Conservative Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois twice called out the media for protecting President Obama on Thursday night's In the Arena, and told host Eliot Spitzer to his face that "you're doing a much better job of making [Obama's] case than he did."
Before the interview began, CNN excoriated the verbal war on Capitol Hill that ensued after Obama's criticism of Republicans in his press conference, likening the spat to the frat-house chaos in the movie "Animal House." However, Rep. Walsh minced no words when he came on the show, saying the president was "in over his head," "in denial," and "acted like a 10 year-old" in the presser.
Then Walsh called out the press not once, but twice to Spitzer's face. "I'm not talking about you in particular, Eliot, but your profession has protected [President Obama]. He's in a cocoon. And the minute somebody pokes him and gets critical with him, look at how huffy he gets."
The former Democrat governor of New York offered a defense for President Obama, detailing the work he has done on the budget and giving a reason why he kept peddling points Walsh deemed "insignificant." Walsh had hit Obama for repeatedly emphasizing a corporate tax break on private jet owners as an example of why Republicans were not serious enough about closing tax loopholes.
"Eliot, you're doing a much better job making [Obama's] case than he did," Walsh boldly responded.
Later on, the congressman again chided the press for covering for Obama. "This is a president, whether you want to admit it or not, has been protected by your profession," he told Spitzer. "And that's got to stop. Everything he says now matters. And when he plays politics with issues, like they are, you've got to call him on it."
Spitzer, predictably, denied any notion that he or the rest of the media were taking it easy on the president. "I've been very hard on this president over a whole slew of issues, as have so many people in not only the news media, but the cable news media and there's obviously FOX that's very critical, so I don't think he's been protected by anybody," Spitzer insisted.