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

Schneider: Obama gives tough answer to CNN

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. js007

    Perhaps the president remembers the absence of questions about the Iraq war BEFORE the war, or maybe the fact that Dick Cheney went on "State of the Union" and basically spewed his propaganda and lies without being challenged, or maybe he thinks the better question would be what will you do so this kind of corporate theft doesn't happen again? CNN, we need to drop the small-minded paranoia and start focusing on the real, big picture issues.

    March 24, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. Joan

    Don't read something into Obama's response that simply wasn't there. I don't think Obama thought that the question was impertinent at all. I think Obama simply responded truthfully.

    Obama has often been criticized for not responding immediately. His response that he wants to get the facts before responding is frankly refreshing. There's no reason why our President should feel compelled to rush into an answer about an issue for which he needs to gather information.

    It's more important for Obama to be RIGHT than for him to be QUICK on the draw!

    March 24, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. xddy4u

    This News Conference could be called, "Gottcha". That's what all the questions asked him were trying to do. As usual, Obama knocked everyone of them out the park.

    March 24, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  4. SP

    "I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak" is what Obama said, Bill Schneider. Don't put quotation marks around something he didn't say just because he put Ed Henry in his place.

    March 24, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. Political Actor

    Bill Bennett may have wanted to go home, and Ed Henry certainly looked like he wanted to go home; Obama looked like he thought Ed Henry was an idiot, and for good reason. Gone are the Bush years when the President makes a decision from the gut immediately and refuses to change it no matter what information comes to light; Obama understands the concept of intelligent, informed decision-making.

    March 24, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  6. JJ

    I do agree with the way the president answered that question. It's true he took him time to think carefully before he speaks out. At the other hand I think the journalist was so rude toward the president. Please folks give the president a break. The journalist was insolent and ridiculous.

    March 24, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  7. Deborah

    The President did an excellent job on his speech this evening he is very versatile and addresses each question with perfect knowledge and understanding that we The USA is in a very critical crisis at this moment we all should take a moment an reflect on where were we before Obama had been elected President No Need For The Blame Game let's just be patient buckle Up and Trust The Process Let Change Take Time To Change Mr President You Are Doing A Wonderful Job My wallet may be thin now ,but with patience I Know I will see the Change put back in my wallet Good Luck Mr President

    March 24, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. michael, Wa

    So when there is an emergency and he doesn't have all the facts you can expect to wait a few days for him to say anything. So during 9/11 if he waas president you could have expected him to wait a few days to say much less do anything.

    March 24, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. Jason

    Frankly i have found Ed Henry disrepectful in his role as White House Correspondent for. He always poses his questions in "gotcha" format. I am for tough questions, but with a little repect.
    Disappointing CNN

    March 24, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. FLJ

    I think he has a right to think first. I guess we have bigger things to worry about then then AIG bonus. The are an obstranction anyway. We talk about 1 trillion dollar and then he should worry about 160 million dollar?
    Not that this is o.k. – it is just a minor, which politicians just dion't think about before the releases money which wasn't their own.
    Actually I blame most of the financial issues on the media, becausee they overwhelm us with information, which – now proven – nobody understands.

    March 24, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  11. Jim

    Is Ed upset because he didn't get the answer that he wanted? I believe it was a pretty straight forward answer. The NY AG has plenty of time to research that one situation. I'm sure the Whitehouse needed the time to investigate for itself and guage the depth of the problem before they could make an accurate statement about it. The Whitehouse has a few other situations that need attention also. Do they really need to make minute by minute statements of everything that they are currently doing? I think this president has been much more in touch with the people up to this point. Yet, Ed wants more.

    March 24, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. Maria

    I thought that President Obama answered that question great! He said he wanted to know everything about AIG's bonus problems before putting out any information. In other words check facts first before spreading rumors to the public.

    March 24, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. MAS1916

    How dare CNN question the Chosen One??? This was the only challenging question in the entire performance.

    In an event devoid of questions that would even approach the difficult level, Obama was allowed to present his standard answers – unchallenged – in what was a boring and uninformative press conference.

    Obama and his team set up the AIG mess by first arranging for the language permitting the bonuses to be added in the Dodd amendment to the Stimulus Bill. Then by putting their performance outrage in high gear over AIG, the President exposed his hypocrisy. How dare CNN point this out?

