Fox News' Jarrett to Obama adviser: "I'll shut down the microphone if you continue" to use "talking points"
During the September 5 edition of Fox News' Studio B, after Obama campaign senior adviser Anita Dunn stated that "[Sen.] Barack Obama believes strongly that health care has to be accessible and affordable, that you should be able to get health care without having to shop all over the country," guest host Gregg Jarrett interrupted Dunn, and said: "All right, now you're getting into your talking points. ... Now you're getting into your talking points." Dunn responded, "No, no, Nancy gave us the talking points here," referring to McCain campaign senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, who also was on the program and had brought up Sen. John McCain's position on "health care" earlier in the conversation. Dunn added: "Come on, guys. Come on." Jarrett replied, "I'll shut down the microphone if you continue doing that," and then asked Pfotenhauer about Gov. Sarah Palin: "Nancy, the personal narrative -- hockey mom, special needs child, is that especially appealing to undecided female voters who are trying to figure out what to do?" At no point during the interview did Jarrett interrupt Pfotenhauer because she was using "talking points" or threaten to cut off her microphone.
From the September 5 edition of Fox News' Studio B:
JARRETT: Joining us now from Washington, Anita Dunn, a senior adviser for the Obama campaign, and from Arlington, Virginia, Nancy Pfotenhauer, senior policy adviser for the McCain campaign. Good to see you both. Nancy, that's a pretty shrewd, pretty smart strategy, right? Get the women out there to criticize the woman on the ticket.
PFOTENHAUER: Yeah, well, and it's entirely anticipated. We are prepared for this and we're gonna go out and make the case for why Senator McCain and the McCain-Palin ticket have the policies that will bring about the things that women care the most about. And those are jobs, making sure they keep their jobs, that their, their families stay safe economically, that health care is available and that the costs come down, that we've got an energy plan that will keep us from ever being in this situation again, and that we certainly don't raise taxes in an economic downturn --
PFOTENHAUER: Which has never helped any country, anywhere, any time.
JARRETT: Anita, women rallied around Hillary Clinton when they perceived -- right or wrong -- that she was the victim of sexism during the primary campaign at the hands of Barack Obama. That was the perception. So, by using women here, as surrogates, to attack Sarah Palin, does Barack Obama therefore avoid being accused of sexism?
DUNN: Well, Gregg, I think if you talk to most supporters of Hillary Clinton, they will tell you that the sexism that they saw during the primary was, by and large, on the part of the media and we've seen a little of that towards Governor Palin --
JARRETT: Now --
DUNN: -- as well, and it's totally inappropriate. But let me address your real question here, which is what is the Obama campaign going to do to appeal to women, and the answer is, we're going to do what we have always done. We've always had high-profile women out there campaigning for Senator Obama, people like [Sen.] Claire McCaskill [D-MO], [Gov.] Janet Napolitano [D-AZ]. Obviously Hillary Clinton is a great surrogate for us because she's an eloquent voice for the working men and women of this country. And on the issues, which Nancy brought up, there is a real difference. For instance, Barack Obama believes that women should have the right to sue for equal pay if they are being discriminated against.
DUNN: John McCain doesn't think they should be able to sue under those circumstances.
PFOTENHAUER: That's not true.
JARRETT: Nancy --
DUNN: Oh, yes, it is. Oh, yes, it is.
PFOTENHAUER: No, it's not.
DUNN: And Barack Obama --
PFOTENHAUER: I'd be happy to have that conversation.
DUNN: Well, maybe we should have it, but Barack Obama believes strongly that health care has to be accessible and affordable, that you should be able to get health care without having to shop all over the country, that you should be able to get health care --
JARRETT: All right, now you're getting into your talking points.
DUNN: -- without having to worry about pre-existing conditions.
JARRETT: Now you're getting into your talking points.
DUNN: No, no, Nancy gave us the talking points here.
JARRETT: You are.
DUNN: Come on, guys. Come on.
JARRETT: I'll shut down the microphone if you continue doing that. Nancy, the personal narrative -- hockey mom, special needs child, is that especially appealing to undecided female voters who are trying to figure out what to do?
PFOTENHAUER: Well, I think what it does is it shows -- you know, it's a real life. It's a look into real life, if you will, on who Sarah Palin is. And it helps them -- folks understand how she knows what they're going through and she knows the things that they're balancing, the struggles that they have to make it through the day, the hopes they have, but the fears they have. You know, one thing that women tend to believe --
JARRETT: All right --
PFOTENHAUER: -- if you look at polls and focus groups, is that they'll be kind of the last hired and the first fired and so any time you've got economic downturn, their focus is very clearly on that topic.
JARRETT: All right, I got to go. I'm getting the hard break here. Anita Dunn, Nancy Pfotenhauer, thank you both.