Then and now: Bush 2004 ad vs. Obama 2012 ad
Is there a media double standard?
- Duration 9:32
- Date May 2, 2012
Is there a media double standard?
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This transcript is automatically generated
Back -- to one of our top stories today President Obama used last -- speech from Afghanistan to again mention.
Osama bin Laden's death it was given on the one year anniversary.
Of his killing.
That's in a week where questions are coming up about how that event is playing in his reelection campaign.
Remember back in 2004 when president George W.
Bush used a shot of the Twin Towers wreckage.
-- campaign -- there was an instant media outcry and it wasn't just the media.
Dan rather said quote political opponents 9/11 families and others are accusing the president of doing something he insisted he would never do.
Exploit a national tragedy for political gain.
NBC's David Gregory saying quote not the first time Mr.
Bush has been accused of using the 9/11 attack for political gain.
And ABC's Peter Jennings at the time quote presidential politics and national tragedy a legitimate part of the record or exploitation.
All popular MSNBC -- simply asked is bush exploiting 9/11.
So where are those voices now when it comes to bin Laden.
And his execution being used in a presidential reelection had.
We wanted to put that question to some members of the bush team.
Joining me now Dana Perino former white house Press Secretary under president George W.
Bush and co host of the five right here on -- and seek.
-- -- former bush speechwriter.
And black Bradley -- former deputy assistant to president George W.
Bush count thank you so much for all coming back and being with us here thank you Dana you know.
When President Bush ran that ad it was a it was and it appeared in a couple of us seconds of yet.
He was excoriated on 9/11 family -- reps at but the media really took him to task.
President Obama has gotten some push back this week how does it compare.
I -- thinking about this programming and in some ways maybe that ad in 2004 because it had been the first it was the first presidential election since 9/11.
And it -- the war on terror was relatively new to the country after those attacks.
Maybe that was why it was then considered so outrageous by stop.
On the other hand you could say this happened it happened on my watch.
That's -- it absolutely changed the presidency.
If you if you look at what he campaign on 2000 it -- to do anything of the sort -- -- -- nor Al Gore.
We're ever asked a question about al-Qaeda during an entire campaign.
Fast forward into any twelve and what are going through now perhaps it's if I'm being generous census is you more sensitized.
To put us -- the politics of the war on terror I do think that had President Obama just gone to Afghanistan given that good speech that he gave last night and not done the ad suggesting that Romney would not have done the same thing.
If we probably wouldn't even be having this panel today mark you think that the -- ironically the president in making this ad.
Has opened himself up to criticism.
When it comes to his policies putt -- -- end to his criticism of policies.
That -- offered.
Former -- Sure absolutely well -- But Obama has adopted so much of the bush counterterrorism strategy that I suppose is only a matter of time before he started referring to himself as a decider in chief.
But the but did -- if he wants to make presidential decision making an issue he's opening -- -- -- up to attack.
Because the wanna -- first decision that he made as commander in chief on a second day in office.
Was to shut down the CIA interrogation program which we now know based on now Jose Rodriguez the former CI -- counterterrorism official and Mike Hayden the former CIA director.
Have all said.
Produce the intelligence that led to the raid that today let us to a -- a -- -- So Mitt Romney can very easily turn around and say.
President I give you full credit for for making the decision to go after O'Sullivan a lot and Jimmy Carter -- -- on the same thing.
But if you had been the decider in chief and we captured Khalid Sheikh Mohamed Hassan -- -- these other terrorists there might have been no intelligence frosted that would have let us there.
So I think he needs to be careful because he really does opens up up to attack.
-- do you think it's is it fair game I mean putting putting the killing of bin -- -- In a political -- and then taking the additional step of suggesting Mitt Romney would not have given that the kill order.
Actually nodded and I -- nine elevenths family Victor victimized.
Nephew was killed -- -- -- first responder in the attacks on the World Trade Center and I have I was had no problem at all.
With President Bush reference and -- in his head.
Because it was the single act on 9/11 it was multiple acts and it was -- leadership following nine elevenths.
Where -- whether -- regard to creating Homeland Security Patriot Act eyes act.
It was an act of leadership now let me say this about the killing of Osama bin Laden Republicans Democrats America.
