WaPo fact checker rates Obama’s red line a ‘bungled talking point’
“I didn’t set a red line” was the statement up for review Friday by Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. Easily obtainable videos show President Obama clearly setting that red line, so this is obviously a four-Pinnochio statement, right? Let’s say three, just to account for the Washington Post’s obvious bias. What’s that? Kessler gave the comment “no rating”?
Kessler’s logic? Obama’s original threat of a red line in Syria was “an ill-considered rhetorical statement,” and the president “bungled the language again” when he attempted to walk back his words. Kessler’s conclusion is this: “We don’t try to play gotcha here at The Fact Checker, so we are inclined to leave this question to our readers. Some may find the president’s apparent discomfort with his own words more meaningful than any potential misstatement.”
Got that? Claiming that he never set a red line is not a lie but a “potential” misstatement, and the president certainly feels bad about it, and isn’t that what’s important?
It wouldn’t be fair to judge the president on a misstatement; eventually we’ll let him be clear, and then we can judge.
That’s some concession. He could have given a blatant lie two Pinocchios, but didn’t want to “play gotcha.”