Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Proposing To Improve On Our "Great Country"

››› ››› KEVIN ZIEBER & CHELSEA RUDMAN

Right-wing media have attacked President Obama by seizing on his comment that America "had gotten a little soft." But Obama said that the United States is a "great country" and that he "wouldn't trade our position with any other country on Earth" because "[w]e still have the best universities, the best scientists, and best workers in the world. We still have the most dynamic economic system in the world."

Obama: U.S. Is "A Great, Great Country That Had Gotten A Little Soft" But Still Has "The Best" Schools, Workers

WSJ Blog: Obama Tells WESH-TV, "This Is A Great, Great Country That Had Gotten A Little Soft." In a September 29 post, The Wall Street Journal blog Washington Wire wrote that during a recent interview, President Obama said that the U.S. is a "great country that had gotten a little soft." The post also noted that Obama later said, "We still have the best universities, the best scientists, best workers in the world; the most dynamic economic system in the world." From the post:

President Barack Obama on Thursday said the U.S. has lost some of its competitive edge and gotten a "little soft."

Mr. Obama, in an interview with WESH-TV in Orlando, said his administration has been tough on the country's trading partners and tried to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

"This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades," Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country's economic future. "We need to get back on track."

Mr. Obama has faced heavy criticism for his handling of the economy, and the high unemployment rate -- 9.1% -- is threatening his re-election bid.

Despite his concern, Mr. Obama said he wouldn't trade positions with any country on Earth. "We still have the best universities, the best scientists, best workers in the world; the most dynamic economic system in the world," he said. "We just need to bring all those things together." [The Wall Street Journal, Washington Wire, 9/29/11]

"Jerk": Right-Wing Media Attack Obama Over Remarks, Compare Them To Carter's "Malaise" Speech

Erickson Calls Obama "A Jerk" For Saying U.S. Has Gotten "Soft." In a September 29 Twitter post, CNN contributor and blogger Erick Erickson linked to the Journal blog post, writing:

[Twitter, 9/29/11]

Erickson: "Does Barack Obama Think America Needs Viagra? His 'Malaise' Moment Arrives." In a September 30 RedState post titled, "Does Barack Obama Think America Needs Viagra? His 'Malaise' Moment Arrives," Erickson wrote:

It's not Barack Obama's policies. It is not the economic uncertainty over regulations and taxes. It is not the National Labor Relations Board and Department of Labor pushing aggressively pro-union agendas that hamper competition.

No, according to Barack Obama, our nation has grown soft. That's our problem. Jimmy Carter said America was in a "malaise." This is Barack Obama's "malaise" moment.

It can't be about him. It cannot be about his polices. On the same day Joe Biden declares the economy belongs to Barack Obama, Obama passes the buck. This time it is directly to the American people and American businesses.

It's not him, you see. It's us.

"This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades," Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country's economic future. "We need to get back on track."

[...]

[T]he American people have not gone soft. They've gone out of business thanks to Barack Obama and his failed economic policies. [RedState, 9/30/11]

Fox's Van Susteren: Obama Is "Making Americans Feel Lousy -- That They're Soft, They're Lazy." Van Susteren added that Obama's comments were "insulting" to the American people, asking, "Does he ever do anything wrong?":

VAN SUSTEREN: What I find so unusual about this one with the president is that the one sort of great strength he has -- he had running for office was his inspiration. He made people feel great. Now he's making Americans feel lousy -- that they're soft, they're lazy, they're not doing his agenda. And it's just so different from his political strategy in '08.

[...]

VAN SUSTEREN: Does he ever do anything wrong? I mean, I don't know if we should demand it of someone, but I mean, it's sort of like, at some point, you know, it's a little too perfect. [Fox News, On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, 9/30/11]

Hannity: Obama "Blamed The American People" For "His Complete And Utter Failure To Turn Around The American Economy." Fox News' Sean Hannity said Obama "blamed the American people" for his "complete and utter failure" to fix the economy:

HANNITY: The anointed one is frantically trying to explain his complete and utter failure to turn around the American economy. As the Dow today dropped over 240 points, the biggest quarterly drop since the financial crisis of late 2008. But according to the president, the problem lies with you, the American people. Not with any of his policy proposals.

[...]

HANNITY: You know, the anointed one's starting to sound more and more like Jimmy Carter. He also blamed the American people for his political failures. [Fox News, Hannity, 9/30/11]

Fox's Guilfoyle: "Don't Call Us Soft." On Fox News' The Five, Kimberly Guilfoyle said:

GUILFOYLE: It really bothers me that he says that. Don't call us soft. Really?

BECKEL: Why?

GUILFOYLE: Because, I think it's not true. You're going to put down the American people? Aren't we the people that's supposed to he's trying to be getting our votes? I don't think that was a good statement at all. [Fox News, The Five, 9/30/11]

NRO: "Wait, Is Malaise French For 'Soft'?" In a September 29 post titled, "Wait, Is Malaise French for 'Soft'?" National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg linked to the Journal blog post and wrote:

Obama in an interview with an Orlando TV station*:

"This is a great great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn't have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades," Mr. Obama said in response to a question about the country's economic future. "We need to get back on track."

Interesting perspective. I wonder where America could have lost its competitive edge. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with a government that blows billions on green energy boondoggles while making it harder to drill for oil while trying to make electricity rates "skyrocket." [NRO, 9/29/11]

Goldberg: Obama Was "Blaming The American People, Blaming The Country ... For The Economic Problems That We Have Today." Goldberg later appeared on Fox News' Special Report and repeated his "malaise" comment:

GOLDBERG: Who is running the White House communications shop? I mean, at best, he just misspoke. But it is a bizarre sort of Jimmy Carter malaise kind of thing to say -- blaming the American people, blaming the country under two different administrations for the economic problems that we have today. Meanwhile, his own administration is pushing policies that are making us less competitive. It's just a weird, strange thing for him to say. [Fox News, Speical Report with Bret Baier, 9/30/11]

Krauthammer: Obama "Compound[ed] Condescension, Incompetence, And Narcissism All Into One Sentence." On Special Report, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said the president had compounded "condescension, incompetence and narcissism all into one sentence":

KRAUTHAMMER: This is a huge error. He's having trouble governing. The country's in trouble. He's seen as not having good stewardship or ability to govern, and then he blames America? If he does that, he's seen as somebody who's compounding condescension, incompetence, and narcissism all into one sentence. That's really hard to do. I think he's done it right here." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 9/30/11]

The Blaze: "Obama Sees Malaise: President Says America Has 'Gotten A Little Soft.' " In a September 29 post titled, "Obama Sees Malaise: President Says America Has 'Gotten A Little Soft,' " Glenn Beck's The Blaze highlighted Obama's remarks and linked to the Journal blog post. [The Blaze, 9/29/11]

Fox Nation Hypes Obama's Comments. In a September 29 post, Fox Nation linked to Goldberg's National Review Online post under the headline, "Obama Says America's Grown 'Soft.' " [Fox Nation, 9/29/11]

Hoft Promotes WSJ Post On Obama's Remarks. In a September 29 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft linked to the Journal blog post under the headline, "Obama: The US Has 'Gotten a Little Soft.' " [Gateway Pundit, 9/29/11]

Drudge Hypes Obama: "America's Gotten A Little Soft." On September 29 and 30, The Drudge Report linked to a Weekly Standard story about Obama's remarks, featuring this text and image as its top story:

[Drudge Report Archives, 9/29/11]

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