    March 24, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. samwyzze

    Good on President Obama!
    Unlike whats-his-name, who never thought about what he said, and probably didn't understand what he was saying anyway, and unlike ronnie who just read his cue cards, we finally have a President who thinks about what he is doing and what he wants to say.
    As for little billy bennett, he just repeats the same old pap over and over and over again.
    You tell 'em Mr. Obama! Right on!

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  15. Lilly Rose

    I saw President Obama answer that question, and it was wonderful. Finally, a President who thinks before he speaks. Ed Henry, who petulant when he was asking the question, looked totally chastened when President Obama answered it. Good job, Mr. President!

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  16. Allen

    The President gave honest, thoughful, and insightful answers to all the questions. He demonstrated that his goal has not deviated from his campaign promises of getting American economy out of the ditch. I see where some members of the media are patting themselves on the backk for asking him the tough questions. While I agree that this is what the media should be doing, however, where were all these media types and the pundits during the last administration? They all slept at the switch. They allowed the Bush/Cheney team to bowl them over into talking us to go to an unnecessary war.

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. rufus johnson

    Bill Bennett observations of the president are always negative. What serious person pays any attention to what he has to say. I guess there are other nuts out there(enjoy him constantly bashing the president) trying to always score political points. Enough of him,send him back to the good old conservative junkyard.

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. joseph

    I did not vote for Obama, however I am behind him. If I had known he was going to be this on point on the issues I would have voted for him. Thanks for the forum! Keep truckin' Obama team! Good work!

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Jan Hangland

    Ed Henry appeared more angry than questioning. His repeat questioning to President Obama about why he didn't show outrage over AIG sooner seemed more an accusation than a question. It was tiresome for me to hear, and I thought the President held his temper
    rather well.
    Mr. Henry was out for blood, not information.

    March 24, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  20. Roger from CA

    Whoa!! Serious violation of "don't make yourself the story" rule of reporting!! It was the umpteenth time he's been asked about his outrage over the AIG bonuses. At the end of the day, while it is an issue that causes a visceral reaction in the public, it is a tiny drop in the bucket of the greater financial mess.

    To Bill Bennett and other frothing-at-the-mouth conservatives just aching to end Obama's popularity as soon as possible: you have a right to your opinions as to the issues. You must NOT, however, take shots aimed at scoring short-term political points at the risk of the country's greater well being. If Obama fails, we all fail. It would be an unhappy thing.

    March 24, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  21. brian

    Wow bill bennet didn't think the president did a good job.Shocking!! How does it go unchallenged that Obama wanted to go home after Ed Henry's question. Obama actually speaks to the american people, and as one citizen I find it refreshing, but I must say, I can see why some presidents dont want to do press conferences when you have a media, according to an article in politico today, "war-gaming" their questions.

    March 24, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. Ms Russell

    Whatever CNN!

    Ed Henry is such a rookie and it's so obvious. Even when he asks pertinent questions, he has that surprised glib look on his face.... as if he's thinking, "Hey. That WAS a good one."

    And you quote Bill Bennett. Is that the best you have? He's such a rogue republican, everyone knows his opinion is slanted.

    March 24, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  23. yasmine

    CNN loves to beat that horse don't they... Ed Henry knows that CNN has sketched out the reminder of the week about AIG so his mission was the beat the AIG horse...

    loved president Obama's response...

    move on CNN... yes the American people are outraged at AIG but you are reporting it from the wrong angle... stop attacking the president about AIG and start having responsible reporting about FIXING the problem for the future

    March 24, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. gio

    Yes indeed, he better go home , straight ! after that. I hope he thought hard about it when he asked that question coz now you got a THINKING ! President, you got that !.

    March 24, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. MLH

    I don't think it was such a tough answer. Ed Henry has already established a history of asking stupid questions, and maybe the President is tired of them. He answered it, he answered it fairly and it seems a reasonable answer. He probably is tired of the 'news' channels not doing a better job of explaining that businesses have contracts with upper level employees that generally have to be honored unless the business wants to be taken to court over contractual disputes.

    March 24, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
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