WASHINGTON WATCH ROUNDTABLE: Hilary Rosen’s Comments About Ann Romney, GOP Donor Foster Friess Hopes Pres. Obama’s Teleprompters Are Bulletproof (VIDEO)
Roland Martin and the Washington Watch roundtable discuss Hilary Rosen’s comments against Ann Romney, the battle over the women’s vote. Plus GOP Donor Foster Friess comments about hoping that President Obama’s teleprompters are bullet proof.
This week’s round table features, Joe Williams, April Ryan, George Curry and Robert Traynham.
MR. MARTIN: Folks, welcome back to the show. Let’s get right back into our panel.
We – we talk about the economy in terms of how people are thinking and –
MS. RYAN: Yes.
MR. MARTIN: — feeling and who speaks for folks. We saw that Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen surely[?] stepped into some deep doo-doo this week –
MS. RYAN: [Crosstalk.]
MR. MARTIN: — when it came to the issue of talking about Mitt Romney relying on his wife as a voice when it comes to working – sor- — women and the economy, and she really hit her by saying, “Look. Here’s a woman who’s never worked a day in her life.”
Frankly, I thought it was a stupid comment by Hilary. I thought it was ridiculous, bec- — and the one thing she failed at – somebody who’s supposed to be a big-time lobbyist and PR guru and all of that sort of stuff [is] you never change the narrative! She successfully, by herself, by making an idiotic statement, totally changed the narrative and forced the Democrats away from nailing the Republicans on constantly attacking women and basically turned rich Ann Romney into a great victim!
MR. TRAYNHAM: But you know – [crosstalk] –
MS. RYAN: Just –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — one other thing – I’m sorry, April. I[’ve] got to say this. There’s one other thing that she did, which I don’t understand why she had to go there. She attacked someone one’s not running for anything. You never go after the – the person’s spouse from a –
MR. WILLIAMS: That – that –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — policy standpoint.
MR. WILLIAMS: — oh, that’s been – that’s been done. That was done –
MR. TRAYNHAM: And every –
MR. WILLIAMS: — ad nauseam in –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — a- — and –
MR. WILLIAMS: — ’08, and it never really had very much of an impact.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — a- — right. And I remind you – and I remind you that every time that someone does that, they often get their hand bitten –
MR. WILLIAMS: Yeah.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — because – because you just don’t do that. And – and so what I don’t understand – to your point – Hilary – and then you can speak, April – is why – and Hilary knows this. She’s a – she pro- — professes to be a seasoned political operative, and I just don’t understand why she would actually go down that road when she –
MR. MARTIN: Gotcha.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — didn’t have to.
MS. RYAN: — I’m trying to understand the Hilary Rosen thing. I mean – myself, but I – in – in just looking at it journalistically, I think she – she missed a couple of words. She wanted to basically – in my mind – say that, you know, Ann Romney is a stay-at-home mom who probably is – has a nanny or something. Maybe she wanted to put that in there, saying, you know, that she wasn’t doing work[?]. That – I’m thinking that –
MR. TRAYNHAM: That still doesn’t make it right.
MR. WILLIAMS: [Crosstalk] –
MR. MARTIN: George – George –
MS. RYAN: — it doesn’t make –
MR. MARTIN: — George –
MS. RYAN: — it right. It doesn’t –
MR. TRAYNHAM: It still doesn’t make it right.
MS. RYAN: — ma- — it doesn’t –
MR. WILLIAMS: — you’re trying to be charitable on this, but –
MS. RYAN: — make it right, but n- — I’m trying to be, but – but let me tell you this. There is a fight between the women who work and the women who stay at –
MR. MARTIN: But here’s –
MS. RYAN: — home.
MR. MARTIN: — but here’s –
MS. RYAN: Both of us –
MR. MARTIN: — okay, fir- –
MS. RYAN: — are working –
MR. MARTIN: — first of all –
MS. RYAN: — women.
MR. MARTIN: — first of all, George, like any comedian say[s], when you[’ve] got to explain the joke, it – it failed.
OFF CAMERA: Yeah.
