Snide as ever, White House press secretary Josh Earnest took a direct shot at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for his decision to opt-out of Thursday evening’s Fox News debate.
In the process, Earnest held Trump up to the lofty standards of President Barack Obama.
“The president himself noted that he was not a big fan of participating in presidential debates, but he never backed out of a debate two days before it was scheduled to be held,” he told reporters Wednesday, adding that Obama’s appearances reflected his “commitment to the process and making good on one’s commitments.”
There’s only one problem here… what Earnest said is not entirely accurate.
Twitchy.com noted that Obama, along with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, skipped a 2007 Fox News debate — the only difference being the candidates did it much earlier than the two-day notice Trump gave.
From NBCNews.com April 2007:
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will not participate in a Democratic debate co-hosted by Fox News Channel this fall, campaign aides indicated Monday.
The decision by the two Democratic presidential candidates follows an announcement last week by John Edwards, another White House contender, that he would forgo the Fox event.
Obama and Clinton aides said they intended to participate in six debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee. The DNC’s list did not include the Fox News-CBC Institute debate, a concession to liberal and black activists who say Fox has slighted blacks and is biased in favor of conservatives.
Nonetheless, Earnest wasn’t finished taking potshots at Trump.
“We’ve seen over the last several months that Mr. Trump has repeatedly chosen to kick reporters out of the room for asking tough questions,” he said at Wednesday’s press briefing. “It appears he’s taking that approach to a new level by avoiding those questions entirely.”
The reaction on social media suggested that most users are on to the administration’s gig. Here’s a sampling of responses from twitter:
— jimallen (@jimalle26279141) January 27, 2016
@thehill but, all Obama had to do was stand there and be black
— Misti Fabick (@Apples90210) January 27, 2016
Obama won’t even go on FoxNews. He talked to one person, Bill O’Reilly. So who is the chicken here? Trump is just punishing Megyn. @thehill
— Southern Grandma (@CoFemale) January 27, 2016
@thehill Just why does the POTUS care about the opposing party debates? Advice for their betterment? NAHH……..
— Ray Inman (@rayinman) January 27, 2016
— Republicanvet (@Republicanvet91) January 27, 2016
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