March 25th, 2009
11:06 AM ET
5 years ago

Schneider: Obama gives tough answer to CNN

 Obama said he wanted time to think about his AIG response.
Obama said he wanted time to think about his AIG response.

(CNN) – President Obama gave a pretty tough answer to CNN's Ed Henry when asked why he waited days to express outrage on the AIG bonuses.

"It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," he said.

It seemed to imply the question was impertinent.

"After Ed Henry, he looked like he wanted to go home," conservative talk radio host and CNN Contributor Bill Bennett said.

Watch: Ed Henry on his exchange with Obama


Filed under: Bill Schneider • Popular Posts
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Barbara Nicoll

    Is that the best question Ed Henry and CNN could have asked the President? If it was, I have lost credibility in CNN's priorities concerning the important issues confronting this country and the President.

    March 24, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. jet paul

    yes that was an appropriate answer by the president,he does not need to jump out of the blue and address issues without proper analysis.ed henry must have been sponsored by the republicans,that do not want to invest in the country other than spend billions on war while the citizens suffer,where were all this folks when all that money was being spent by bush

    March 24, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. Valencia

    Contrary to what CNN is reporting, the President did not DODGE the question. BTW, the question wasn't the best question. However, with that said, he said he likes to think – get the full context of the situation and information – before opening his mouth. Is the news media so accustomed to a level of incompetence and lack of precise strategic thinking, they have to jump on something so petty as this? It is refreshing to have someone in the White House who is a COMPETENT leader and who is not afraid to lead me out of a crisis. Come on CNN – I expect so much more of you than this.

    March 24, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. John Stayn

    I do think Ed Henry's question was appropriate in content but impertinent in tone. The question, and more so the follow-up, came across as arrogant and disrespectful – a put-down given the comparison with a state's Attorney General. Perhaps Ed Henry is not aware that the AIG's compensation practices fall under the purview of the state of New York and perhaps also the state of Connecticut. Ed's approach seemed intent on provoking the President and on channeling attention to himself (Ed) and his network of "the best political team on Television". Well, for this viewer, the best political team just cracked and got a well-deserved sharp response from the President. Ed's attitude was "Bush-league", and those days are over.

    March 24, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. LJ Anderson

    It always takes the Obama team several days to weigh the potential PR impact of any news before deciding on the desired way of handling the incident. We're still waiting for Obama to address how he intends to handle his acceptance of political contributions which came from AIG and other companies post-bailout. I imagine Obama will finally take a stand on that one in several weeks.

    March 24, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. zally

    d Henry of CNN is a perfect example of how bad journalism has become. Screaming a stupid question, laden with hypotheticals, fishing for a blaring headline DOES NOT make it a good question. Listen to his questions today during The Presidential Press Conf.

    He really deserved what he President did!

    March 24, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. olivia chapin

    I was appalled by Ed Henry's question. It is important for CNN to get some control of him. President Obama is the president and perhaps someone ought to tell Ed Henry that. I believe that Ed Henry often acts in a very partisan way. I have noted this during the election and after. I would be nice to think that such a person should not be able to attend these non political news conferences. I think he should take the Pressidents response to heart. Don't talk unless you are well informed and capable of asking tough questions without being impudent.

    March 24, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. SPB

    The question was obnoxious. It was a question designed to make a point, rather than to ask a question, and those generally come off as impertinent.

    March 24, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Wolf-Woman Palin Charlotte, NC

    Bill Bennett is a Republican isn't he? Bill's cheap shot, I thought was an example of how desperately CNN is these days to MAKE news not report it. Remind Bill that there was laughter in the room following Obama's answer; my guess is they didn't mind seeing Ed put in his place. Perhaps it was Ed who wanted to go home. I wanted to cheer when he cut Ed off at the knees. Ed looked like he had swalloed a lemon when he stood. Tell him his skowl is really not very impressive.

    I thought Obama answered the question well. Had Bill rather he made something up? I know that the White House press is not use to a President who thinks before he acts... or thinks at all.... Get use to it Ed.

    Since nothing else of negative substance came from tonight, you guys can pound on this all day tomorrow.

