As NewsBuster Brad Wilmouth has noted, over the weekend NBC News political director Chuck Todd, previewing the Saddleback forum, suggested it represented an opportunity for Obama to forestall "personal hatred" of him by evangelical Christians.
Todd has now contacted NewsBusters to express regret over his choice of words.
Todd's initial remark was made to Andrea Mitchell during a pre-game special edition of Hardball on Saturday:
CHUCK TODD: It's just not, it's just not his comfort zone. So it's a huge opportunity for Obama tonight to at least not be hated by the evange-, look, these folks are not going to ever support him. They know what kind of judges he's going to appoint. It's going to be judges that evangelicals aren't going to be happy with. But they're not going to, if they don't have a personal hatred of him, then that's a good thing for Obama.
Todd today contacted NewsBusters, acknowledging:
Clearly, I should not have used that word, but I was using it in terms of political hate, which I view as differently. But it clearly came across the wrong way. Message received.
Added Todd: "I deserve the hit. [My remark] reads awfully."
Credit Todd, whom I see as knowledgeable and fair-minded, for taking the initiative on the mea culpa.
Note: Todd's forthrightness has been well-received in the conservative blogosphere.
Patrick Hynes at Ankle Biting Pundits: "Apology accepted. Issue over. Why can’t more media types do this?"