Fox News pundits questioned President Obama's engagement in world affairs following a press conference in which the president announced historic investments in Africa and took questions from journalists on a wide range of pressing international and domestic issues.
Obama Holds Press Conference Following U.S.-Africa Summit
Wall Street Journal: "Obama Addresses Range of Challenges at Close of Africa Summit." A Wall Street Journal article detailed how Obama "discussed international and domestic challenges confronting the U.S." during the August 6 press conference following the U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit in Washington. The Journal noted that Obama spent time in the press conference "offering hope that a recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is containable, questioning the patriotism of companies using a loophole to avoid taxes and expressing hope for a sustained cease-fire in Gaza":
--On an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, Mr. Obama said it was too soon to know whether an experimental U.S. treatment for the Ebola virus should be more widely distributed.
--On the conflict in Gaza, Mr. Obama said the U.S. intends to support talks in Egypt aimed at prolonging the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. A key short-term goal is to ensure that Hamas doesn't resume firing rockets from Gaza into Israel, but in the longer term, he said that Palestinians "need some sense of hope" for their economic prospects.
--On steps some companies have been taking to reincorporate overseas as a way of cutting their U.S. tax bill, Mr. Obama said the Treasury Department would work "as quickly as possible" to curb such moves and questioned the patriotism of such companies.
"We don't want to see this trend grow," Mr. Obama said of so-called corporate inversions.
--On the conflict in Ukraine, Mr. Obama said an expanding package of U.S. and international sanctions are squeezing Russia's economy, but said he doesn't know if they will prevent a new Russian military incursion into Ukraine and spur negotiations. "The best thing we can do for Ukraine is to try to get back on a political track," he said.
--And on the use of executive power, Mr. Obama again blamed Congress for inaction on pressing issues and said he would use his executive authority whenever possible to advance his agenda.
"What I can do is scour our authorities to try to make progress," he said. [The Wall Street Journal, 8/6/14]
Fox Personalities Criticize President Obama As Disengaged
Fox's Dobbs: If Obama Has "Lost Interest ... Would It Be Appropriate That He Resign?" On the August 6 edition of Fox Business Network's Lou Dobbs Tonight, the Dobbs criticized Obama's press conference following the African summit as "spiritless" and asked whether Obama should consider resigning from the presidency:
DOBBS: He seems a man spiritless. He seems a man in a job he doesn't -- as you put it, he seems to have lost interest in the job. I mean, would it be appropriate that he resign if those indeed are his genuine feelings? [Fox Business Network, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 8/6/14]
Fox's Van Susteren: "Does President Obama Seem Engaged?" On the August 6 edition of Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren asked whether Obama's "demeanor seemed engaged or disengaged" during the press conference. Van Susteren also posed the question to followers on Twitter:
Fox's Krauthammer: President Obama's Press Conference Showed Disinterest. On the August 6 edition of Fox News' Special Report, Fox contributor Charles Krauthammer described Obama's press conference as exhibiting "extraordinary lethargy, distance, disinterest, uninterest." Krauthammer went on to ask why Obama even bothered to take questions from journalists:
KRAUTHAMMER: His answer was demonstration of a word he loves -- extraordinary lethargy, distance, disinterest, uninterest -- where he said, you know, well, if Russia invades we will look at the policy again. On sanctions he said, well, I'm not sure if it's working. He seemed to have zero interest in the issue and was willing to let events dictate. This is really unbelievable. This is to Russia. The one country that can deter Russia is ultimately the United States. And we're just saying we're going to watch. If that isn't a signal to Putin he doesn't have to factor the United States in his calculations, I don't know what is.
He was equally as sort of lethargic and disinterested and detached in talking about Hamas. He has no sympathy for Hamas? His own State Department says it's a terrorist organization. He said the placing ofweapons among civilians is irresponsible? It's a bloody war crime. There's no passion, there's no interest,there's nothing behind it. You have to wonder, why did he hold the press conference? I'm not sure that he advanced any issue at all other than to show adversaries, bad guys in the world that you don't have to worry about this guy. He's going on vacation, he's grabbing the golf clubs, and he'll be gone for a month and we'll see you when we come back. If Russia has taken over Ukraine, he'll deal with it when that happens. [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 8/6/14]