NPR Finds GOP Pundit Steve Schmidt To Call Critics of Hillary Stonewalling 'Ludicrous'

On Wednesday’s Morning Edition, NPR reporter Tamara Keith claimed the media-questions-to-Hillary count is 13. “And you can quibble about whether some of the answers were really answers,” she added.

But what stuck out in the story was failed 2008 McCain-boosting (and Palin-trashing) Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, arguing it’s “ludicrous” that any voter really cares that Hillary won’t talk to anyone in the media:

TAMARA KEITH: But will avoiding reporter questions hurt her with voters?

STEVE SCHMIDT: The premise of your question presupposes that the way that Hillary Clinton needs to reach voters is through the national media. And that's simply not the case anymore.

TAMARA KEITH: Steve Schmidt is a Republican strategist. He says a campaign as sophisticated as Clinton's can bypass the media filter and target voters directly.

STEVE SCHMIDT: The notion that real voters worried about real issues cares one whit about how often a presidential candidate talks to their traveling press corps or answers questions from them is just ludicrous. It's not the case.

This is the same Steve Schmidt who assented to putting Sarah Palin into a long interview with Katie Couric. After it bombed and McCain-Palin lost, Schmidt went on 60 Minutes on January 10, 2010 and blamed Palin (not Couric) for what happened in the hardball interview:

ANDERSON COOPER (voiceover): In her book, Palin accuses CBS News of editing the interview to make her look bad. But Steve Schmidt told us Palin did poorly because she didn`t do her homework.

STEVE SCHMIDT: I made the case to her that in my view, the reason that that interview was a failure was because she did not prepare for it. She was focused that morning on answering ten written questions from a small newspaper in Alaska called the Matsu Valley Frontiersman.

COOPER: She thought Katie Couric was kind of going for "gotcha" questions.

SCHMIDT: I don`t think that Katie Couric asked a single unfair question in that interview.

Schmidt had nothing to say about how Couric gave Joe Biden a much softer interview, as she told viewers "Relating to the fears of the average American is one of Biden's strong suits."

He did go on to say it was "fair criticism" to suggest that Palin had a serious problem with inaccuracy and truth-mangling. He didn't say anything like that about Hillary on NPR. Schmidt knows how to behave when he does the liberal-media interviews. He's a Republican In Name Only in those venues.

PS: On Monday night, on MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Schmidt seemed more impressed with Elizabeth Warren than with critics of Hillary’s press stonewalling:

SCHMIDT: I think, Lawrence, specifically with regard to Elizabeth Warren, you see her emerging as a titanic figure on the Democratic left in the Democratic Party. And I think warrenism is going to be something that we`ll see whether it`s Martin O`Malley, whether it`s Bernie Sanders. But someone is going to be a champion of warrenism against the centrism of Hillary Clinton and clintonomics over the course of the Democratic primary.

To be fair, Schmidt also praised Megyn Kelly in that MSNBC segment in regards to Jeb Bush's Iraq bumbles: “I think this is a big moment, and all these Republican candidates are going to be interviewed by Megyn Kelly, and I think this interview demonstrates they better have their A-game when they go sit down with her.Because she makes news every time she interviews a Republican heavyweight."

But Hillary doesn’t need an A-game? Because she’ll never have to go on Megyn Kelly’s show? Or anyone else’s for that matter?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis