Tag Archives: Chris Wallace

Let’s call him ‘Slippery Mitch’

In the spirit of Donald J. Trump’s knack for attaching pejorative nicknames on certain politicians, I want to hang a label on the U.S. Senate majority leader.

Let’s call him “Slippery Mitch” McConnell.

Oh, my. The fellow is hard to pin down, no matter how direct the questioning becomes. Consider what happened this morning on “Fox News Sunday.”

The program moderator Chris Wallace sought to ask McConnell whether the Senate would consider a U.S. Supreme Court nomination in 2020 if one were to become available. Why did Wallace pose the question? Because McConnell blocked then-President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

McConnell said the president shouldn’t be allowed to pick a justice in an election year. He prevented Garland from getting a hearing before the Senate.

But, Wallace wondered … what about 2020, when we’ll have another presidential election?

McConnell wouldn’t answer Wallace’s direct question, which was whether he would proceed with a confirmation process if Donald Trump nominated someone in 2020. McConnell then tossed out the notion that he blocked Obama’s nomination of Garland on the fact that the Senate was led by a party that differed from the president.

Wallace picked up on McConnell’s change of motivation and wanted to know if that rule still applied, given that both the Senate and the presidency could be controlled by Republicans.

McConnell still refused to answer the question, casting it as a hypothetical.

Wallace grills McConnell

And … so it goes on and on.

None of this is a surprise. Politicians by their nature are prone to slip and slide away from direct questions … which I reckon explains why the media and others are so quick to praise those rare politicians who are willing to speak directly and candidly.

“Slippery Mitch” McConnell has shown just how elusive an experienced pol can become.

‘What wars have we started?’

Allow me to throw a bouquet at Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” who this morning asked national security adviser John Bolton a most pertinent question.

“What wars have we (the media) started,” Wallace asked Bolton, who — quite expectedly — dodged the question, avoided giving a direct answer.

The question came from a tweet fired off this morning by Donald J. Trump, who said the following:

The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!

The danger and sickness, allow me to respond, are coming from the president of the United States, whose Twitter messages are sounding increasingly hysterical and detached from reality.

According to The Hill: “That’s the president’s view, based on the attacks the media has made,” Bolton responded, citing past administrations that have clashed with the media.

“I think this kind of adversarial relationship is typical,” he added.

What is not typical is for the president of the United States to accuse the media of potentially causing “war” by offering critical analysis and commentary of public policy.

Scary, man!

POTUS ‘speaks for himself’

Those who like to parse the words that come from public officials have been handed a serious bit of homework to ponder.

It comes from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who offered up a potentially provocative assertion on a Sunday news/talk show.

Tillerson was interviewed by “Fox News Sunday” moderator Chris Wallace and the discussion turned to the Charlottesville, Va., riot and Donald J. Trump’s various responses to the tragic event.

According to Politico: “Tillerson said Sunday that the nation’s commitment to combating discrimination should be without question.

“’We express America’s values from the State Department. We represent the American people, we represent America’s values, our commitment to freedom, our commitment to equal treatment of people the world over and that message has never changed,’ Tillerson said. ‘I don’t believe anyone doubts the American people’s values or the commitment of the American government or the government’s agencies to advancing those values and defending those values.’”

Wallace then asked: “And the president’s values?” To which Tillerson answered: “The president speaks for himself, Chris.”

“Are you separating yourself from that, sir?” Wallace asked.

“I’ve spoken — I’ve made my own comments as to our values as well in a speech I gave to the State Department this past week,” Tillerson said.

Well …

If I were a betting man — and if I were in the business of reading someone’s mind — I might suggest that the secretary of state has just put some distance between himself and the tirade that poured forth from the president of the United States with regard to Charlottesville.

I also might wonder if the clock has just started ticking on Tillerson’s tenure at the State Department.

Presidency full of ‘smart’ people


Donald J. Trump said he doesn’t need daily intelligence/military briefings because, “Like, I’m a smart person.”

Uh, Mr. President-elect, the office has been held by a lot of “smart” occupants, all of whom have accepted the National Security Council’s daily briefings.


Trump told Fox News’s Chris Wallace that “my generals” get daily briefings, that the vice president-elect, Mike Pence, gets them, too.

