Ex-G.W. Bush Aide: Obama Fights Fox News to Mollify Liberals

Monday, 03 Feb 2014 11:00 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Obama's aggressive push-back against Fox News host Bill O'Reilly during a pre-Super Bowl interview was simply "picking a fight" to win back a disappointed liberal base, says former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen.

Thiessen, appearing on Fox News' "The Kelly File" on Monday night, said Obama's barbed critique of Fox News was tactically smart, especially in advance of crucial midterm elections, a video of the remarks on Mediaite showed.

Thiessen said both Obama's complaint that Fox News has hounded him on "a long list of my mistakes" and a slap at Fox with a sarcastic tweet by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were aimed at the "liberal base" of the Democrats' two highest-profile figures.

Thiessen also noted that polls indicate liberal voters are disappointed with the president's administration — particularly with the Obamacare rollout.

“Picking a fight with Fox News is a great way to distract them and get them ginned up again,” Thiessen said.

He agreed that the Hillary Clinton campaign team in 2008 was grateful to Fox News for putting then-candidate Obama to the test with tough questions, but wryly noted: “That’s before she presided over the Benghazi debacle."

Thiessen has been tough on the president before.

After Obama's State of the Union Address on Jan. 28, Thiessen accused Obama of plagiarizing a speech by Thiessen's former boss.

“Did the president crib off of George W. Bush?” Kelly asked after the address, to which Thiessen replied: “It was eerily familiar."

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