March 6th, 2013
11:14 AM ET
10 years 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. A Little Common Sense

    Ed, if this is "the truth", I guess you must hate all the lies on Fox News and the ones coming out of the Republican party. They're constantly saying he's working tirelessly, day and night, to destroy America and it's social fabric. Surely if you believe he's so lazy, you can't believe he's working so hard at the same time.

    That is unless you want to believe contradictory negative ideas because you'll stop at nothing, even in the face of common sense, to bash the POTUS

    March 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Patriot and American

    Wow. Really? This rather unfit fellow should choose his words with more thoughtfulness. The fact that Ailes is willing to go to the laziest accusation one can offer of any person reveals his own laziness. Running a media organization that routinely 'makes up' the facts to suit their grotesquely skewed point of view is rather lazy as well. Supporting a Conservative arm of Congress who chooses to do nothing – is a lazy man endorsing a lazy organization. I wish Fox, and the Cons and all of them would stop being so darn lazy, and actually use some aspect of intelligence, vision and compromise to actually help the President lead. But why would he or they? Because they are LAZY.

    March 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. ray

    hi white people it hurts you racists on the right so much to have a black president, face the fact. the things which have been said about this president and which are still been said and which will continue to be said will go down in the history books . its a sad day when white people cannot accept the facts that all men are created equal. YOU PEOPLE CALLS YOURSELVES GOD S PEOPLE?????????????????????????????/////

    March 6, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Roger Ailes got his political start by crawling up Richard Nixon's anus while he was a producer on the Mike Douglas show in the 60's. Nixon liked it so much he saw to it that this bright, young boy had a future in the Republican party. What a pathetic creep this guy really is!

    March 6, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. us_1776

    Aisles looks like Jabba the Hutt.

    And he is as dumb as an ashtray.


    March 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Swampy79

    Lazy?'re not even willing to write your own biography!

    March 6, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. BK

    Fox News isn't journalism, they are just a tea-party propaganda machine.

    March 6, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    This man made millions going after Bill and Hillary Clinton. As did Hannity, O'Reilly, (Limbaugh), and all the rest of the FOX and Friends gang. And they all probably voted for Obama - not once, but twice - if only to keep their cash flow coming in for the next four years.

    After a while, you'd think their followers would understand that the garbage they spew over at FOX is nothing more than a money making machine geared up for the benefit of Ailes and his stooges, but certainly not for America and definitely not for the betterment of the fools who sit and eat this garbage up day after day.

    Want to know what happen to the Grand Old Party? Spend a few hours watching FOX. These are the fools running the Grand Old Party into the ditch right along with the lobbyists who own Congress.

    March 6, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. ART

    Roger Ailes the fattest laziest human being on the planet

    March 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Bill

    How can his news agency be fair and balanced when he is not? Hmmmm?

    March 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. JIM M

    Fair & balanced, huh?

    March 6, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. brotherkenny

    The guy looks like he has never done a lick of work in his life. That's what Carl Rove will look like in a few years. Yes, that's right, like a closeted righ wing nut with no real working experience and who is under the influence of his Saudi investers to destroy all opposition to alternatives to oil.

    March 6, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Not right

    So if you earn money in the public sector you're lazy. I guess i'll be sure to let my local police and fire fighters know that they are lazy. Oh and don't forget about those lazy teachers who teach our kids.

    March 6, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. LazyButKickedAss

    A lazy guy pummeled Mitt Romney, the 'best' of the GOP! Nice, a lazy but not dumb prez! 🙂

    March 6, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Proud Progressive

    The most laziest president of all time. He is nothing but a narcissist.

    Hey Bob... "Most Laziest"? Really?

    March 6, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. us_1776

    Fox News = BIGGEST LOSERS !!


    March 6, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. gregory21

    ailes is another trump blow hart. Who cares about his oppinion and crappy news station.

    March 6, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. fiftyfive55

    One thing I think is true, both parties only care for what's good for themselves and basically shut out anybody who disagrees. A refreshing change would be a party who bases decisions on ALL the people and not just select groups.

    March 6, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    This man is a stereotypical racist. Its what conservatives in this country have traditionally used to depict African-Americans as shiftless and worthless. When you're black and poor in America you're considered shiftless and lady. If you cross your bounds and break the law, rightfully you're considered a criminal. But you play by the traditional rules, stay in school and get an education and defy the odds and become a person of stature or a model citizen like Ambassador to the UN or Attorney General, or President and First Lady of the United States of American and all of a sudden, to conservatives you're a bum and you're lady. As they say, damn if you do, damn if you don't. But never mind though, as a people African-Americans will continue to forge ahead no matter what the haters say or do.

    March 6, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. namethename

    I agree with him

    March 6, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. jnpa

    I'm not surprised. The republicans are well known for calling people names.

    March 6, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  22. Abbey

    Nice........just look at all the Obama drones with twisted panty syndrome today. Geez these individuals are really thin skinned.

    March 6, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Kathy

    If they would talk about facts, maybe Fox news wouldn't be losing viewers.

    March 6, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  24. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    The overweight, ugly, old "chief" of Faux New Channel is talking about our President being lazy? Wow! Does anyone from Faux News Disaster have a mirror or a brain?

    March 6, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. JJ

    Obama is the most radical, destructive and worst President in history. He is arrogant, a pot head, lazy (only works 10am to 4pm) incompetent, lawless, a fraud, never had a real job, aloof and a COMMUNIST. Obama and the Democrat party are continuing to destroy the great US economy. In four years they have; deficit spent $6.5 trillion (most of any Pres.) with nothing to show for it, increased national debt to $16.5 trillion and counting, real unemployment rate of 15%, no job growth, 8.5 million lost jobs, 24 million underemployed, black/hispanic unemployment over 30%, hate oil/coal industries, fossil fuels, military, private sector, success, constitution, right to bear arms, over 1,808 soldiers killed in Iraq/Afgn since Obama became Pres., one in six people in poverty (highest ever), stole $716 billion in Medicare benefits from seniors to fund Obamacare, wasted billions of taxpayer funds on scam clean energy deals like Solyndra and Ener1 to campaign donors, disastrous Obamacare has already raised health rates 50%, is largest tax increase in history and now costs $2.8 trillion, foreign policy of cowardice and appeasement, supports worst Ex Sec. of State in history, Hillary Clinton, who is responsible for the murder of Libyan ambassador and three staffers in Benghazi, supports worst AG in history Eric Holder, who is responsible for killing a border agent, 49 million on food stamps and increased business killing govt regulation/employment more than any other Pres. Obama should be impeached.

    March 6, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20