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. Mark Braunstein

    CNN deserved that and more. I've been a regular viewer since you launched. I used to admire you as a great new source. I'm saddened to say that now you're little more than a "video rag" - the cable equivalent of the stuff they sell at the supermarket checkout. You trade in manufactured controversy, sound bites and talking heads.

    Shame on you CNN! Shame on Time Warner, your brain dead corporate parent (the real culprit I suspect).

    March 24, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  2. DCMata

    CNN...We appreciate the efforts of this President to improve the lives of most Americans. CNN News does NOT reflect our views and presents us with political junkies OPINIONS.

    Larry King does a great job...facts are not distorted, allowing us to decide for ourself on issues.

    March 24, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  3. Vic

    It is clear to see that Ed Henry is partisan. I told my wife before he even began to speak that I did not like how right of center Ed Henry is. Then he asked his question and my wife agreed. Who cares if he took 2 days to give a response... really? Well, apparently Ed Henry did. I have heard him in the past and I feel he covers the news in a partisan (republican) manner. I feel that your representative in the white house should be in the middle... or at the very least seem like he is.

    March 24, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  4. Andy

    Give me a break. American corporate news organizations think that's a tough question? No wonder there were so few reporters who asked Bush the questions that needed to be asked over the past eight years.

    March 24, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Felines for Freedom

    I watched this portion of the broadcast and the question was a bit silly. As soon as Ed Henry asked it, I immediately thought: "Probably because he wanted to gather information before reacting."

    That is what a deliberate, rational, intelligent person does. Perhaps Henry has been so battered by the Bush years, he no longer recognizes this approach to governing. Pretty sad when you are trained to ask your President why you didn't respond rashly.

    March 24, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. Kunal

    I believe that President Barack Obama did a good job – handling the very tough questions.

    His answer to CNN's Ed Henry may have been flippant; but, that is no indication that "he wanted to go home".

    Given the enormously complext set of situations; the consequences of failure or corruption or weakness in dealing toughly with the companies and executives – who brought us all into this mess – are immense.

    President Obama – really has to deliver on his policies and ideas; and perhaps needs to go back to the basics. "get it done" – don't put too much weight on garnering public support – by overexposing himself in the media.

    Concrete results – read – economic improvements – would automatically buy him support from people from all walks of life.

    I wish you the best; Mr. President.

    March 24, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  7. ron

    the messiah shouldn't have to bother with questions at all! he won and so now we should just trust him to do the right thing and keep his promises.

    if we need to know anything, he'll tell us on youtube.

    March 24, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. JB in Wisconsin

    I was surprised when I heard that question from CNN. Was not sure if CNN was trying to give him a out, but some CNN reporters are starting to surprise me with the reporting. Ie Dodd. Keep going CNN and be a good news agency. Now lose your greatest political team and mix it up with both sides. Not just what Paul B. and James want you to report.

    March 24, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Tom

    Actually, Obama "owned" Ed Henry, and then proceeded to answer every other question presented to him with authority and detail and due consideration.

    It was an awesome press conference. I do not ever remember another President being willing or able to take on all questions/comers and answer with intelligence and respect.

    March 24, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. California Love

    There is no doubt about it... We have a "tough" American President. I loved it. With so many worldwide and domestic issues it's understandable that he be given some patience before knowing all the facts and responding.

    Reporters are now being so impatient. Dude, relax okay and cut our President some slack. He's only been on the job for just a little over 2 months. Would you rather have George Bush who stonewalled and close-lipped every issue or this President who takes actually takes responsibility and is open to debate and is willing to try to solve complicated matters. Enough said.

    March 24, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  11. James LW

    "It seemed to imply the question was impertinent."

    That's a matter of interpretation, and a drawn conclusion, not news reporting. I dislike it when I'm speaking, and someone draws their own conclusion, and hedges with "well, you seem to be implying". I think it's unfair to put this interpretation out there, and it's not fair to not take the President at face-value based on his words.

    Maybe the press isn't used to a President who uses all of his faculties and resources to come to a conclusion about important matters. Imagine if Bush took the time necessary to really generate an evidenced-based conclusion instead slinging half-baked, immediate one-liners that leaves on scratching their head saying "Did he really say that"?

