At a meet-and-greet last week in Port St. Lucie, Fla, President Obama was walking through the crowd of people shaking hands and offering smiles filled with thanks. As he stepped backwards away from some supporters to move across the room he accidentally stepped on the foot of a nearby reporter who was there covering the event and taking photos.
The president quickly grabbed the shoulder of the reporter as he caught his balance and offered a quick and impassioned apology.
“Whoa, hey there. I’m so sorry. You okay? Is your foot okay? I need to look where I’m going.”
The reporter shook the president’s hand and said, “no worries, it’s crowded in here.”
This whole encounter seems innocent enough, however Republicans took no time at all to paint the president as an apologist. Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan said:
“This guy just doesn’t know when to stop apologizing, does he? If he stepped on the guys foot then he should have asked the reporter to get out of his way, appreciate the fact that he was so close the President of the United States, and then move on. What he did just solidifies the fact that President Obama is weak and unfit to lead this nation. He needs to go in strong and not apologize for mistakes but instead make it look as though they are intentional and then double down on them. That’s what we do. He should have stomped on the reporter’s other foot and said, “next time, move out of the way” Now we look like we have a Sympathizer-in-Chief. Mitt Romney wouldn’t have apologized, instead he would’ve had the Secret Service tackle him and then force him to pay for any and all damages to his loafers. That’s the kind of leadership we need.”
Paul Ryan wasn’t they only Republican outraged at the president’s apology. Speaker John Boehner offered this:
“This apology is going to cost the nation 710,000 jobs. It’s unbelievable, he wants Americans to fail. That’s been his mission from the get go.”
News of this apology has been spreading like wildfire through the conservative blogosphere with Michelle Malkin tweeting “Another apology from Obummer… figures.” Glenn Beck featured the story as “Wildly uncharacteristic of how a Commander-in-chief should behave.”
When the president heard the news of how Republicans were reacting to his apology, President Obama simply said, “haters gonna hate.”