Wolf Blitzer Bemoans Perry's 'Undermining' of Obama UN Address
CNN's Wolf Blitzer fretted over Rick Perry blasting Obama's foreign policy soon before the President was to deliver his address to the United Nations. CNN analyst David Gergen agreed with him, painting Perry as a grenade-thrower.
In a meeting with New York City Jewish leaders GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry slammed what he termed President Obama's policy of "appeasement" in the Middle East, and labeled it "naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous." Perry made his remarks on the eve of President Obama's address to the UN, in the same city.
"You just heard Rick Perry accusing the Obama administration of appeasement, a strong word with a lot of history there," Blitzer ominously reported. He then teed up David Gergen by asking "is it appropriate, at a sensitive, diplomatic moment like this, for a politician to come to New York and effectively undermine the President of the United States?"
Gergen scolded Perry's behavior, likening him to a grenade-thrower. "10 years ago, 20 years ago, it would have been totally inappropriate, because there were sort of rules of etiquette in politics," he insisted.
"You didn't do that to a president, you didn't upstage him just before he went to the U.N. You didn't throw a hand grenade into what was the middle of a very delicate situation."
[Video below the break. For audio, click here.]
A transcript of the segment, which aired on September 21 at 10:07 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
WOLF BLITZER: Rick Perry, the Republican presidential front-runner right now. He met with Jewish leaders here in New York yesterday, and he said this, listen.
RICK PERRY, Republican presidential candidate: We're equally indignant of the Obama administration and their Middle East policy of appeasement that has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith. Simply put, we would not be here today at this very precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naive, and arrogant, misguided, and dangerous.
(End Video Clip)
BLITZER: You just heard Rick Perry accusing the Obama administration of appeasement, a strong word with a lot of history there. Now last night the Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, was a guest on Piers Morgan tonight. Here's an exchange that Piers had with Ehud Barak.
EHUD BARAK, Israeli defense minister: I should tell you honestly that the Obama administration is backing the security of Israel, for which I am responsible, in our government, in a way that could hardly be compared to any previous administration –
PIERS MORGAN: Is Barack Obama, in your view – and you're very experienced in this – is he a friend of Israel?
BARAK: You know, I think, first of all, he's President of America. He'll be friendly to Israel, especially security-related issues. He's also trying, to the best of my judgment, to be even-handed with the Palestinians. I don't think that he's part of the problem. He's part of the solution –
(End Video Clip)
BLITZER: Alright, so a nice vote of confidence in the President of the United States from the Israeli defense minister. David Gergen, as you watch all of this play out, you know a lot of people have pointed out that you know, you hear Rick Perry, the Republican presidential candidate, comes to New York on the eve of this very sensitive moment here at the United Nations General Assembly, the President about to speak, there could be a security council meeting at any moment this week on a Palestinian state in all of this, and here he is slamming the President of appeasement, if you will, tossing "he's naive, arrogant, misguided, dangerous," at this sensitive moment.
The question for you David, as someone who's worked for four presidents, is it appropriate, at a sensitive, diplomatic moment like this, for a politician to come to New York and effectively undermine the President of the United States?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN analyst: Wolf, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, it would have been totally inappropriate, because there were sort of rules of etiquette in politics. You didn't do that to a president, you didn't upstage him just before he went to the U.N. You didn't throw a hand grenade into what was the middle of a very delicate situation. But you know, all the rules of politics and of etiquette seem to have gone out the window, so it's no longer – I don't think we know anymore what's appropriate. It seems it'll be let it all hang out and do whatever the hell you want, and I think it makes it much, much more difficult for the U.S. to conduct diplomacy.