CBS’s Charlie Rose to Colleague: Any ‘Second Thoughts’ Over Obama Question?

After CBS’s Major Garrett sharply questioned President Obama about the fate of four Americans held captive in Iran during Wednesday's news conference, on Thursday’s CBS This Morning, rather than defend his colleague’s tough question, co-host Charlie Rose chose to ask if he had any regrets or “second thoughts" surrounding his actions. 

While Rose made sure to tell his colleague “you’re a good reporter,” he immediately questioned Garrett for asking Obama “Can you tell the country, why you are content with all the fanfare around this deal to leave the conscience of this nation, the strength of this nation, unaccounted for in relation to these four Americans?”

The CBS co-host stressed that “all of us have asked questions that we had perhaps asked differently” to which Garrett maintained that he had no second thoughts about challenging Obama over the American prisoners:

No. Look. The position I'm in, I asked the question I asked and I can't take it back. The president believed I was suggesting he was content with the Americans’ captivity. That wasn't the basis of my question, it wasn’t my intent. What I wanted to drive at aggressively was why in a context when the president conceded many times in that press conference that choices had to be made and priorities had to be established, these four Americans were not prioritized in the context of the Iran deal. 

Rather than stick up for his colleague’s strong question about the fate of four American prisoners in Iran, Rose continued to cast doubt on the appropriateness and wondered “[d]o you believe that the president is content to leave the conscience of the nation unaccounted for?” 

Once again, the CBS reporter stood firm and stressed the importance of demanding answers from the administration: 

I don't. And the whole point of the question Charlie was why were these four Americans not accounted for in the context of negotiating a wide range of issues with the Iranians? Remember, in the final hours of this deal, the Iranians put other things on the table that hadn’t been previously discussed. The arms embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. If those could be introduced, it seems to that it’s reasonable to ask the Commandeer in Chief if other issues on the American side could have been introduced. I suggested there might have been one, the fate of four Americans. I stand by that. 

See relevant transcript below. 

CBS This Morning 

July 16, 2015

CHARLIE ROSE: Major is with us this morning now from the White House. Good morning. 

MAJOR GARRETT: Good morning, Charlie. 

ROSE: Major, you’re a good reporter and all of us have asked questions that we wish we had perhaps asked differently. Second thoughts? 

GARRETT: No. Look. The position I'm in, I asked the question I asked and I can't take it back. The president believed I was suggesting he was content with the Americans’ captivity. That wasn't the basis of my question, it wasn’t my intent. What I wanted to drive at aggressively was why in a context when the president conceded many times in that press conference that choices had to be made and priorities had to be established, these four Americans were not prioritized in the context of the Iran deal.

I believe that’s an important question on behalf of the four families and on this entire issue of hostages in general which this administration has struggled with it and personally, Charlie, I've done some soul searching about whether I've been aggressive enough as a reporter on behalf of hostages who are Americans held overseas.  

ROSE: Do you believe that the president is content to leave the conscience of the nation unaccounted for? 

GARRETT: I don't. And the whole point of the question Charlie was why were these four Americans not accounted for in the context of negotiating a wide range of issues with the Iranians? Remember, in the final hours of this deal, the Iranians put other things on the table that hadn’t been previously discussed. The arms embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles. If those could be introduced, it seems to that it’s reasonable to ask the Commandeer in Chief if other issues on the American side could have been introduced. I suggested there might have been one, the fate of four Americans. I stand by that. 

NBDaily Foreign Policy Iran CBS CBS This Morning Charlie Rose Major Garrett