment, and details how Rhodes, an aspiring novelist with a creative writing background and no prior foreign policy experience before joining the White House, crafted the deceptive narrative to sell the Iran deal to Congress and the public.

“The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented … was largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal,” Samuels wrote in the profile. (RELATED: Here’s How Carefully Tended White House Propaganda Sold The Iran Deal)

“Like Obama, Rhodes is a storyteller who uses a writer’s tools to advance an agenda that is packaged as politics but is often quite personal,” Samuels said.

Wallace was surprised at Pace’s answer, saying, “I thought you were going to tell me that they are in a cold fury about what Ben Rhodes said.”

“I think that they are, if anything, being pretty defensive of what he said,” Pace responded. “Maybe they don’t necessarily like the way he said some of it, but I don’t necessarily think that they disagree with the larger message.”

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