Newt Gingrich isn’t the only one on the campaign trail who sees himself as a towering historical figure. President Barack Obama has just joined the club.
Obama’s comments in a recent “60 Minutes” interview that his legislative and foreign policy accomplishments top all but three former presidents has sparked fierce blowback among right-leaning blogs.
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The president’s claim didn’t air in the show’s Dec. 11 television broadcast but was included in the full interview video that CBS posted on its website that day.
The “60 Minutes Overtime” video shows Obama telling correspondent Steve Kroft:
“The issue here is not going be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do.”
NewsBusters pounced on the comments with a story under the headline: “60 Minutes broadcast edits out laughable Obama claim as 4th best president.”
“Eh! No big deal. Barack Obama is better…at least in his own mind. Such was the laughably absurd claim of President Obama on 60 Minutes last Sunday. What? You didn’t see it? That was because 60 Minutes conveniently left it out of its broadcast,” P.J. Gladnick wrote.
He continued, “So kneel, all you presidential peons, before the greatness that is Obama. His radiance shines so bright that it dazzled Steve Kroft to the extent that he didn’t even bother to ask an obvious follow-up question.”
Big Journalism headlined its story: “Selective Editing: CBS News Omits Embarrassing Obama Boast from TV Interview.”
And the Blaze’s Madeleine Morgenstern also berated the president’s remarks, writing that he “essentially declared himself the fourth best president in terms of his accomplishments.”
While the president didn’t quite go that far, Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft also joined the tune of the other bloggers on Monday.
“You have got to be kidding. … After destroying the American economy, tripling the national deficit, blowing a trillion dollars on a failed stimulus plan and nearly doubling the unemployment rate, Barack Obama told “60 Minutes” last week that he considered himself the 4th best president in US history. Unbelievable. (Is this guy out to lunch or what?),” Hoft wrote.
Scott Paulson, the Examiner’s “conservative examiner,” concluded that Obama has “a much higher opinion of his accomplishments than most Americans have of him.”
Gingrich has received his share of criticism for tooting his own horn on the campaign trail, once crediting himself for having “helped lead the effort to defeat communism.”
Kevin Tedesco, executive director of “60 Minutes,” told POLITICO in an email: “We don’t discuss our editorial process but we made the entire interview available to all on our webcast, 60Minutes, Overtime, Where it has been for nine days.”
Dylan Byers contributed to this story.