Obama: GOP Pushing 'Phony Scandals' to Gin Up the Base
Amid the IRS scandal, the VA mismanagement, and other D.C. scandals, President Obama declared Thursday that government is not the problem and once again accused Republicans of trying to promote "phony scandals" for political gain.
At a town hall in Minnesota (clip above), Obama admitted screw-ups and "bone-headed" actions within the federal government.
"Are there some federal workers who do bone-headed things? Absolutely," he said, recalling former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once telling him "at any given moment, on any given day, somebody in the federal government is screwing up."
"They're phony scandals that are generated. It's all geared towards the next election or ginning up a base -- it's not on the level. And that must feel frustrating, and it makes people cynical and it makes people turned off from the idea that anything can get done," said Obama, though it was not clear which specific scandal he was talking about.
He later claimed he "generally" does not watch TV news and cable shows, but feels it can often be "discouraging" for average Americans to watch.
The Fox and Friends hosts weighed in this morning, with Steve Doocy noting that the president must be referring to Fox News, since other networks mostly aren't covering the litany of scandals. He then played several clips in which Obama, Jay Carney and others claim they only heard about some problems from news reports.
That included one from last May in which Obama claimed he did not know anything about the IRS' targeting of conservative groups until the first news reports about it. In a Fox News poll last week, 68% of independents and 44% of Democrats said they do not believe that Obama learned about the IRS targeting on the news.
FoxNews.com digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt reacted this morning on America's Newsroom, saying President Obama is still trying to "outrun his scandals." He expressed amazement that the president is still talking about "phony scandals" with the IRS having admitting to targeting Tea Party groups.
"If their public position is still 'there is no corruption.' ... [then] he is so far away from the current political reality in the country that I don’t know that he’s going to be able to turn around in time to head this thing off," said Stirewalt.
Watch his full analysis below: