UPDATE: NBC News’ Mark Murray clarified his position to TheBlaze Blog’s Eddie Scarry: “We were not comparing Remsburg’s story directly to Obama, who in a way has lived a charmed life (especially before becoming president). But we were talking about the story of perseverance — and that does apply to Obama. Stumbling, making mistakes, and getting up from defeat. That is the story that we said could apply to Obama.”
NBC News’ Mark Murray on Wednesday said that the story of a wounded veteran’s struggle to recover from a savage IED blast “could apply” to President Obama.
“Nothing in [President Obama’s] seven years on the national political stage (2007-2014) has come easy,” NBC News’ senior political editor wrote in an article titled, “First Thoughts: On the road again.”
“The 2008 race for the Democratic nomination. Even that general election. The health-care law. The re-election campaign. And now the president’s current situation in which he finds himself bloodied and bruised after the botched health-care rollout. Perseverance is an important quality for any president,” the article continued. “Bill Clinton was usually able to talk his way out of sticky situations. But Obama’s M.O. is to grind it out. That, more than anything else, was the message he wanted to send last night — both he and the country are grinding it out.”
Murray’s talk of the president’s “perseverance” is in reference to the moment Tuesday night when Obama told the story of Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg.
Remsburg, who appeared Tuesday night at the State of the Union address, was nearly killed in 2009 near Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a roadside bomb. The attack, which occurred during his tenth deployment, put him in a three-month coma.
The wounded veteran has spent more than four years recovering from the blast and he still struggles with a brain injury. He is also blind in one eye.
He has since been awarded the veteran with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
“That story could also apply to Obama himself,” Murray wrote.
Murray took his article to social media, tweeting out: “Obama’s ending on Remsburg wasn’t just a story about America — it also was a story about Obama. Nothing has ever come easy.”
Unsurprisingly, the comparison was met with ridicule.
“Now this…tweet is insane,” the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein said in a tweet.
“I recommend you read the column fleshing out what it means beyond the 140 characters,” a defensive Murray responded.
“I don’t see how that changes it. Losing NH primary is not like nearly being killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan,” said Klein.
“No doubt the stories are different. But Obama also was talking about peservance [sic] at large for country — and that applies to him,” Murray tweeted, clearly not backing away from his position.
National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke interjected: “Mark, just so you know: This is why people on the right find the president and his cultists scary.”
But it wasn’t all mockery. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was pleased with Murray’s comparison, eventually tweeting: “my thought exactly the first time I read it.”
Murray is married to an Obama official.
His wife, Sasha Johnson, was appointed as Assistant to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and DOT Director of Public Affairs in November 2011, according to NewsBusters.
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This post has been updated to include a response from Murray.