Over the past five months, the Republican presidential candidates participated in 13 debates where they fielded dozens of penetrating questions on every major issue facing the nation, and some not so major.
The nationally televised and/or Internet-streamed forums each drew an
average of 5 million to 6 million viewers, along with breathless
wall-to-wall coverage, commentary and criticism from the news media,
radio and TV talk shows, Internet blogs and partisan websites.
Indeed, the GOP hopefuls have been thoroughly queried on a laundry
list of issues ranging from immigration problems to the faltering
economy, Iran’s nuclear program to trade deficits with China,
the intricacies of climate change to strategies to combat terrorism,
exploding government regulations to skyrocketing public debt, plus some
uncomfortable questions about their pasts and their personal lives.
Yet, during all that time, the man they hope to defeat next November
has rarely been asked by news reporters about many of these issues.
Since August, President Obama has held only one formal White House news
conference. That came on Oct. 6, nearly three months ago. It lasted 74
minutes, shorter than any single Republican debate, and the president
was asked 17 questions, most of them softballs on the economy and his
latest legislative proposals to create jobs.
No questions on immigration, no questions on Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan or Israel or North Korea
-- global trouble spots the GOP candidates have been queried about
repeatedly. Moreover, he was not asked about what spending cuts he would
make to reduce the deficit, nothing about Medicare and Social Security
reform or his health care law, all familiar questions for the
Republicans seeking his job. (Continues here)