President Barack Obama acted beneath his office when he decided against delaying a speech attacking Republicans on the economy while the Navy Yard shooting was still unfolding just blocks away, says Weekly Standard
columnist Stephen Hayes.
At times of crisis, the nation looks to the president to be a leader, regardless of political party or ideology, Hayes said during a panel discussion on Fox News Channel's "Special Report" on Monday. Instead, Hayes said, Obama offered recycled charges.
"It suggests to me that he holds himself, obviously, in very high regard" to think the public would care about what he had to say about the economy at such a time, Hayes said. "It just seems so small and so petty and so beneath the office of the president."
Columnist Charles Krauthammer said the speech could have waited a day. But White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said earlier that the administration never considered not making the speech.
Mara Liasson of NPR wondered whether the White House might be having second thoughts about that decision.
"The tone was a little off for a day like today," she said. "And also, nobody was listening."
Fox News' Britt Hume agreed. All three major cable news networks dumped out of the speech early, he noted.
"He was talking to CSPAN and people online," Hume said. That was probably a blessing for him, he added.
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