Presidential News Conference

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

March 6, 2012 1:43:17 PM PST
Anyone who doesn't think incumbency matters, is urged to take a look at tape of President Obama's White House news conference this afternoon.

It's no coincidence Mr. Obama held it on the Republicans biggest primary day of this 2012 Presidential race. The man who last night was described by the conservative Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity as a President with no experience, seemed to be showing a ton of it today.

As the Republicans were pleading for their party's faithful to vote for them, Mr. Obama was throwing down something of a gauntlet to his would-be opponents, challenging them to explain to the American people why the U.S. should attack Iran's nuclear plants.

They have lambasted the Obama Administration's Iran policy as weak. Rick Santorum called negotiations "another appeasement" and Mitt Romney offered that "hope is not a foreign policy."

When one reporter asked the President to respond to Romney's blistering criticisms of his administration, Mr. Obama responded dryly, "good luck tonight."

It is unquestionably an important night for Mr. Romney. Ten states holding primaries and caucuses with 437 delegates up for grabs, more than a third of the delegates needed for the nomination.

A tight race in Ohio between Romney and Santorum, a battleground state for the GOP now, and for both parties in November. And Newt Gingrich will need to win big in Georgia, the state he represented in Congress for years, according to political experts.

We'll have complete coverage tonight at 11, lead by our political reporter Dave Evans. And throughout the night, you can see the results BY CLICKING HERE or watch ABC News for periodic updates.

One more note about the President's news conference, and it's about Rush Limbaugh. It was perhaps Mr. Obama's most emotional moment describing why he called the Georgetown Law School student who testified before Congress and urged health care coverage of birth control. For her efforts, Mr. Limbaugh called her a "slut" on his syndicated radio talk show.

The President said he called the woman in a show of support because he wanted to set an example for his own two young daughters about people's right to speak up without getting personally attacked.

And isn't that a good springboard to talk about my one and only personal experience with Mr. Limbaugh. It happened in 1993. He was just taking off in terms of his popularity, and I went to interview him for Good Morning America. He apparently assumed that GMA's co-host at the time, Joan Lunden, was going to interview him; we were told that he was very fond of her.

Limbaugh was all smiles in the interview room, until I walked in and introduced myself. "Where's Joan?" he asked. I'm doing the interview, I said. He seemed more than a tad disappointed.

I'm just sayin'.

Also at 11, a warning from the FCC tonight to those who might use or import illegal phone or GPS jammers. Who knew they even existed? Turns out they do, and phone jamming is a crime that's apparently on the rise.

And we're also taking a closer look at the odds of getting audited ? a topic of interest in this tax season. Consumer Reports investigates.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports.

I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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