Trust Jake Tapper to ask the tough question

posted at 2:45 pm on October 6, 2011 by Tina Korbe

At his press conferences, the president’s indignant tone conveys the impression that he’s a petulant college student, accustomed to professorial praise. He’s defensive and combative even when the White House press corps goes easy on him — and, for most of today’s presser, they did. The president was able to spout all his usual “pass the buck” propaganda, once again casting blame for the ailing economy on international events and a gridlocked Congress. He was able to tout his American Jobs Act as the answer to the country’s jobs crisis (taking care to issue the caveat, “If the American Jobs Act passes, we’re still going to face challenges”).

But trusty Jake Tapper interrupted the repetitive and dull conference with the live-wire question that should have been uppermost in the minds of all the reporters in the room.

“As you’re watching the Solyndra and Fast and Furious controversies play out, I wonder if it gives you any pause about any of the decision-making going on in your administration,” Tapper said. “Are you worried at all about how your administration is running?”

Shorter BHO answer: “No. It’s my administration, so why would I be worried about it?”

What he actually said was this:

With respect to Solyndra and Fast and Furious, I’ve been very clear that I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder and how he holds his office. He has been very aggressive in going after gun-running and cash transactions that are going to these transnational drug cartels in Mexico. There’s been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on this front. He’s indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious. Certainly, I was not, and I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America. He has assigned an inspector general to look into how this has happened and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who exactly was responsible for that decision and how it got made.

Solyndra — this is a loan-guarantee program that predates me and historically has support from Democrats and Republicans, as well. It’s a pretty straightforward idea: If we are going to be able to compete in the 21st century, then we’ve got to dominate cutting-edge technologies, we’ve got to dominate cutting-edge manufacturing. Clean energy is part of that package of technologies of the future that have to be based here in the United States if we’re going to be able to succeed. … We knew from the start that the loan-guarantee program was going to entail some risk. If it was a risk-free proposition, then we wouldn’t have to worry about it. … There were going to be some companies that did not work out — Solyndra was one of them — but the process by which the decision was made was on the merits. It was straightforward, and of course there were going to be debates internally when you’re dealing with something as complicated as this, but I have confidence that the decisions were made based on what would be good for the American people and the American economy.

His answer speaks for itself: The president is unwilling to take responsibility for any problem in the nation right now even those confined completely to his administration. (Also, can’t help but note the “cooperation with Mexico” comment. That’s not what the Mexican AG says.)

Perhaps touched off by Tapper, subsequent questions seemed a little tougher. Notably, WaPo’s David Nakamura asked a follow-up question about Solyndra — and CBS’ Bill Plante brilliantly exposed the president’s Trumanesque blame-a-do-nothing-Congress reelection campaign strategy, asking, “Are you willing to negotiate? Will you?”

The president was dismissive of both — but, thanks to the quality of the questions, the dismissals were glaring, at least. The guy might have a free pass when he gives speeches to friendly audiences across the country — but he shouldn’t get one at a news conference.


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There’s been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on this front.

The Mexican AG, Marisela Morales, would probably disagree with that statement.

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Certainly, I was not, and I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America. He has assigned an inspector general to look into how this has happened and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who exactly was responsible for that decision and how it got made.

Holy cow – does this mean what I think it does? Out of Issa’s hands?

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM

eerp, my bad, sorry Tina.

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Shorter BHO answer: “No. It’s my administration, so why would I be worried about it?”

“This is our administration. Yes, we own it” — Biden.

Obama, in a looooooong iteration lied. No, I did not watch. I don’t have a hurl-bucket big enough.

Schadenfreude on October 6, 2011 at 2:51 PM

What not enchanting questions ?

William Amos on October 6, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I thought the same thing: Hurray, Tapper!

He gave a little shot of courage to the rest of the gaggle.

PattyJ on October 6, 2011 at 2:52 PM

The president was dismissive of both — but, thanks to the quality of the questions, the dismissals were glaring, at least

Ha! One of many scandals/outrages get mentioned, SCOAMF dismisses it and we move on…

Congrats to the press…GET SERIOUS!!!

winston on October 6, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Yeah, the Solyndra loan program pre-dated the Regime – it just wasn’t approved and no loan guarantees were in place – but other than those two little things, it was totally Bush’s fault.

forest on October 6, 2011 at 2:54 PM

IRS audits for Jake, Bill and David in 3…..2….

