Hemmer: Why Is Commander-in-Chief Addressing Terror Threat With Jay Leno!?
President Obama made his first public comments on the recent Al Qaeda threat yesterday on "The Tonight Show," leading some to question whether talking to Jay Leno is really the right forum for such remarks.
The president said, "It's a reminder that for all the progress we've made -- getting (Usama) bin Laden, putting al-Qaeda between Afghanistan and Pakistan back on its heels -- that this radical, violent extremism is still out there."
He added that "terrorists depend on the idea that we're gonna be terrorized, and we're gonna live our lives, and the odds of people dying in a terrorist attack obviously are still a lot lower than in a car accident."
Bill Hemmer discussed the issue this morning in a spirited debate with Alan Colmes and Brad Blakeman, asking whether a comedy show is the appropriate venue for such a serious topic of discussion.
Blakeman said the choice of venue "was absolutely wrong" given that U.S. embassies were forced to close all over the Middle East and some likened the intelligence to pre-9/11 chatter. Colmes countered that Republicans have gone on the show before, including Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing his gubernatorial run and Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.
Hemmer responded that neither were commander-in-chief at the time, asking "don't you think people are at home asking 'what the heck is going on out there, please come and tell us.'"
"I happen to think one thing has nothing to do with the other," said Colmes, arguing that Republicans have bigger problems than worrying about whether Obama goes on a late-night show.
Blakeman, a former deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, said he would have been "fired on the spot" if he had suggested to President Bush that he go on "The Tonight Show" with the country facing a comparable terror threat. He said the threat "warranted an Oval Office address to the nation."