MSNBC Contributor on Obama's Low Approval Rating: 'Polls Are for Strippers'

Would liberal journalist Karen Hunter have whitewashed President Bush's low approval ratings during his time in office? On MSNBC Wednesday, the ever-classy Hunter curtly dismissed President Obama's lowest approval rating to date, growling that "polls are for strippers."

MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing highlighted a new Quinnipiac poll recording Obama's approval rating at 42 percent, an all-time low for the president. She brought on Hunter, who was listed as an MSNBC contributor, along with another more conservative guest to discuss the ratings.

Hunter argued that the populace can be quite fickle in its rating of Obama's accomplishments. "If people do their homework," Hunter noted, they would recognize the magnitude of the president's accomplishments in office, which she believed to have been the most since FDR.

Jansing backed Hunter up.

(Video after the jump.)

"Come on, you know how we are. We're all ADD, and we're 'what have you done for me lately?'" Jansing quipped, criticizing the impatience of the American people.

Hunter praised the President for making principled decisions that are unpopular, such as his policy for intervening in Libya. "I think our policy has been to help...spread democracy throughout the Middle East. And that's happening," Hunter explained.  

"It's easy to say something today until you're actually faced with the reality, and I think this President has been very thoughtful in doing things to help us dealing with the reality, not with what we want him to do," Hunter concluded.

Such a staunch defense of Obama can be considered par-for-the-course for Hunter, though. Last summer she bizarrely complained that liberals suffered from "Post Traumatic First African-American President Syndrome."

"We're not giving this man an opportunity to really – we keep hitting him with all of these things, but the reality is he's done more in two years than any other president since 1930," she insisted.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 30 at 10:17 a.m. EDT, is as follows:

CHRIS JANSING: President Obama's approval rating is now at an all-time low in a new Quinnipiac poll. Libya, the economy, and the budget deficit apparently have a lot to do with it. His approval rating has dropped to 42 percent. 48 percent disapprove. By a large majority, 58 to 29 percent say the President has not clearly stated the U.S. goals in Libya.


Let me throw a couple of other numbers out there. 50 percent say the President does not deserve to be re-elected, but maybe this is the most crucial number of all – his approval among independent voters, Karen, just 39 percent. What's your take on that?

KAREN HUNTER, MSNBC contributor: Polls are for strippers, Chris.

CHRIS JANSING: Oh, my. How long did you work on that line?

HUNTER: We should not – I've been thinking about this all morning. Well we should not be governed by what people think in a slice of time, in a moment in time. I mean, we have to take collectively what this President has done over the last two years, and if people do their homework, they'll find out that Barack Obama has done more than any president since FDR to help –

JANSING: Come on, you know how we are. We're all ADD --

HUNTER: We're fair-weather.

JANSING: And we're "what have you done for me lately?"

HUNTER: Exactly! And that's why I think that this has got to be a long-term approach to looking at the President. We can't stick our finger in our mouths and check the wind to see which way he should go. And thank goodness he's not governing based on the polls. He's governing based on what's best for America, and making decisions that are right for us.

JANSING: Is she right about that, Mark?


JANSING: An overwhelming 74 percent of this poll say they're concerned the U.S. will get embroiled in a long-term military conflict in Libya. And there is concern that if the President decides to arm the rebels, what it will do, Karen, is to draw U.S. involvement. So, does this say "Step back"?

HUNTER: Again, I think our policy has been to help spread democracy throughout – and I think we forget that – spread democracy throughout the Middle East. And that's happening. And, you know, the President took the right steps. He involved the U.N. He has a nice coalition. We're not going "cowboy" in there, you know, willy-nilly, trying to, you know –

JANSING: But he also said that this was going to be limited. And I guess it depends on what your – he said days, not weeks.

HUNTER: Right, and – and hopefully he will hold to that. But again, you don't know a situation until you get into it. And it's easy to say something today until you're actually faced with the reality, and I think this President has been very thoughtful in doing things to help us dealing with the reality, not with what we want him to do.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014