MR. MARTIN: But the other point is this here. To – to Robert’s point – and which I – I said this this week as well – when you focus on persons – on the person and not policy –
MR. CURRY: Yeah.
MR. MARTIN: — then that’s where the attacks come in. And so to April’s point, when you stay on the policy, what has Mitt Romney done for working women? “Who are you dealing with?” “As you’re traveling around this country, are you talking to working women in these ci-” – “in these places?”
But here’s also what’s interesting, George. According to the polling data, White, working women are supporting Romney at a higher tha- — rate than Obama, but it’s college-educated women that Romney has a problem with over Pres. Obama.
MR. CURRY: Yeah, I agree it’s a bad tactic. I mean but even if she want[s] to say something, she can talk about the women, ‘cause most women – [unintelligible] – talking about Black women – they are – they – they have to take care of the kids, and they’re working. And – but – but it’s – it’s nothing to be gained from that. I mean it’s just nothing. Why even go there?
MR. MARTIN: Now, folks, on another note, while everybody was focused on Hilary Rosen, let’s deal with rich GOP donor Fostin [sic] Friess – Foster Friess making this comment on Lou Dobbs’ show, where he said that he hoped that Pres. Obama’s teleprompters were “bulletproof” and then said, “Hm-m-m. Maybe I” – “Maybe I shouldn’t have made that comment,” and Lou Dobbs sort of agreed with that. This guy has made some crazy comments like that before, and – but it didn’t get as much attention as the Rosen piece.
MR. TRAYNHAM: Look. The President’s safety –
MS. RYAN: [Chuckles.]
MR. WILLIAMS: [Chuckles.]
MR. TRAYNHAM: — I –
MR. WILLIAMS: [Crosstalk]- –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — no, I’m –
MR. MARTIN: [Crosstalk] –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — not laughing.
MR. MARTIN: — on that one.
MR. CURRY: [Chuckles.]
MR. TRAYNHAM: No, I – well, I mean I – I – the reason I’m trying to collect my thoughts [is] the President’s safety should never, ever be put in jeopardy, regardless of whether he’s Black, White or purple.
MS. RYAN: ’S right.
MR. TRAYNHAM: So, that – you don’t play with that. And that’s what he was doing there. That’s number one. Number two, you know, this whole narrative – regardless of whether you’re Republican, or Democrat, or independent, or communist – to – to talk about the President of the United States in the same sentence of “death” –
MS. RYAN: That’s right.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — or “bullets,” or anything like that, knowing what this country has gone through from a racial standpoint, knowing what this country has gone through from an assassination attempt standpoint –
MR. WILLIAMS: We’ve been doing that for –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — with Ronald Reagan –
MR. WILLIAMS: — the last thir- –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — with John F. Kennedy –
MR. WILLIAMS: — since Two Thousand –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — you don’t do that.
MR. WILLIAMS: — since –
MR. TRAYNHAM: You –
MR. WILLIAMS: — 2008, we’ve been – we’ve had nothing –
MR. TRAYNHAM: And –
MR. WILLIAMS: — but that –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — what I’m –
MR. WILLIAMS: — stuff –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — surprised by is –
MR. WILLIAMS: — and – and there’s been no kind of outrage on the right.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — well, the- –
MR. WILLIAMS: And – and –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — well –
MR. WILLIAMS: — there’s been nobody saying, “Look, stop it! Knock it off.”
MR. TRAYNHAM: — well –
MR. WILLIAMS: “We’re talking about” – i- — it’s been nothing but disrespect for –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — in defe- –
MR. WILLIAMS: — [crosstalk] –
MS. RYAN: A disrespect –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — in defen- — in –
MS. RYAN: — of the –
MR. MARTIN: Ho- — hold on –
MS. RYAN: — presidency –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — defe- –
MR. MARTIN: — one – one second.
MS. RYAN: — of the presidency.
MR. MARTIN: Robert, finish –
MR. TRAYNHAM: – well –
MR. MARTIN: — up, then April.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — and just to be qui- — to finish that thought, to your point, there was no – there was no sense of outrage from the right or – or the left. Or the left.
MR. WILLIAMS: There wa- — there was a lot of outrage [from] the left, but the right –
MR. TRAYNHAM: I haven’t –
MR. WILLIAMS: — never really –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — heard any.
