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Conservatives React to Obama-House GOP ‘Question Time’

Well, that was more interesting than anyone could have reasonably expected it to be. The sense I’m getting from conservatives and GOP strategists is that the discussion between President Obama and House Republicans in Baltimore was a boon for the president — maybe unfairly so, because the format made even things Republicans mock about Obama (pinning some early problems on the Bush administration) seem forceful.

Reaction from Weekly Standard editor and Fox News pundit Mary Katherine Ham:

Debatable how much this back-&-forth actually achieves, but it looks like change/openness. Had O tried it earlier, woulda done him good.

Former Weekly Standard blogger/McCain campaign blogger Michael Goldfarb:

What an arrogant SOB. He repeatedly accuses House Republicans of lowering the tone of debate, and denies that his side has done ANY politicizing or any insults, etc. This is just outrageous. His tone was utterly inappropriate, his body language even worse. That was not a polite give-and-take (although Republicans were certainly polite); it was a stern, rhetoric-filled, in-your-face lecture.

National Review’s Daniel Foster:

[I]t would be hard to argue the exchange is anything but a plus-plus for Obama and the GOP. Both sides emerged from it looking as if, contra the public’s greatest fears, they more or less know what they are talking about on issues like the deficit and health-care reform. The president avoided the temptation to speak in platitudes and sound bytes, and the Republicans went a long way toward showing that they are hardly a party of obstructionists with no solutions to offer Americans.

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the speech reactions — Fox News, alone among cable networks, cut away mid-broadcast and went to a newsless interview with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).

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