Appearing on Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier on Wednesday, Brit Hume blasted President Obama’s Iran speech in which the president compared Iranian leaders who chant “death to America” to Republicans in Congress who appose the nuclear deal.
Hume condemned Obama’s speech and called it “so characteristic of him. It was dishonest. It was partisan. And in the end it was insulting.”
The Fox News contributor emphatically rejected the president’s comparison between the Iranian hardliners and those in Congress because “[t]he problem with that is, among the people calling crying “death to America” are the leaders of the country. It’s not as if there’s just some minority rabble in Iran that cries “death to America.” The very leaders do. The very people he just made a deal with do that.
The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes was just as harsh in his assessment of Obama’s speech and called it “the worst speech of the Obama presidency, and one of the most un- presidential speeches I’ve heard in recent memory.” Hayes went on to agree with Hume that it was the leadership in Iran who chant “death to America” and for Obama to align Republicans with such rhetoric was “insulting and it’s dangerous.”
See relevant transcript below.
Fox News’ Special Report with Bret Baier
August 5, 2015
BRET BAIER: So “death to America” Brit, common cause with the Republican caucus.
BRIT HUME: The problem with that is, among the people calling crying “death to America” are the leaders of the country. It’s not as if there’s just some minority rabble in Iran that cries “death to America.” The very leaders do. The very people he just made a deal with do that. So that entire speech of the president was so characteristic of him. It was dishonest. It was partisan. And in the end it was insulting.
BAIER: Kirsten, he’s trying to rally the base to try to get this thing through Congress. Is that way to do it?
KIRSTEN POWERS: I have to agree respectfully with Brit. I thought it was a masterful speech. It was a quite an excellent speech.
HUME: You mean disagree.
POWERS: Did I say disagree? I meant disagree with you, sorry. I disagree without. I always like to agree with you. I thought it was masterful. I thought he really laid out the case. I thought that he made a lot of good points in explaining the importance of diplomacy and how diplomacy has been used in the past.
BAIER: Even with the attack on Republicans?
POWERS: If I could strike one thing from the speech it would be that. But otherwise I think the speech was really well done and I think made a really excellent case for the deal with Iran and for the historical view of let’s use diplomacy and not use military force to resolve our problems.
BAIER: Shaking your head?
STEVE HAYES: I’m sorry. It not only wasn’t a good speech, I think it was the worst speech of the Obama presidency, and one of the most un- presidential speeches I’ve heard in recent memory. The president, beyond his sort of partisan attacks which we’ve grown accustomed to, beyond his misleading claims about Republicans, he seemed to be creating this fantasy world that he’s living in with respect to the Iranian leaders. I mean, Brit is exactly right. It’s the leadership. They are sometimes literally leading the chant of “death to America.” You can’t separate that.
At another point the president said I recognize that resorting to force may come from the behavior and rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. Rhetoric and behavior doesn’t emanate from parts of Iran. It comes directly from the leaders of Iran. And that rhetoric and that behavior has meaning. They’ve been targeting Americans for the past two decades, longer still. The rhetoric actually matters. What they’re saying they’re saying for a reason. And for the president to pretend otherwise, that this is just sort of emanating in the passive voice, I think is insulting and it’s dangerous.