‘Hillary Clinton’s health should be media focus, not Trump interview with RT’
“When the interviewer asks him [Trump], ‘why do you support this guy [Putin]?’ He says, ‘He is a strong guy. Look, he’s got an 82 percent poll rating.’ Well, yes, Saddam Hussein had a 90 percent poll rating,” Obama said as he stumped for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
RT spoke with media analyst Lionel for his views on the comments, as well as other thoughts on the upcoming presidential showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
RT: So it's not only the US media that's fired up over Trump's appearance on this channel. Barack Obama used it as a battering ram while campaigning for Clinton. What's your take?
Lionel: I've told people Larry King does his show for an organization called ORA that is covered on RT. And in addition to Donald Trump, Larry King has had such international luminaries as Dolly Parton to talk about music. What are we talking about here? Larry King, that is the issue. Larry King has talked to every human being on the planet at one time or another. This is… great publicity for RT - fantastic - and for Larry King and Donald Trump. They are repeating by virtue of the story what Donald Trump said. Far be it from to give anybody advice, but if I’m running for office, or if I’m stumping for somebody, I’m not going to call any attention to their opponent. I’m going to say, that I am on behalf of this candidate and Hillary Clinton is the best choice because of what she promises, here is her platform, here is what she has done. Why does everybody talk about Trump? It makes no sense. But here is the bigger issue. Nobody cares about this. Nobody is talking about this. There are very serious concerns in this country, like in many places. We want to talk about - if I’m the voter - what Hillary Clinton is about to do and what is more important… to allay and assuage the legitimate fears and concerns that people may have about Mrs. Clinton’s health. And on the ladder of important issues not even on the bottom rung is an old appearance by Donald Trump with Larry King. Irrelevant! It’s desperate. It is diversionary. It does not matter.
"It was a very spiteful statement by Obama. I think it reflects the fact that Obama is frustrated in that he can’t out-smart President Putin who is a strategic thinker. And so he has to go down into the gutter and throw out things. Also, Obama only got 54 percent favorable ratings. So, I guess maybe he is a little jealous of Vladimir Putin’s ratings." - Michael Maloof, former Pentagon official
RT: It's not the first time that the name of Vladimir Putin has been brought up in the US presidential campaign is it? And now seemingly it's back in vogue. Why's that?
L: You know I wish I can tell you. I can’t speak on behalf of the president, but I can tell you people that I know and people that I have seen, this is a new meme, a trope, a patellar connection that people are saying and they do not know why. They find themselves channeling Cold War, red baiting, Russophobic references. And I ask people: what exactly are you talking about? Why are you saying this? I don’t know. Now if you go back and ask somebody: What did Donald Trump say about either Putin or Russia? What was it that he said that was so important to repeat it but that in any way causes anyone to show concern? And nobody can point to it. It is just this repeated idea that he must have said something wrong, because everybody keeps talking about. And since all I do is read the headlines, I’m going to repeat it too. Nobody knows… We have got bigger fish to fry, bigger issues to deal with. And we’ve got more importantly we got very serious concerns about the democratic candidate. That is what we want to hear about. That is what is going on. We got a very serious incident Sunday, and that is what should be the concern, not Donald Trump and Larry King.
RT: With his comparison to Saddam Hussein, it appears to be one of his harshest comments ever made about his Russian counterpart. Indeed, is he saying Russia is like Iraq in the early nineties? Are statues going to start crumbling in Moscow like in Baghdad? Is liberation just around the corner? Do I need a plane ticket out of here?
L: [Laughter]I do not know what that even means. I’m still trying to figure this one. Look it comes down to this. There are different groups of people in this country: people who are going to vote for Hillary and people who are going to vote for Trump. And that speech should have been designed to grab the interest of the disinterested or undecided voter, somebody who is leaning but not completely sure. That is what it's about. And I promise you nobody came home and said, ‘you know what, I’m voting for Hillary because I heard today a juxtaposition between Putin and Saddam Hussein and that is it! That is all I needed to hear! I don’t know about the future, the economy, crime, immigration, world events, military, World War III. I don’t care about that. That momentary, and remember this is a very small reference out of the entire speech, it was an aside almost, that momentary reference, aside, or juxtaposition, nobody changed votes. I do not even know what that means. I’ll bet you people have even forgotten the name Saddam Hussein. I’m telling you. People would need to understand that our society, with our news cycle, they have the attention span of a gnat. So while you are there to hear something that is relevant now, to make a hoary and old reference to somebody else, again wasting time, when the voter wants to hear - what are you going to do for me now, for my family in the future now? More importantly, I say again, the number one issue on every news show on every blog on every alternative foreign media is Hillary Clinton’s health. That is the issue.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.