Here’s part of what he told Wallace: Trump said he gets briefings “when I need it” because “I don’t have to be told — you know, I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years. Could be eight years — but eight years. I don’t need that.”

He’s going to concentrate fully on making America “great again.”

Oh … brother.

Trump feeds conspiracy narrative


Donald J. Trump more than likely elicited cheers across the nation in the living rooms of those who believe as he does about the integrity of the national electoral process.

He did so by feeding into that hideous narrative — which he has initiated — that the presidential election is rigged against him.

Fox News’s Chris Wallace, the moderator of tonight’s third and final debate between Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton, asked him straight away: Will you accept the results of the election if voters choose Hillary Clinton?

His answer was just short of a direct “no!” He said he’ll look at it at the time. Trump, the Republican nominee, effectively admitted on national television that he doesn’t trust the system and he won’t commit to honoring the results and continuing this nation’s long tradition of promoting peaceful transition of power from one president to the next one.

My major takeaway from the debate tonight was that the GOP nominee demonstrated — yet again! — just how unfit he is for the office he is seeking.

Donald Trump is pandering to the ill-founded fears of those who have swallowed the bait he has tossed them that the system, the media, the powers that be all are conspiring to defeat him and to elect Hillary Clinton.

As the legendary TV character Army Col. Sherman T. Potter would say: mule muffins!

Finally … the end of this campaign is near


We have family members visiting us and I’m giving some semi-serious thought to having something of a tailgate party Wednesday in advance of the third — and thankfully, final — face-off between Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Donald J. Trump.

Political junkies have heard it already: The campaign is essentially over. Trump scuttled his presidential bid with that hideous recording of him talking about how he feels about women.

It’s now Clinton’s election to lose. You know, as an aside, I’ve never been comfortable with that phrase, given that I don’t really know what it means.

But the two of ’em are going to square off in the final debate. Fox News’s Chris Wallace will moderate this event. I have complete confidence in his ability to grill them with equal ferocity.

Having said something about a tailgate party, I’ll now stipulate that the end of this campaign cannot arrive soon enough.

It’s been a miserable affair.

About the only thing I’ve learned is that a once-towering American political party has nominated someone — Trump — who has proven to be totally, categorically and unequivocally unqualified to become president of the United States.

So … let’s finish it off.

What happened to Trump’s high praise for Clintons?


Many eyes will be on Chris Wallace when the two major-party candidates for president square off later this week.

The Fox News anchor will moderate the upcoming debate between Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Donald J. Trump.

I have a long list of questions that Wallace ought to ask. I know he’s likely to ask Clinton about the e-mails being leaked and whether they undermine her ethical standards. I also believe he’ll ask Trump about that “Access Hollywood” recording about the GOP nominee’s conduct with women.

But here’s a potential set of questions I hope Wallace will ask. They should go to Trump:

“Mr. Trump, you once praised Hillary Clinton as a ‘great person.’ You have played golf with her husband, the former president. You have attended parties with them. You’ve been photographed arm-in-arm with both of them.

“What changed? How did the former president and the current Democratic nominee for that office go from being friends of yours to becoming mortal political enemies?”

There’s something potentially revealing to me about Trump’s change in attitude toward the Clintons, now that he’s launched this scorched-Earth campaign against Hillary while seeking to drag Bill into the discussion over his wife’s fitness to become president.

It’s fair to wonder if Trump is nothing more than an opportunistic back-stabber. It’s also fair to ask if he schmoozed with the Clintons for self-serving purposes only. It’s also fair to wonder if he still harbors warm-and-fuzzy feelings toward them and he’s saying all these venomous things about Hillary for purely political purposes.

Trump did, after all, declare that he said those nasty things about women for “entertainment.”


How about that? POTUS admits to ‘worst’ error


I’m going to give President Obama some high praise for doing something one doesn’t often hear from people in high office.

He has acknowledged what he says is his “worst mistake.”

What’s more, he did it in a forum that is considered hostile territory.

The president appeared on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend and told host Chris Wallace the worst mistake of his presidency was failing to plan adequately for the fall of the late Libyan dictator/tyrant/despot Moammar Gadhafi.