    It's like those one-line "conclusion-leading headlines" in web news articles "Bush defends use of torture".... lazy editors? Such headlines should reads "Bush tries to defend torture"...

    March 24, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. serious stuff

    I saw the entire show and I thought Ed was a bit agressive with his questioning. While some may say that's his job, I call it belabouring the point. Yes, Wall Street did some very bad things, we are all outraged, now what? I think the President's reaction emphasized the need to move on; raging will not solve the problem or prevent the situation from happening again. I've noticed also that Ed seems to create a rockus from these press conference - makes you wonder about his motives??? career buillding???

    March 24, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. virginia for obama

    Ed Henry threw a cheap shot ball at Obama.

    Then Obama put it in the CHEAP SEATS. Obama wasn't the one

    who looked mad after that. It was Ed Henry. Ha! Ha! Ha! that's what

    you get Ed. You know he's good at a snappy comeback.

    Obama you did a good at that press conference tonight. I'm so

    impressed with you. Please keep up the good work.

    March 24, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. JMH

    Considering what we're up against as a nation, Ed Henry's question was not only impertinent but petty.

    March 24, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. Amy

    I think President Obama is completely justified to wait before expressing his opinions. He is, after all, the our nation's leader and his responses to any issue are going to significantly affect all of us. It is common sense that one should take time to consider an issue before speaking and President Obama has every right to do so.

    March 24, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. jerry engle

    Ed Henry deserved that response. His form of "gotcha" journalism is all too pervasive these days. That goes for most of CNNs commentators afterwards. One expects that crap from Fox, but CNN is buying in.

    March 24, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. John Zeger

    Having heard reports by CNN that President Obama got angry with one of his questioners, I was eager to see what actually transpired. When I saw the exchange I thought "is this what all the fuss is about?" Come on CNN, you people are acting like Obama threw a temper tandrum or something. He merely gave Ed Henry a somewhat curt response. Big deal! Are you people so hard up for something to report that you have to blow something that small out of proportion? Jeez. Get a story!

    March 24, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. AM in VA

    The question was ok as was the response.

    March 24, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. Gene Herrick

    You guys have a real chip on your shoulders. Henry asked a legitimate question in a challenging tone. Obama gave him an appropriate answer. As for bill Bennett, what else can you expect from a radical Republican. CNN lets Bennett and those like him to go on air and spout their diatribe (Republican/ultra conservative) talking points. CNN is not performing real journalistic programs, but blather to keep – and beat to death – a given subject.

    March 24, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. Quinn

    That really was an amateurish question and it gave Obama a chance to broadside Henry back.

    March 24, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. Ohio Lady

    Ed was insinuating that Obama is doing nothing and Cuomo is doing so much of a better job. Ed was not only impertinent, he was the only one who asked his questions in a tone with his preverbial "Leave it to Beaver" smirk on his face. Maybe you guys are really proud of Ed, but other commentators besides Bennett (on other networks...because we watched them) noted Ed Henry's in your face attitude. He was obviously out to score a few points for himself. His Republican agenda is obviously superceding his journalistic objectivity. Perhaps you at CNN are cheering Henry, but there are others of us out there who feel you should take the "Senior" away from his title and wait until he grows up a little more and learns to show some respect to the President of the United States.

    March 24, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  22. Michael

    More like Nobama needed to talk to his Democrat buddies Slobbering Barney Frank, Tim "Tax Cheat" Geithner, and Chris Dodd so they could all get their stories straight before blowing sunshine up our $#@%& during this presidential pep talk this evening.

    March 24, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  23. Erika, KS

    What he means to say, is he needed to wait to have his teleprompter in front of him before he spoke.

    March 24, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  24. Todd

    Maybe we should expect our leaders time to actually think about our problems instead of coming up with some canned answer in the first ten minutes after something happens. We cannot rush to judgement, and into decisions. Unfortunately this complete inane network has no real journalists who care more about asking informative questions and are more concerned with playing "gotcha"

    March 24, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  25. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    I'm not sure if Bill Bennett meant that President Obama wanted to go home or Ed Henry. Regardless, Ed Henry, the whole of CNN "best political team" and anchors have become increasingly strident in their criticism of the Obama administration. For all the claims of balanced journalism, it sure would be nice if they ALL walked their talk.

    March 24, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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