BacaDog on October 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM

There’s been a lot of cooperation [with Mexico]

Not before it hit the fan, but now, there probably has been some back door talks of how to smooth things over: “what can we do to shut you up and halt the embarrassment?”–that’s what he calls, “cooperation.”

G. Charles on October 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Are you worried at all about how your administration is running?

er..floundering?

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM

There has been cooperation with Mexico — but it was with the drug cartels.

rbj on October 6, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Obama forgot to mention the perjury, but since he has complete confidence in Holder I assume he approves of it.

forest on October 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Via PJ Media:

According to Judicial Watch, Rep. Edolphous Towns (D-NY) has introduced the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2011. That bill would do with Obama’s presidential records what Obama has already done to his personal and collegiate records: Seal them up.

There you go.

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Congratulations to the United States of America Free Press!!! What a great job you are doing following the liberal progressive marxist party line. You make all the great dictators so proud of you.

As for Tapper, move along folks. There’s nothing to see here. Hey look, there’s Michelle at Target…

/endsarc

ClanDerson on October 6, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Its all nice and good, but these clips won’t be played to the braindead masses who only watch nightly news clips from ABCBSNBC in between the X-factor, and Glee shows.

The largest section of the voting mass have no idea what these scandals are. To them Fast & Furious is a movie with Vin Diesel, and Solyndra is a sugar substitute.

portlandon on October 6, 2011 at 3:03 PM

The largest section of the voting mass have no idea what these scandals are. To them Fast & Furious is a movie with Vin Diesel, and Solyndra is a sugar substitute.

Sad, but true.

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Certainly, I was not, and I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America. He has assigned an inspector general to look into how this has happened and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who exactly was responsible for that decision and how it got made.

Holy cow – does this mean what I think it does? Out of Issa’s hands?

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM

I don’t think so. What Mr. Obama is saying is that his friend Holder has assigned a DOJ lap dog to play the role of watch dog to try and becloud the issue and stymie getting to the bottom of this. Congress is still free to do what it wishes but the “we’ve already looked at it and we’re fine” story out of DOJ will muddy the water. That’s the intent.

Mason on October 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Dear President Obama,

YOU”RE A FREAKIN’ LIAR!!!

Solyndra — this is a loan-guarantee program that predates me…

The Solyndra loan application REJECTION predates you, a$$h&&%%%!!!

(pleasedon’tbanmecausei’moutragedthatourpresidentisalyinghore)!!

fred5678 on October 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

If we are going to be able to compete in the 21st century, then we’ve got to dominate cutting-edge technologies,

Thank God, Henry Ford and Edison got those loan guarantees from the government.

/

mankai on October 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Has it been announced other than in this press conference that Holder has assigned an Inspector General to look into the matter?

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

For the New Year that started last Wed night, I have taken on a commitment not to engage is Loshan Hara & Rechilut

see [Lashon Hara - any derogatory or damaging (physically, financially, socially, or stress-inducing) communication.
Rechilut - any communication that generates animosity between people.]
http://www.torah.org/learning/halashon/intrcomm.html

So, I will say the following, sometimes people are better off not blaming others for their own handiwork, especially people in leadership positions.

georgealbert on October 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM

I don’t think so. What Mr. Obama is saying is that his friend Holder has assigned a DOJ lap dog to play the role of watch dog to try and becloud the issue and stymie getting to the bottom of this. Congress is still free to do what it wishes but the “we’ve already looked at it and we’re fine” story out of DOJ will muddy the water. That’s the intent.

Mason on October 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Thank you for the translation.

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Not before it hit the fan, but now, there probably has been some back door talks of how to smooth things over: “what can we do to shut you up and halt the embarrassment?”–that’s what he calls, “cooperation.”

G. Charles on October 6, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Perhaps a few semi trailor loads of military grade weapons shipped to corrupt Mexican Police departments might do the trick. They can then be resold, although, considering Mexico has the whip hand here, also possibly some major accomodation on illegals crossing over?

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 3:08 PM

(Also, can’t help but note the “cooperation with Mexico” comment. That’s not what the Mexican AG says.)

I won’t be surprised that the Mexican government was involved.

Texas Gal on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Tapper’s always been pretty good. The others will impress me if they ever sniff out a gig like Obama’s before the Solyndras and F&Fs and “new normal constant recession” trends kick in.

As it is, millions and millions and millions of people were smarter all along than the MSM.

