Fox's Kelly doesn't challenge McCain aide to reconcile her criticism of Obama with her claim that McCain is "put[ting] politics on hold"

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN, VARUN PIPLANI & HANNAH DREIER

Fox News co-host Megyn Kelly did not challenge McCain campaign senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer to reconcile her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama during the segment with her assertion that Sen. John McCain said, 'I'm going to put politics on hold 40 days out from an election, withdraw some $12 million in paid media and advertising off the airs in order to do what's right and put the country first.' "

On the September 25 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, McCain campaign senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer said of Sen. John McCain's September 24 declaration that he would "suspend" his campaign: "[H]e said, 'I'm going to put politics on hold 40 days out from an election, withdraw some $12 million in paid media and advertising off the airs in order to do what's right and put the country first.' It is a supreme act of political courage." However, co-host Megyn Kelly did not ask Pfotenhauer to reconcile her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama during the interview with her assertion that McCain "said, 'I'm going to put politics on hold 40 days before the election."

During the interview Kelly stated: "Let me ask you this. Obama at the top of his remarks made comments we've heard from his campaign over the past couple of days, saying, 'Hey, the deal they appear to be reaching is -- incorporates my suggestions, and the ones I raised from the start, namely to make sure there's protection for the taxpayers and make sure there's oversight. We're not just going to give Henry Paulson $700 billion bucks.' He says he's shown real leadership on this." As TPM's Greg Sargent noted, Pfotenhauer responded that "this is maybe perhaps part of a pattern that we've seen before where Senator Obama would claim that the housing bill came out of his committee, and he didn't even sit on the committee or that the stimulus package was his stimulus package, and even its Democratic leaders said it wasn't." Kelly did not ask Pfotenhauer how her attacks on Obama squared with her assertion that McCain is "put[ting] politics on hold."

From the September 25 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom:

KELLY: Perhaps the biggest applause we heard, the one that got our attention, was after Barack Obama said, "Tomorrow I will be going to Oxford, Mississippi, for this debate," saying the time is too serious to put our campaigns on hold. And just, by the by, one of our emailers, Mimi, says, "I think McCain has committed political suicide by suspending his campaign. Obama did not take the bait, and now McCain has to crawfish." A lot of people think that that was a misstep by John McCain. Many others of you think it was a brilliant move and that he was right to focus on country first, as you've put it and John McCain put it. Joining us now is Nancy Pfotenhauer; she is a senior adviser for the McCain campaign with her thoughts on it. Nancy, our viewer Mimi doesn't think McCain made a good move there.

PFOTENHAUER: Well, Senator McCain is trying to do the right thing for the American people. And he just called it like he saw it, he's going to let the chips fall where they may. This is classic Senator McCain. You know, he said, "I'm going to put politics on hold 40 days out from an election, withdraw some $12 million in paid media and advertising off the airs in order to do what's right and put the country first." It's a supreme act of political courage, and I admire him even more for it.

KELLY: OK, but what happens if they don't reach a deal today or tomorrow? Barack Obama says he's still showing up in Oxford.

PFOTENHAUER: Well, and, you know, that's his prerogative. Senator McCain is -- looks forward to having all of the debates that have been scheduled. He's obviously been asking Senator Obama to appear with him in townhalls for the last several months. And so we're very much looking forward to it, but the people's business comes first.

KELLY: But what does he do -- but what about my question: What if they don't reach a deal today or tomorrow? What does McCain do tomorrow night?

PFOTENHAUER: Senator McCain is going to stay focused on solving this crisis before does -- picks up the politicking ball, if you will, again. So he's going to stay focused on this before he moves on to anything that has to do with the political campaign. This is what the American people need and deserve in their leaders. And that's what they're going to get from John McCain.

KELLY: Interesting. So there could be an empty podium standing there next to Barack Obama?

PFOTENHAUER: Well, they could always have Joe Biden. And if it's on foreign policy, Obama and Biden could debate each other. But seriously, Senator McCain is very focused on solving this problem and then looks forward and is delighted to have all four debates that were scheduled --

KELLY: Well, the debates are definitely going to go forward, just a question of when and who's gonna show up. Let me ask you this. Obama at the top of his remarks made comments we've heard from his campaign over the past couple of days, saying, "Hey, the deal they appear to be reaching is -- incorporates my suggestions, and the ones I raised from the start, namely to make sure there's protection for the taxpayers and make sure there's oversight. We're not just going to give Henry Paulson $700 billion bucks." He says he's shown real leadership on this.

PFOTENHAUER: Well, you know, Megyn, I think the record is pretty clear. I mean, I'm glad that Senator Obama has those principles as he currently articulates them. Senator McCain was obviously out front, even ahead of the White House, out of Treasury, out of Congress, and really out of Senator Obama. You know, we don't want to focus too much on that right now, because we want there to be a resolution that is made that works for the American people and that protects the American taxpayer. But this is maybe perhaps part of a pattern that we've seen before where Senator Obama would claim that the housing bill came out of his committee, and he didn't even sit on the committee or that the stimulus package was his stimulus package, and even its Democratic leaders said it wasn't. So, you know, Senator McCain is not somebody who rushes to claim credit. He rushes to get to work. And that's what he's doing right now in Washington. And we're delighted that Senator Obama is going to come into town as well.

KELLY: Nancy Pfotenhauer, thanks so much for being here.

PFOTENHAUER: Thanks, Megyn.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Megyn Kelly
Show/Publication
America's Newsroom
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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