If President Obama was expecting an easy interview at his Univision forum yesterday, he certainly got a surprise. From immigration reform, to Libya, to his promise to change Washington, Obama was forced to admit his presidency has been a total failure at every turn.
Right out of the box, Univision’s Maria Elena Salinas asked Obama:
We know in Libya, four Americans were killed. We know now that Ambassador Chris Stevens warned about security days before he was killed. Many people want to know whether — if you expected so much anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world. And why wasn’t your administration better prepared with more security at our embassies on September 11?
Obama never answered. Instead, he gave a rambling, long-winded response that avoided her question entirely. And the next question did not get any easier. Univision’s Jorge Ramos asked:
On May 28th, 2008, we had a conversation in Denver, Colorado, and you told me the following — and I’m going to quote you: “But I can guarantee that we will have, in the first year, an immigration bill that I strongly support.” I want to emphasize “the first year.” At the beginning of your governing, you had control of both chambers of Congress, and yet you did not introduce immigration reform. And before I continue, I want for you to acknowledge that you did not keep your promise.
Obama refused to acknowledge he ever made such a promise. Instead, he blamed others, the economy and Republicans, for his failure to pass immigration reform.
Later, when asked to identify his biggest failure as president, Obama first named immigration reform, and then mentioned his failure “to change the tone in Washington.” “I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years, and the most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside,” Obama said.
But Obama didn’t “learn” this while he was in office. He came into office on a platform of changing Washington from the outside. That was one of his biggest debates with Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary. She said Democrats needed an insider like her to make change in Washington while Obama said he would bring change from the outside.
He’s had four years to do it. By his own admission, it hasn’t happened. How will the next four years be any different? Obama can’t answer that question because he can’t even acknowledge he’s already tried, or that he has failed, not even on something as obvious as immigration.
Obama is clearly a very strong candidate when he sticks to scripted events and speeches. But when pressed on his record, his off the cuff responses are disastrous. We’ll see if he improves before the debates.
Polls: A new NBC/WSJ poll shows Obama ahead 50-42 in Iowa, 50-45 in Colorado, and 50-45 in Wisconsin.
Spending: President Obama spent three times the amount of money on television advertising than Mitt Romney did last month, $66 million to $18.4 million. For the final weeks of the campaign the Republican Party has $76 million cash-on-hand while the Democratic National Party only has $7.1 million.
Virginia Senate: Former Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine admitted in a debate yesterday that he would be open to raising taxes on all Americans, even the 47 percent who currently pay no federal income tax.
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Miscues Before Libya Assault: The deadly assault on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya on Sept. 11 was preceded by a succession of security lapses and misjudgments, compounded by fog-of-battle decisions, that raise questions about whether the scope of the tragedy could have been contained.
Reuters, More than two-thirds in U.S. live paycheck to paycheck: More than two-thirds of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the American Payroll Association.
Associated Press, Leading Economic Gauge Dips: The Conference Board said its index of leading indicators, designed to forecast future economic activity, dipped 0.1 percent in August after rising 0.5 percent in July and dropping 0.5 percent in June.
Gallup, U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High: Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.
Real Clear Politics Sean Trende explains why Romney will win in November.
The Republican National Committee details “Obama’s redistribution presidency.”
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis posts two charts showing how weak the Obama recovery really is.
Gawker accuses Romney of dyeing his face brown to appeal to Latino voters for his Univision forum.
Slate‘s David Weigel blames cynical Republicans for Tim Kaine’s tax hike gaffe.
The Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein on “Obama’s unconvincing theory of change.”