J.E. Dyer on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Am I right ?
I read here @ HA somewhere the name of WHO can name an investigator, and it isn’t Zero nor Witholder.
Correct ?
Just can’t come up with the person’s name.

pambi on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

It was straightforward, and of course there were going to be debates internally when you’re dealing with something as complicated as this,


Solundra was building panels for $6.00 a piece and selling them for $3.00 a piece and this was complicated?How did they expect to make a profit? Through volume?

Fred 2 on October 6, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Next year is going to a year for the history books…we may actually see a sitting POTUS crack up emotionally and mentally. He is coming a part at the seams.

d1carter on October 6, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Am I right ?
I read here @ HA somewhere the name of WHO can name an investigator, and it isn’t Zero nor Witholder.
Correct ?
Just can’t come up with the person’s name.

pambi on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

There had been a mechanism for a 3 judge panel to appoint special prosecutors. dunno if it’s still in place.

rbj on October 6, 2011 at 3:12 PM

For the New Year that started last Wed night, I have taken on a commitment not to engage is Loshan Hara & Rechilut
see [Lashon Hara - any derogatory or damaging (physically, financially, socially, or stress-inducing) communication.
Rechilut - any communication that generates animosity between people.]
http://www.torah.org/learning/halashon/intrcomm.html

georgealbert on October 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Where’s the fun in that? The Palin/Perry threads will go on here forever.

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 3:13 PM

He also positioned himself nicely for when the jobs bill doesn’t even make it to the floor. He can bang his fists and insist that it would have made all the difference in the economy come the next election.

He is setting up his excuses now by talking about “run[ning] against a ‘do nothing congress’”, preparing to blame everybody else (as is his habit) for the economy and general state of things.

After all, if you actually do something and it doesn’t work you have to own it and take responsibility for it. I suppose even when you believe blaming your predecessor will cure all ills you somehow sense it has to stop working sometime.

RDuke on October 6, 2011 at 3:13 PM

I don’t know about you guys, but I, for am, am comforted by the fact that Holder has, apparently, been “aggressive[ly]” ignoring his memoes.

BlueCollarAstronaut on October 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

There’s been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on this front.

We provide the guns. They hold the funerals. Everybody wins!

Lily on October 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Solundra was building panels for $6.00 a piece and selling them for $3.00 a piece and this was complicated?How did they expect to make a profit? Through volume?

Fred 2 on October 6, 2011 at 3:11 PM

That could have been a topic for internal discussion if any of them knew anything about business. Fortunately, they aren’t hindered by business experience, so decisions come much easier.

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 3:17 PM

At his press conferences, the president’s indignant tone conveys the impression that he’s a petulant college student, accustomed to professorial praise…

Tina, I think it goes a littel deeper than that…

Seven Percent Solution on October 6, 2011 at 3:19 PM

pambi on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 PM

An inspector general is not an independent counsel who would investigate.

However, IG’s are supposed to keep independent tabs on an administration and you may remember Gerald Walpin who was forced out by blowing the whistle on Obama’s donor-friend, the mayor of Sacramento.

Byron York covered it with numerous columns. It didn’t turn out well for Walpin: Gerald Walpin loses appeal; court guts protections for agency watchdogs

INC on October 6, 2011 at 3:20 PM

georgealbert on October 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Good for you, and good luck with an honorable and admirable pledge to yourself. It would be great if more people followed your example. A belated Happy New Year to you!

Christien on October 6, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Certainly, I was not, and I think both he and I would have been very unhappy if someone had suggested that guns were allowed to pass through that could have been prevented by the United States of America.

You and Holder are not the only ones that are unhappy. What about the family of the dead border patrol agent? Or other Americans near the border who will be shot by those guns in the future?

Solyndra — this is a loan-guarantee program that predates me and historically has support from Democrats and Republicans, as well.

The PROGRAM predates O, but NOT the Solyndra loan itself.

There were going to be some companies that did not work out — Solyndra was one of them — but the process by which the decision was made was on the merits.

Really? When someone said before the loan was made that Solyndra would go bankrupt in September 2011, and you didn’t believe him, and that’s exactly what happened? What did Solyndra do to “merit” a half billion dollars, other than a photo op with a big donor?

Steve Z on October 6, 2011 at 3:20 PM

There’s been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on this front.

yeah, look at all those shovel-ready jobs we’ve created for them. In fact, it seems to be about 200 at last count.

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

There’s been a lot of cooperation between Mexico and the United States on this front.

