Politico had quite the bombshell Monday night … until it turned out to be total BS, anyway. According to the Politico headline on Edward-Isaac Dovere’s story, “Barack Obama calls opponents of Iran deal ‘the crazies.'”
Wow, I mean, opponents of the Iran deal include not just Ted Cruz and Scott Walker but likely future Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer. Harsh words from the president! Except the reality, as summed up by Erik Wemple, is this:
Consistent with his increasingly edgy tone of recent months, President Obama on Monday evening in remarks from Henderson, Nev., used a flourish to describe his political enemies: “Harry and I drove over here together and we were doing a little reminiscing, and then figuring out how we’re going to deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems,” said the president, referring to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “And then
talked about riding off into the sunset together.”
In that utterance, Obama didn’t specify those “problems.” Or just who were those “crazies.” […]
A look at the transcript shows a nine-paragraph gap between “the crazies” and the first mention of Iran.
After White House spokesman Eric Schultz said that “There’s nothing when the president was recalling his conversation with Sen. Reid that mentioned Iran,” a different Politico reporter, Sarah Wheaton, followed up, still trying to work the talking-about-Iran angle by writing “Some interpreted the “crazies” comment as referring to opponents of the Iran deal.” “Some” led by Politico, with Republicans always happy to jump on the outrage train for any advantage they can grab.
As a reminder, we’ve got congressional Republicans who want to shut down the government over defunding Planned Parenthood. Congressional Republicans are going to pick a debt limit fight even as the deficit falls. And on and on. There was truly no shortage of things for Obama to describe as “dealing with the crazies in terms of managing some problems,” and no reason to believe Iran would be at the top of that list. But Politico seems to have felt that Iran would make the sexiest headline to reach over nine intervening paragraphs of transcript and pick out.