Krauthammer’s Take

by NRO Staff

From Special Report with Bret Baier | Thursday, June 7, 2012

On whether the administration orchestrated recent intelligence leaks for political gain, despite maintaining a strong approval rating on the president’s handling of terrorism:

I don’t think [the president’s approval rating on terrorism] in any way undermines the argument that this was possibly — I would say, likely — inspired by the attempt to build up Obama as a tough guy.

Even if he has a lead on terrorism, he is way behind in the polls on the economy, which is going to be the dominant issue. If you are worried about how you do in November [and] you are weak on some things and strong others, why wouldn’t you build a lead in one area, where you are the hero who killed bin Laden?

So I have no doubt this is serious and will become more so because this is not just Republicans [calling for investigations of the leaks]. This is Democrats. I don’t know why it took so long.

On the night that this story — the Stuxnet story — appeared in the New York Times, we talked about it here. It was clearly scandalous what was in there. The amount of detail was shocking.

And the story had quotations of people on the record, not just background stuff, obviously trying to tout the role of themselves, and the president. And the drone story even had the president getting advice on just war theory to make him look like a tormented, courageous leader.

On how the administration should address the leaks:

The response in the Bush administration, for a small leak, small issue… a special prosecutor was appointed for something infinitesimal compared to here — the leak about Valerie Plame. …

To compare it with something like that, I think if the administration stonewalls on the special prosecutor it will be something hard to sustain, because you have Democrats who know how much damage has been done.

On former President Clinton’s convoluted attempt to clarify recent remarks that appeared to advocate extending all of the Bush tax cuts:

I think a concise way to summarize that is “it depends what ‘is’ is.”

I write for a living and I’ve edited in my day and I’ve edited some lousy copies, but I can’t make heads or tails of this. It’s really un-editable.

In fact, in psychiatry there is a term… speaking in “word salad.” This is word salad with vinaigrette on it.

He is apparently trying to walk back an idea he contradicted Obama on, extension of the Bush tax cuts. He knows he did. He is not changing his position that I can understand, but he is basically saying “I’m sorry.”

I don’t think it washes. I think you could look at him and know that he is saying — essentially he is doing it with a wink and nod “I’m under duress. Don’t pay attention to what I am saying.”

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