Cooperation: We supply the guns, the Mexicans supply the victims.

Cicero43 on October 6, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Jake Tapper is an outstanding reporter and journalist. He’s equally tough on politicians in both parties. I have no Idea what his political views are, and like it that way. We need more people like him in DC and fewer lap dogs giving Obama a daily tongue bath.

simkeith on October 6, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Solundra was building panels for $6.00 a piece and selling them for $3.00 a piece and this was complicated?How did they expect to make a profit? Through volume?

To a dimwit who deals in “profts-to-earnings rations,” this is complex, high-level stuff.

Cicero43 on October 6, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Was the “cooperation” a little–you help us with our gun problem, we’ll help you with your immigracion’ problem? I think that WH state dinner with BHO and the Mexican el Presidente needs to be looked into really closely.

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Bush would have loved if he ever received soft balls like Obama is getting…but that’s okay, he won’t know what to do during a debate.

right2bright on October 6, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Someone had to be hired to replace Brian Terry.

See, a job WAS created, you winger fascists.

Bishop on October 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Byron York covered it with numerous columns. It didn’t turn out well for Walpin: Gerald Walpin loses appeal; court guts protections for agency watchdogs
INC on October 6, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Should explain why Holder is comfortable with an IG on this. He has them on a short leash with a studded choke chain.

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Accessories to MURDER.

HondaV65 on October 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

a capella on October 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Very true!

I tried to find out who has the authority to appoint the independent special counsel Issa is requesting because the law has changed since the three-judge panel appointed Starr during the Clinton administration.

The best I could come up with is that the DOJ has an Office of Special Counsel, and Patrick J. Fitzgerald is the current Special Counsel with offices in D.C. and Chicago (prosecutor of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, Plame/Novak/Libby, Blagojevich).

http://www.justice.gov/usao/iln/osc/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A55560-2005Feb1?language=printer

novaculus pointed me to 28 CFR 600:

http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/doj/28cfr600.1.html

The law is dated July 2003 and Fitzgerald was appointed December 2003.

I do not know the present status of the law—but I don’t think Holder would get to call the shots on this.

INC on October 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Steve Jobs was cutting edge his entire career and to my knowledge he never needed money from the feds.

scalleywag on October 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM

He has assigned an inspector general to look into how this has happened and I have complete confidence in him and I’ve got complete confidence in the process to figure out who exactly was responsible for that decision and how it got made.

Translation: IF I’m lucky enough to get re-elected, the Inspector General’s report will be on my desk my last day in office. At which time, I’ll pardon myself and Holder.

GarandFan on October 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

“..I certainly did not.”

Better hope not, Barry, because those words can’t be spun into a Billy “is”.

Limerick on October 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Still kid gloves. What about a follow up question like “Are you going to fire Holder for alegedly being so incompetent as to not know what was happening in his area of responsibility?” Or make it “When are you going to fire Holder…”.

AnotherOpinion on October 6, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Is this not proof positive of perjury, or at least lying to Congress, if he wasn’t sworn in?


http://www.wmal.com/article.asp?id=2303763&SPID=40282

During a May 3 hearing, Holder said he first learned of the op “over the last few weeks.”

“I (Grassley) gave him, on January 31, the copy of a letter that started my investigation four days before that asking the attorney general to give me various documents. So he should say at least several months, because he got a letter from me announcing my investigation of it,” Grassley said….

The January 31 meeting lasted about a half hour, Grassley says. He adds that the attorney general came to him with topics he wanted to discuss, and Grassley also used the opportunity to bring up the operation.

“I told him, here’s a copy of a letter I mailed to you four days ago. And it’s about Fast and Furious and I hope you’ll cooperate with my investigation,” Grassley said.

fred5678 on October 6, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Accessories to MURDER.

HondaV65 on October 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Are you talking about the killer high-heels and dangle earings Owebama wears for Holder?

Laura in Maryland on October 6, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Or “Now that documents show Holder commited perjury, will you hold him accountable by firing him?”

AnotherOpinion on October 6, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Via PJ Media:

According to Judicial Watch, Rep. Edolphous Towns (D-NY) has introduced the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2011. That bill would do with Obama’s presidential records what Obama has already done to his personal and collegiate records: Seal them up.

There you go.

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Holy crap!

Ward Cleaver on October 6, 2011 at 3:47 PM

How long until ABC sends Jake a pink slip for saying, or even suggesting through a question, anything remotely negative about Obama?

