March 6th, 2013
11:14 AM ET
1 year ago

Fox News chief's choice words for Obama, Biden and Gingrich

(CNN) – Roger Ailes has never been known to keep his opinions to himself.

So perhaps it's no surprise the powerful boss of Fox News Channel revealed candid opinions of top political figures – including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – during conversations and meetings that were recorded by his biographer Zev Chafets.

In excerpts of Chafets' upcoming book "Roger Ailes: Off Camera" that were published in this month's Vanity Fair, the Fox News president is shown fiercely criticizing Obama, who he calls "lazy."

The remark came amid an analysis of CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's claims that Ann Romney had "never worked a day in her life" (Rosen later apologized.)

"Obama's the one who never worked a day in his life," Ailes said in an exchange with his spokesman, according to the excerpt in Vanity Fair. "He never earned a penny that wasn't public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He's lazy, but the media won't report that."

When Ailes noticed Chafets' surprised reaction, the television executive added: "I didn't come up with that. Obama said that, to Barbara Walters."

He was referring to an interview when the ABC anchor asked Obama for "the trait you most deplore in yourself."

"Laziness," the president responded, explaining "There is a deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach."

Ailes was no less forgiving in his assessment of Obama's deputy Joe Biden. During a meeting with staff discussing vice presidential politics, Ailes remarked, "I have a soft spot for Joe Biden…I like him. But he's dumb as an ashtray."

Also on the receiving end of Ailes' blunt appraisal? Newt Gingrich, the former house speaker, who gave up his contributor role at Fox to make a bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

In the waning days of his presidential campaign, Gingrich was quoted saying "Fox has been for Romney all the way through," adding that he thought CNN's coverage of the GOP primaries was less biased.

"We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of Fox, and we're more likely to get distortion out of Fox. That's just a fact," Gingrich said at an event in Delaware, according to a report from Real Clear Politics.

"He's a sore loser and if he had won he would have been a sore winner," Ailes said, according to Chafets' biography.

"Newt's a prick," Ailes succinctly concluded.

CNN reached out to the White House and to a representative of Gingrich for reaction to Ailes' comments.

soundoff (484 Responses)
  1. Gary Street

    I hope all three (Obama, Biden, and Gingrich) remain upwind of all the farts coming out of the mouth of this "blowhard"!

    March 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. BobInIrvine

    "Obama's the one who never worked a day in his life," Ailes said in an exchange with his spokesman, according to the excerpt in Vanity Fair. "He never earned a penny that wasn't public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He's lazy, but the media won't report that."

    I guess Obama worked for free at the University of Chicago (A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY). So much for Aile's assertion. Then again, truth and Fox are oxymoronic in the same sentence.

    March 6, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. Coronado

    It's like the guy that used to work for me. One day he said "I have been watching that city employee working the sewer all day out my window, he is lazy and should be fired!" Guess who I fired.

    March 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Jinx9to88

    More proof the Repubs eat their own.LMAO!!!

    March 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. EDGY

    Add honesty to the list of attributes Ailes postulates POTUS has, and dishosenty to his list, based on the right wing network he runs, and the mistruths, and outright lies they tell. Lesson learned from life – most times when someone tries desperately to convice you they are something, it is usually because they are not. Fair and balanced....yeah right.

    March 6, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. mec

    the man speaks the truth.

    As far as Faux news, it's so fun to watch CNN posters keep claiming how much it lies when they basically read state run media with CNN.

    Anyway, the solution is to read more than ONE news site. I do admit so many on both sides refuse to do this.

    March 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. CryBabies

    The man calls it as he sees it Whats to dispute? Oh yes, he "worked" hard at campaigning.....and still is. "Soft hands"

    March 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. snowdogg

    Roger Ailes = consummate gasbag.

    March 6, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Johnny 5

    He's just saying what others have already noticed. Thats what happens when you only have a choice to vote for bad or terrible.

    March 6, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Michel Saint-M

    "But as usual, they are 100% correct" - keep telling that to your pillow at night, Ms Tuscany. She's the only one who'll ever believe you!

