Wolf Blitzer: Obama ‘Was Embarrassed of the United States in Front of the World’ after Oregon Shooting

As part of CNN’s live coverage Thursday night of the deadly community college shooting in Oregon, fill-in AC360 host Wolf Blitzer declared that President Barack Obama “was embarrassed of the United States in front of the world” when he commented on the tragedy and urged Americans to “politicize” mass shootings.

Speaking with chief political analyst Gloria Borger and senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny, Blitzer proclaimed: “Cause it was almost like, Gloria, he was embarrassed of the United States in front of the world saying every other industrialized country, every other Western country, they don't have these kinds of mass shootings every few weeks as we have here in the United States.”

Prior to Blitzer’s observation, Zeleny fretted the presidential campaigns like that of Hillary Clinton will be unable “to bring any sense to this” shooting with the President encountering “not a bipartisan spirit to do anything.” 

However, he perked up when he mentioned that he spoke with White House sources: “I talked to people in the white house tonight after that speech, I said, wow, he seems fired up and they said he is fired up. He wants to do something, so we’ll see.”

Meanwhile, Borger followed Blitzer’s declaration that the President is “embarrassed” of the country by attacking moderate Democrats: “[I]t's a geographic issue. You have Democrats who are in pro-gun states who are just not going to support the President on this. He worked really hard on this after Newtown he couldn't get it done.” 

Returning to further opine on the matter, Blitzer griped about the Second Amendment views of the Oregon sheriff overseeing the shooting investigation:

The sheriff overseeing this investigation in Oregon right now, he actually opposes, at least he's been on the record opposing legislation for background checks, which is something the President says you need to have greater background checks. It sort of under scores the opposition out there in the country to what the President is pitching. 

Zeleny also lamented about this piece of information and chalked it up to being part of “the urban and rural divide” here between those inside and outside the Washington Beltway. He also took this swipe at the sheriff: “[I]t will be interesting to see if this sheriff keeps opposing them.”

While giving a nod to the need for a tangible discussion on mental health, Zeleny nonetheless pedaled the White House line about gun control:

Of course, mental illness is at the root of this. We have these 20-year-olds, usually in 20s, these young men, same suspects time after time after time but background checks without a question most people believe would do something to solve the problems. They are buying guns, Wolf. 

The relevant portions of the transcript from CNN’s AC360 on October 1 can be found below.

CNN’s AC360
October 1, 2015
9:31 p.m. Eastern

JEFF ZELENY: I find it hard to believe a presidential campaign, unfortunately, is a way to bring any sense to this here. I mean, the reality is there's not been a willing partner this Congress, not a bipartisan spirit to do anything, certainly something like the this here, so I think it's, I hate to be scenical about this but Gloria and I have been in Washington for a long time, as have you, it's hard to imagine any shooting is horrific enough to bring anyone together on this, but this President since I talked to people in the white house tonight after that speech, I said, wow, he seems fired up and they said he is fired up. He wants to do something, so we’ll see.

WOLF BLITZER: Cause it was almost like, Gloria, he was embarrassed of the United States in front of the world saying every other industrialized country, every other Western country, they don't have these kinds of mass shootings every few weeks as we have here in the United States. 

GLORIA BORGER: Exactly Joe Biden was speaking tonight and said we're basically the only civilized country in the world with so many mass shootings and the President can say this all he wants, but as Jeff points out, it's a geographic issue. You have Democrats who are in pro-gun states who are just not going to support the President on this. He worked really hard on this after Newtown he couldn't get it done. It seems to me he has less leverage now as an out going President than he did a couple of years ago, so it, you know, I wouldn't be optimistic from this White House for getting anything done and by the way, neither are they. They understand political reality they. 

BLITZER: And the Republican majorities in the House and Senate –

BORGER: Exactly. 

ZELENY: Sure. 

BLITZER: – so that's a problem. The sheriff overseeing this investigation in Oregon right now, he actually opposes, at least he's been on the record opposing legislation for background checks, which is something the President says you need to have greater background checks. It sort of under scores the opposition out there in the country to what the President is pitching. 

ZELENY: No question about it and that sort of does explain as Gloria said the urban and rural divide here, the beltway America divide but it will be interesting to see if this sheriff keeps opposing them. If there is any – what we need here if you talk to experts is a change of minds here, people to come together here, so let's check in with that sheriff in a couple days to see if he's still opposing that. Of course, mental illness is at the root of this. We have these 20-year-olds, usually in 20s, these young men, same suspects time after time after time but background checks without a question most people believe would do something to solve the problems. They are buying guns, Wolf. 

BORGER: And you hear Republican candidates tonight saying this is about mental illness. It's not about background checks. 

ZELENY: It’s not both.

NBDaily Congress Guns Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Oregon Video Government & Press President Barack Obama President Obama Wolf Blitzer Gloria Borger Jeff Zeleny Barack Obama
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