Rejoice in the fact that our president gave that command.
And having said that the American people have to realize where the president was.
When the attack was going -- he was playing golf.
At Edwards Air Force Base -- was called back to the White House while the attack was under way -- if you look at the official photo released by the White House but.
-- releasing the photo it was the White House's own photo historic photo marking this president's.
-- great act of killing Osama bin Laden he looks like he's late to a movie.
-- -- sitting in the president's command and control -- in the situation room in general is sitting in the president's chair he's sitting in his golf clothes off to the side.
Like you just come in which he did.
From the golf course so the fact is this is a matter of leadership the president wants to make the American people believe he's John Wayne what he's really Barney -- And end all his actions.
That he's trying to spin now have to be taken in the full context of the president what he did when he did it and the purposes which is now trying to exploit.
Dana you know that they're -- the president that you worked for was criticized for being a cowboys right and that term was that cowboy diplomacy -- on -- Do you think if he would run an ad like this he would have gotten a different different pushed back from the mainstream media and others.
Absolutely and rightly saw.
But he didn't let.
If you have the reputation of being a cowboy.
Then when you make decisions are you cut as your presidential election campaign you have to think a cable what -- the reaction be in that light.
I don't know if the Obama campaign actually did that when they find when they added that he acts I don't think Romney would have done that that was the insinuation.
If they would have just left it as this happened praised the seals.
I'm done that they -- we -- -- -- we wouldn't have a question of him politicizing it I do think I'm not one other thing.
Last Tuesday night when Mitt Romney gave his acceptance speech basically up when he had that spot five primaries.
He had one line and it was.
It's still the economy and we are not stupid I think -- discussion about national security is interesting for this week it's happening on.
The appropriate day when Osama bin Laden was killed.
On an anniversary but come November at this still elections still be about the economy unless something else happens.
And -- hope that it doesn't mark is is the year near.
Friend and colleague Brad tell us before the show that he knew he believes that this -- and this is a distraction that President Abbas.
You know went to Afghanistan not necessarily.
You know because it's the anniversary but because he needed he needed the new cycle to change.
Given what we've seen domestically.
-- I'll respectfully disagree with -- -- -- I mean I think that the fact that President Obama went to Afghanistan to give the speech was a very good thing.
This the fact is one of the reasons that popular support for the war in Afghanistan has been plummeting.
-- because the president has not been doing his job as commander in chief which is to report regularly to the American people and Brad and then I know this that we were given this tasked by President Bush.
You repeat here he is to report regularly to the American people on our progress.
To explain our strategy explain the consequences of failure and ask for the American people support and Obama has not been doing that's of the fact that he went to Afghanistan.
And did that last -- yesterday is a good thing however.
The message that he gave.
Was that day it was not every day was not about winning -- war it was about ending the war it was not about defeating the Taliban it was about negotiating with the Taliban and so I I would criticize him more for the for the weakness of the message and the fact that he finally.
Got on television and gave a primetime address the American people about the consequences and Afghanistan.
And -- last question is to you and that is do you run a risk Republicans in criticizing President Obama for you know just make it into the situation room and not.
Really being behind the decision and he made it you made the decision and that I -- that he -- but are you -- into a trap.
That that will be used against you in other Republicans -- one giving him credit for taking up in lot.
We do give him credit and we gave him credit at a time rejoice in the fact that he made a good decision and an opportunistic decision to get him.
We applaud him it's a problem of what he did after that decision which he which he -- score -- President Bush.
When President Bush made reference.
To his achievements during the war on terror and that this president -- -- exploited the fact is that he met with our troops.
Only because he had to come on it between GSA.
And insulin draw and the Secret Service scandal unemployment.
-- -- -- Bad news this -- would have any news at all he needed to change the subject that's what he did I think if you give a fair reading to his speech he used our troops for political speech.
For his own political benefit.
And that's why I call him out and I say it's shameless to do that.
We're gonna have you back straight at you and mark debate in and -- -- gonna play the -- a Democrat I fabric and our next panel it isn't isn't here in the book form of -- administration officials on you know.
Well how they think the events are going and we appreciate operate you've -- and you think that's.