MR. MARTIN: Well, actually – well – well, again, though, I – I believe, from a media standpoint, the Hilary Rosen story pushed this –
MR. WILLIAMS: Sure.
MR. MARTIN: — out of the way –
MR. WILLIAMS: Sure.
MR. MARTIN: — but it still goes to show why we can’t actually –
MR. CURRY: And –
MR. MARTIN: — operate with the left hand and the right hand at the same time.
MS. RYAN: [Crosstalk] – what –
MR. CURRY: — in a way – in a way, this is more serious than that. Here’s a president who’s received more threats than anybody else.
OFF CAMERA: Combined.
MR. CURRY: And so — so, why would you even begin to joke about that?
MR. MARTIN: E- –
MR. CURRY: No, it’s – it’s reprehensible.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well – [crosstalk] –
MR. MARTIN: April.
MS. RYAN: But[?] the –
MR. MARTIN: April Ryan. Ho- — hold on, Joe.
MS. RYAN: — there’re –
MR. MARTIN: April.
MS. RYAN: — a lot of threats that you don’t even hear about that’s –
MR. CURRY: Of course.
MS. RYAN: — going on –
MR. MARTIN: Right.
MS. RYAN: — against this president, but the bottom line [is] it’s about disrespect. It’s not just because he’s a Black person.
OFF CAMERA: I agree.
MS. RYAN: The –
MR. WILLIAMS: Disrespect –
MS. RYAN: — disrespect of –
MR. WILLIAMS: — of the office.
MS. RYAN: — the presidency, the –
MR. WILLIAMS: Disrespect of –
MS. RYAN: — office of –
MR. WILLIAMS: — the o- –
MS. RYAN: — President. Now you’re dealing with other stuff about – you know, the racial thing, but you have to always remember. No matter what happens, this is a town where we’re always tit for tat, and this was Hilary Rosen’s Etch A Sketch moment versus what happened – happened with the Mitt Romney campaign. So, they wanted to play that up, and that – we’ve heard so much –
MR. MARTIN: I gotcha.
MS. RYAN: — about – we –
MR. MARTIN: But – but here’s –
MR. WILLIAMS: [Crosstalk] – outrage.
MR. MARTIN: — the deal. But here’s the deal. [The] bottom line is Friess is out there speaking on behalf of a candidate. He makes this comment – and, frankly, even l- — even – and I’ll say this here. Even – shame on Lou Dobbs even for not directly looking him in the eye and [saying], “I’m sorry. That is wrong. You should never joke about that.”
MS. RYAN: You’re absolutely right.
MR. MARTIN: I don’t believe it should be simply excused as, “Yeah, you shouldn’t have said it.” And so I also believe that media folks – folks who have shows – should have the guts to sit here and check somebody. And so Lou Dobbs – I[’ve] worked with Lou before. Normally, he would do that, but shame on him –
MS. RYAN: [Crosstalk] –
MR. MARTIN: — for not checking him –
MR. TRAYNHAM: And – and – and –
MR. MARTIN: — on that point.
MR. WILLIAMS: Well, par- –
MR. TRAYNHAM: — espe- — especially on a network like Fox News – I mean let’s just call it [like] it is – where you have to be very care- — I don’t care if it’s –
MR. MARTIN: Right.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — if it’s, you know, ABC network. It’s –
MR. MARTIN: Right.
MR. TRAYNHAM: — it’s – it’s everh- — reprehensible. But you have to be careful with Fox. You have to be careful of that type of a viewership.
MR. MARTIN: Gotcha. Joe –
MR. WILLIAMS: — this is –
MR. MARTIN: — ten seconds.
MR. WILLIAMS: — this is always the – the big picture here for me is the fact that we’ve got a guy who is funding campaigns. We have a guy who’s going to influence an election.
MR. MARTIN: That’s right.
MR. WILLIAMS: We have a guy who is representing views that are probably very closely tied to many of the people who he supports, many of the causes he supports.
MR. MARTIN: You’re right.
MR. WILLIAMS: This is coming out into the open. We need to pay attention to that.
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