NBC News’ “Today Show” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie is catching some heat after making a controversial comment about President Barack Obama and Hurricane Sandy. During “Meet the Press” Sunday, she said the devastating storm has offered Obama the opportunity “seemingly from above” to appeal to independent voters.
In making her comment, Guthrie was attempting to explain that the Obama campaign’s strategy of late hasn’t hinged on reaching middle-of-the-road voters. Instead, the president has purportedly attempted to court his base.
While observers likely won’t find a problem with these strategic statements, the claim that the opportunity to reach independents came “seemingly from above” is certainly raising eyebrows. Here’s a transcript of her statement, in context:
“When you have a race this tight, a thing like a hurricane can move the needle. In the last three or four weeks of the campaign, I don’t think he had been going out of his way to appeal to independents whatsoever. Here was a moment, handed to him seemingly from above, where he could look like that strong, independent, steady-in-the-storm — very appealing to middle-of-the-road voters and, I might add, unmarried women voters who are going to be very key in this election.”
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This isn’t the first political statement to be made about the storm. On Wednesday, Hollywood director Oliver Stone noted that Hurricane Sandy might be “punishment” for Obama and Republican Mitt Romney declining to speak out about climate change.
Also on Sunday, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spoke out about the storm on CNN’s “State of the Union,” claiming that “the hurricane is what broke Romney’s momentum.”