Wednesday, April 20, 2011

OBAMA: The birther, loses his cool

  • 'Let me finish my answers next time,' Obama told TV journalist Brad Watson
  • It comes as he faces mounting pressure to solve economic problems, gain support for his rich taxes and sort out Libya
This is the moment the President Barack Obama lost his cool after a tense interview with a Texas TV reporter.

Famous for his unflappable image, Mr Obama waited until unclipping his microphone before glaring at his interviewer and saying: 'Let me finish my answers next time we do an interview, all right?’

It was a rare prickly moment for the embattled President, and comes as he faces criticism over his handling of the budget impasse and the U.S. mission in Libya.
Scroll down to see the video
Next time: The President removes his mike before glaring at the reporter and warning him over his interview technique
Poking the bear: Dallas reporter Brad Watson showed no mercy to the President
Next time: President Obama removes his microphone before glaring at forceful TV reporter Brad Watson and warning him over his interview technique

Mr Obama is talking to Facebook's billionaires today in attempt to sell his plan to hike taxes for the wealthy and slash the deficit by $4trillion within 12 years or less.

He is also trying to convince voters that he will sort out the debt problem following a market-tumbling warning from ratings agency Standard & Poor's.


During the interview, Mr Obama was clearly irritated by Dallas TV reporter Brad Watson’s questions about his standing in Texas.

At one point, Mr Watson asked Mr Obama: ‘Why do you think you are so unpopular in Texas?’

Apparently emboldened by the President’s discomfort, the reporter went on to question Mr Obama when he claimed he only lost the Lone Star state ‘by a few percentage points’ during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In fact, the losing margin was 12 points.

‘If what you are telling me is that Texas is a conservative state, you’re absolutely right,’ Mr Obama said.
Exchange: Mr Obama said he was not writing off Texas but admitted it is a Republican stronghold
Exchange: Mr Obama said he was not writing off Texas but admitted it is a Republican stronghold
The President and his advisors were said to be expecting an easy ride in the short White House interviews granted to TV networks from Texas, Indiana, North Carolina and Colorado.

And Mr Obama became increasingly annoyed as Mr Watson refused to back down in questioning the President’s commitment to the state that has long been a Republican stronghold.

FACEBOOK CHAT: Obama in support bid for new tax policies


Barack Obama is today talking to the billionaires behind Facebook as he tries to gain support for his idea of increasing taxes for the wealthy.

The President's audience in Silicon Valley includes Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the 19th wealthiest person in the U.S.

He will try to persuade them ending tax cuts for anyone earning over $250,000-a-year is a good idea.

It comes after he said yesterday that 'millionaires and billionaires (can) make a little sacrifice.'
He bristled at claims that the administration had skipped Houston on purpose when selecting sites for the space shuttles to go on display.

Mr Watson dared to suggest that the decision may have been based on states that could swing to Mr Obama in the next election.

‘That's wrong,’ the President stated. ‘That had nothing to do with it; the White House had nothing to do with it.’

When Mr Watson persisted, Mr Obama said, ‘I just said that was wrong,’ and, later, ‘I just said that wasn't true.’

The President also fired back at Texas Governor Rick Perry, one of the White House’s more strident critics.

‘Governor Perry helped balance his budget with about $6billion worth of federal help, which he happily took, and then started blaming the members of Congress who had offered that help,’ said Mr Obama.

With the interview coming to an end, Mr Watson asked whether Mr Obama was thinking of abandoning Texas altogether when it comes to campaigning for re-election in 2012.

'I never write off any states. I love Texas,' said the President.
One may smile and smile... Mr Obama acts jovial during a slightly less tense portion of the interview
One may smile and smile... Mr Obama acts jovial during a slightly less tense portion of the interview
But Governor Perry has hit back at Mr Obama's charge of hypocrisy. 'We are a donor state,' Governor Perry said. 'I would be happy if they send us back what we send up there.

'So, the idea that Texas is somehow not going to receive money back, now we don't want money that has strings attached to it.

'I'm not a big fan of Washington, D.C.,' he added. 'I think they have taken way too much liberty in telling the states how to run their business.'

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer tried to play down the kerfuffle today.

‘The White House often expects the toughest questions from reporters outside of Washington, not the easiest,’ he tweeted.
See the video here