    March 24, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Thad

    Let me see if I'm understanding this. A queston from CNN's Ed Henry totally withered President Obama to the point where the President just wanted to "go home." Bennett, are you serious? This President is trying to salvage 8 years of total mismanagement by Bennett's party, the crountry is in crisis, Obama is working literally around the clock, and Ed Henry's question is the "straw that broke the President's back" Is this the serious analysis that we expected from CNN's Bill Bennett? I applaud the remainder of the CNN panel who raised thoughtful, insightful questions. I never hear any ideas from Bennett, only vitriolic criticism. Is CNN under contract to hire a token right-wing hack in order to give equal time to idiotic contraion positions? If so, Bennett's your guy. No need to look further.

    March 24, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. meg martin from Collegeville, PA

    I do think that the question was impertinent, and that President Obama responded appropriately. By now all of us, particularly those in the various media, should realize that this president is thoughtful and deliberate.

    March 24, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. Nomas

    That was the best question of the night (and deserved an answer, not the evasion it did), and the only one that got at the misconnect between Obama and the public over this financial fiasco. It highlighted that Obama really is way too beholden to Wall Street to do right by the American people.

    March 24, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Harry

    I think Ed Henry is to sensative! CNN is looking for an issue to be negative about the President. The President needs to think about the future. AIG is the last Presidents issue and is a TARP leftover. We need to look to the future and make sure the ecomony turns around. He's doing something, he's trying and needs our support!

    March 24, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. Larry W

    The answer did not imply that the question was impertinent, but it did make it clear how he might differ from journalists, opinion makers, bloggers, and Congress - he wants to know and understand the facts before he makes a public statement on a matter. If this is true, what a refreshing development.

    And, the silly comment that he looked like he wanted to leave after Henry's question. Quite an absurd statement.

    March 24, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  15. Barbara - Atlanta

    I thought the President was rather calm to me. I really think that Ed Henry thought he had a "gotcha question" but I think the President gave him an answer he wasn't expecting.

    March 24, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. L Smith

    Ed Henry – What an idiotic question You walked right into Obama's smack down. And CNN – shame on you for defending him....

    March 24, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. AUC

    Don't dish it out Ed if you can't take it. You go President Obama! I'm tired of these stupid repetitive questions from prep school punks!

    March 24, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Law

    That was funny. Sorry Ed. Sometimes reporters want a right now response but I've always thought it was smart to get all the facts and then make a statement. Especially from the President.

    March 24, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  19. Pat

    The President answered all questions that were asked by the Journalists. I appreciate him being straight-forward and honest with the American people (something we have not had in the past). He kept his composure and didn't break a sweat. Republicans all mad becuase they lost their way and nothing President Obama say or does will satisfy them. Get over it, go to work and give the American people some hope that you destoryed doing your time on Capital Hill.

    March 24, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  20. Jason

    Um, that's because the question WAS impertinent. All the damage control done by the "Best Political Team on Television" doesn't cover up the fact that it was a silly question deserving a dismissive response.

    March 24, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Jonathan

    It may have been a tough answer, but at least you know he's thinking about it. Thank heavens we have leader of the free world who's willing to think before speaking. Don't you wish everyone did that?

    March 24, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Nic

    Ah bull CNN, criticizing a man who likes to be prepared. You can take your bruised feelings and grow up.

    Everyone I was watching the speech with had a similar reaction, CNN's question seemed idiotic after Obama answered it.

    -np-

    March 24, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  23. bernie

    i am always incredulous that we have to have a sound bite the minute the President utters a word. Please, please, let me have a President that thinks before he speaks – because you can be sure the media will make a meal of it if he doesn't – and it will echo and echo and echo for days and days and days. Isn't it enough we have Rush L. running off at the mouth?

    March 24, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. alvin

    Ed henry sounded very angry and combative. Not just today but anytime he talks about Obama. He has to tone down and ask his questions in an unbiased way.

    He really got owned.

    March 24, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Debi

    I think that this was the best answer of the night. Short and to the point.

    March 24, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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