NBC's Todd Defends Obama 'Twitters' Gaffe: 'Written Incorrectly in His Prepared Remarks'
On NBC's Today on Friday, White House correspondent Chuck Todd preemptively dismissed any criticism of President Obama referring to "Twitters" during a joint press conference with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev on Thursday: "It turns out he didn't misstate it. It was written incorrectly in his prepared remarks."
During Todd's report, a clip was played of Obama noting how in a visit to California's Silicon Valley, Medvedev went to "visit the headquarter of Twitters." Obama simply placed an 's' after the wrong word. Rather than let the minor gaffe stand, at the conclusion of the report, Todd made to sure to explain the typographical error to viewers: "You did not mishear. The President did say the word 'Twitters,' plural." Despite Obama's inability to correct the remarks off the cuff, Todd solely blamed a White House staffer for the mistake: "A speechwriter falling on his sword on that one."
Todd quickly changed the subject to a similar gaffe made by President Bush: "...it did bring back memories of President Bush one time referring to those 'internets.'" The media was certainly never quick to come to Bush's defense after a verbal misstep.
In his report, Todd observed how Obama got a "diplomatic head-start" on the upcoming G-20 economic summit in Canada by meeting with Medvedev and how "...the President treated Medvedev to cheeseburgers at one of the President's favorite burger spots in northern Virginia."
Here is a full transcript of Todd's June 25 report:
MATT LAUER: President Obama will be keeping an eye on what's happening in the Gulf today from Toronto. He's heading there this morning to join a host of world leaders at the G-20 summit. NBC's chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd is there as well. Chuck, good morning to you.
CHUCK TODD: Well, good morning, Matt. The President is scheduled to arrive here later this morning. He's going to have a new Wall Street reform deal in his back pocket. It's something he's going to try to use to convince these other nations from around the world to do similar action. On Thursday he met with an important G-20 ally, the Russian president. Believe it or not, it's the seventh time these two have met face-to-face. Security here at the G-20 meeting is tight. The Canadian government has spent more than any other host country ever to try to make sure world leaders are safe. Heading into the important economic summit, the President got a diplomatic head-start by meeting with one of America's most touchy allies, Russia, and its president, Dimitri Medvedev.
BARACK OBAMA: America's most significant national security interests and priorities could be advanced most effectively through cooperation, not an adversarial relationship, with Russia.
TODD: And yet, despite the global economic concerns and the presence of the Russian president-
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Does the change in command in Afghanistan-
TODD: A reporter's first question brought the President back to the issue that's dogged him all week, Afghanistan.
OBAMA: I am confident we've got a team in place that can execute it.
TODD: The President promised no more personnel changes after Wednesday's dramatic firing of General Stanley McChrystal and the President made sure to leave himself wiggle room on the question of whether the U.S. will actually go through with its plans to draw down troops in July, 2011.
OBAMA: We didn't say we'd be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us. We said as we begin a transition phase in which the Afghan government is taking on more and more responsibility.
TODD: Medvedev was asked if he had any advice for the President, given Russia's long and costly war in Afghanistan.
DIMITRI MEDVEDEV: But I try not to give pieces of advice that can't be fulfilled.
TODD: But Defense Secretary Robert Gates did have words of advice.
ROBERT GATES: No one, be they adversaries or friends, or especially our troops, should misinterpret these personnel changes as a slackening of this government's commitment to the mission in Afghanistan.
OBAMA: Visit the headquarter of Twitters.
TODD: On a lighter note, President Obama noted President Medvedev opened a Twitter account and joked it was a 21st sentry substitute for the old Cold War hotline.
OBAMA: I have one as well, so we may be able to finally throw away those red phones that have been sitting around for so long.
TODD: Earlier in the day, the President treated Medvedev to cheeseburgers at one of the President's favorite burger spots in northern Virginia.
MEDVEDEV: Probably it's not quite healthy but it's very tasty and you can feel the spirit of America.
TODD: Alright. You did not mishear. The President did say the word 'Twitters,' plural. It turns out he didn't misstate it. It was written incorrectly in his prepared remarks. A speechwriter falling on his sword on that one. But it did bring back memories of President Bush one time referring to those 'internets.' Matt.
LAUER: Alright, Chuck Todd, thank you very much. He's in Toronto this morning.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.