    March 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  11. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    As long as President Obama continues to be successful in moving this country forward with his courageous and progressive leadership and historic and monumental achievements, conservatives like this racist incompetent troll will continue to turn purple and try to take away all that this President has accomplished for this nation. Reminds me of the debt ceiling compromise two years ago that teapublicans voted on, only to change their minds about their decision, suggestion that their compromise may have paved the way for the President's re-election. Conservatives in this country really don't give a crap about the welfare of our Union and they'll do just about anything to hurt the American people just to see our African-American President fails. But I have news for you people...President Obama's triumphant and progressive legacy is already set in stone and there's nothing you envy jealous bigoted racist right wing haters can do about it. Hey, you can learn to live with it or go drink Kool-Aid.

    March 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  12. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Just another example of the gop conservative trash on the fox dope channel!!!

    March 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Yeah, well, you know you're over the top when you turn on Newt Gingrich for being too moderate and speaking his mind.

    March 6, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Jon M Byron

    I am very impressed with the CEO of Fox News. let's let him run for president for he is a man who tells it like it is. 1 thing American needs is an honest man. I think we had 1 before didn't they call him Honest Abe.
    anyway to say it like it is with President Obama being lazy is actually the most truthful statement I've heard about our presidents since he came into power.
    I am an independent voter throughout my life but I did vote for Obama because like some friends of mine pointed out we need to change. well that was a mistake I should have stuck with my morals but I voted for Obama and look what's happened. he's just lazy.
    now mister Biden that's a different story he always remind me of a man who has some good ideas and a nice smile which made me feel maybe you could do something. it would have been better Biden for president and Obama for Vice President. the results would be basically the same the same that are seen today

    March 6, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Larke Marie

    I do not have much in common with this guy but on this one he is right on!

    March 6, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Basil

    let him retired to a nursing home ASAP. VIVA OBAMA

    March 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. B. McKay

    This from a guy who works ( I use that term lightly) in a bomb proof office deep in the bowels of the Fox News building, and travels with a troupe of body guards for fear of being assassinated. Talk about a neurotic fool.

    March 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. McGee

    I wonder if he ever called George "I need ANOTHER vacation" Bush lazy.

    March 6, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. dave

    "I'm the best. Nobody knows anything except for me, and I know everything. The general public doesn't dismiss my network as a joke, and everyone loves me. That's why I'm so much better than everyone else! I'm not like Newt Gingrich at all; I don't spew hyperbolic rhetoric. And look, folks, I'm not even biased because I'm giving my token diss of a republican to prove I'm just a genuine rat, and not a partisan one. Again, folks, like I said, it doesn't take any effort to work in politics. Entertainment, now THAT is something that matters." – Fox CEO

    March 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. gj2001

    When losing the debate, resort to name calling and character assassination.

    March 6, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    Anyone that has watched 5 minutes of Fox News knows it's nothing but an Obama bashfest. So this is nothing new. And people that look like this joker have been calling us lazy for years.

    I was just reading the Harlem Shake thread.
    Once again republicans are behind the times. The Harlem Shake is NOT a new craze, it has been around for close to 15 to 20 years now.

    March 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    A recent FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) study concluded that faux noise viewers are less-informed than people who claim to watch NO NEWS AT ALL!

    March 6, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Brian

    Lazy is running a "news" network that consistently displays incorrect data and reports that are not based on facts. I'll say it, that the "Greatest Generation" has just grown very old and bitter and hateful.

    March 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. A Little Common Sense

    Funny how according to Ailes Obama is lazy, when according to Fox News, each day he's apparently doing something new that will cause the sky to fall and destroy America. That doesn't sound all that lazy to me. So which is it? Is he lazy or constantly working to destroy the fabric of American society as they so often claim when doing their saber rattling on Foxpublican News?

    March 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Malory Archer

    A recent FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) study concluded that faux noise viewers are less-informed than people who claim to watch NO NEWS AT ALL!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    My mistake – it was a businessinsider.com study.

    March 6, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
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