When do presidents do such a thing? Did Richard Nixon ever say he erred by recording those conversations in the White House; has Jimmy Carter ever said his biggest mistake was ordering the mission to rescue the Iran hostages; did George W. Bush ever acknowledge the Iraq War was a mistake?

OK, so the president didn’t take the heat for the Libya mess by himself. He heaped some blame in British Prime Minister David Cameron for being distracted at the time of Gadhafi’s downfall.

I do give Obama credit, though, for admitting to a lack of planning as the world watched the chaos unfold in Libya. The so-called “Arab Spring” went into full bloom in Tripoli as rebels took over the government, captured the dictator — and then killed him.

It got worse, of course, as the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under attack and four Americans died in the melee. Perhaps some adequate planning could have forestalled that event, yes?

The president’s greatest triumph? Without question, he said, it was his decision to jump-start the economy with stimulus packages upon taking office. I won’t argue with him on that. The economy was in free-fall and something needed to be done quickly.

It might be, too, that the president deserves props for telling all this to a broadcast journalist employed by a media outlet known as being patently unfriendly to politicians of Obama’s particular leaning.

I’ll give some to him for that alone.

Sure, there can be some debate on “worst mistakes” of the Obama presidency. Some might rank his failure to act on Syria crossing the “red line” when it used chemical weapons; others might rank the president’s unfortunate description of the Islamic State as the “JV team.”

The Libya coup aftermath, though, surely ranks as a critical error.

It’s just rare to hear a politician actually admit to making such a mistake.


Stay in the debate game, Megyn Kelly


I am not one generally to speak well of the Fox News Channel.

The cable news network that keeps boasting about its “fair and balanced” approach to news reporting is neither fair or balanced, in my view. Then again, that’s likely my own bias revealing itself . . . for which I will not apologize.

I do applaud Fox, though, for standing behind its superstar news anchor/debate moderator Megyn Kelly.

Fox announced that Kelly will be co-moderator — along with fellow news anchors Chris Wallace and Bret Baier — in a Republican presidential debate scheduled for March.

Big deal? Sure. Donald J. Trump is angry with Kelly because she had the utter gall to ask him a pointed question in the network’s first debate about Trump’s comments regarding women.

He said Kelly disrespected him. I guess he wasn’t paying attention to the heavy lumber she was tossing at the other candidates as well.

Trump was so angry that he didn’t participate in the final GOP debate, also sponsored by Fox, before the Iowa caucuses. His absence from that debate might have played a role in his losing the caucus fight to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Kelly’s  role as moderator should not rest on the pique of a particular candidate who demonstrates a remarkably thin skin as he seeks to become the head of state of the world’s most powerful nation.

This Kelly-Trump feud has become the No. 1 sideshow of this Republican presidential primary campaign.

I happen to be glad that Fox is treating it that way by refusing to knuckle under to a political candidate’s demands.


Trump still in front … but only for now?

Of all the moments worth mentioning from Thursday night’s Republican Party Top 10 debate, one — in my mind — stands out dramatically.

It involves Fox News moderator Chris Wallace and, you guessed it, Donald Trump.

I give Wallace great credit for seeking a specific answer to a specific allegation that Trump has leveled at Mexico’s government, which is that the Mexican government is “sending” illegal immigrants across the border, into the United States, where they are raping and murdering Americans.

Twice last night he sought some specifics from Trump, who early in the morning after the debate remains — I’m betting — the GOP frontrunner.

When he failed to provide specifics to the first question, Wallace gave him another 30 seconds to specify what proof Trump had to back up his allegation.

Trump finally said he’d “been to the border last week” and talked to Border Patrol officers who told him “that’s what is going on down there, whether you like it or not.”

So. There you have it.

Border Patrol agents told him. That means it’s true, yes?

It was an entertaining and edifying exchange between a loudmouth entertainer seeking the presidency of the United States of America and a moderator seeking some detail in one of the more outrageous allegations that has come from a candidate’s mouth.

And yet, this guy somehow is getting away with this stuff?

I’m going to stand by my belief that Trump’s candidacy likely died when he made light of Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War record. Events such as what we heard when Chris Wallace asked him twice to provide proof of a claim that Mexico’s government is “sending” illegal immigrants into the United States only highlights Trump’s unfitness for public office.

The big question remains: When will the GOP faithful realize it, too?