Freddy on October 6, 2011 at 3:53 PM

From the other thread:

Someone should put 200 Mexican flags with little votive candles and flowers in front of them outside the Whitehouse gates.

The press never ignores a candlelight vigil, right?

Lily on October 6, 2011 at 2:02 PM

this is a great idea.

Make it 201, one for Brian Terry

ted c on October 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

A sea of Mexican flags + one Stars & Stripes.
Whew.

pambi on October 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Chip on October 6, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Jake committed ‘a random act of journalism’?

petefrt on October 6, 2011 at 4:02 PM

According to Judicial Watch, Rep. Edolphous Towns (D-NY) has introduced the Presidential Records Act Amendments of 2011. That bill would do with Obama’s presidential records what Obama has already done to his personal and collegiate records: Seal them up.

piglet on October 6, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Dirty b#stards should have thought of that before they lost the House. History has a special place reserved for the Øbama.

petefrt on October 6, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Solyndra — this is a loan-guarantee program that predates me and historically has support from Democrats and Republicans, as well.
Liar

DSchoen on October 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

I’ve been very clear that I have complete confidence in Attorney General Holder and how he holds his office. Preeminent Obama do you know how decisions are made in you admin? You seem to the odd man out

DSchoen on October 6, 2011 at 4:19 PM

The guy might have a free pass when he gives speeches to friendly audiences across the country — but he shouldn’t get one at a news conference.

Surely you jest? If any of the Hot Atr commenters were allowed in that room there would be a whitehouse ruling the next morning that for the remander of Obama’s tenure there will be no more of those unconstitutional press conferences as they prevent the president from properly running the nation by reducing serious issues to same old same old tea party type politics.

Don L on October 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Last three years…

EPIC FAIL!!!

g2825m on October 6, 2011 at 4:59 PM

The largest section of the voting mass have no idea what these scandals are. To them Fast & Furious is a movie with Vin Diesel, and Solyndra is a sugar substitute.

portlandon on October 6, 2011 at 3:03 PM

haha Classic!!!

+1000

g2825m on October 6, 2011 at 5:01 PM

“He’s indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious. Certainly, I was not”

Eric Holder, prepare to meet thy Doom Bus.

disa on October 6, 2011 at 5:08 PM

“..I certainly did not.”

Better hope not, Barry, because those words can’t be spun into a Billy “is”.

Limerick on October 6, 2011 at 3:34 PM

For me, the mere fact that Obama had to throw that in there, is an admission of guilt. He knew, and had to make sure to assert his innocence in that, when he was never part of the equation of the question. Verrrrrrrrrrry interesting.

capejasmine on October 6, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I’m proud of Tapper – unlike so many other Dartmouth graduates (see Geithner, Gillebrand etc) I’m proud to call him a Dartmouth brother.

disa on October 6, 2011 at 5:17 PM

“this is a loan guarantee program that predates me”

This is Barack-speak for “voting present”.

You know, I didn’t vote for the guy but I’m sure tired of him blaming everyone else for all the problems that this country has. I would like to see a president, any president, step up and take responsibility for the problems and DO SOMETHING ABOUT THEM.

There.

Old Fritz on October 6, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Solyndra: Ah, the old “Bush did it” mantra.

RebeccaH on October 6, 2011 at 6:10 PM

‘He’s indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in Fast and Furious. Certainly, I was not’…did Zero just go on the record? I know he wasn’t giving testimony but maybe it could be used against him if there’s a deeper investigation by anyone who really gives a flying fig. Thanks for opening the door, Tapper.

Kissmygrits on October 6, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Thank God, Henry Ford and Edison got those loan guarantees from the government.

/

mankai on October 6, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Those people were evil as their products all use fossil fuels to operate.

csdeven on October 6, 2011 at 7:20 PM

God, I cannot even bear to listen to that man’s VOICE anymore; my blood pressure shoots up.

Look, he’s a LIAR. Period. The questions were PATHETIC.

Yes, Mr. President, I love you. Would you mind my asking how did you get so brilliant, so wonderful, so wise, so PERRRRRRRRRRRRFECT?

mountainaires on October 6, 2011 at 7:25 PM

The administration is running great. It’s only those unreasonable reporters trying to rain on BHO’s parade who are the problem and who need to be taken to the woodshed.

eaglewingz08 on October 7, 2011 at 8:31 AM