Mark Halperin, the senior political analyst for Time magazine and co-author of the new "Double Down: Game Change 2012," said something about the 2012 campaign on Glenn Beck's radio program Thursday that made Beck and his co-hosts laugh out loud.
Halperin -- who conducted hundreds of in-depth interviews with co-author John Heilemann for their book on the 2012 presidential contest -- said President Barack Obama deeply disliked Republican challenger Mitt Romney because he saw him as "phony."
"Hang on just a second, I'm sorry, it's like you hit me in the head with a frying pan or a telephone pole," Beck said through his laughter. "The president thought someone else was a phony? That's saying something! ... When that guy thinks you're a phony, wow, that's saying something, whoa."
Beck has long maintained that Obama presents a false image of himself and his policies to the world, whether it's claiming his parents got together because of the march in Selma, Ala., when he was actually born years before the event, or repeatedly assuring the nation that if you like your doctor and your health care plan you can keep them, when his legislation made that impossible for millions.
According to Halperin, the president's view of Romney as "phony" was one of the reasons he performed so poorly during the first presidential debate of 2012.
"(Obama) had in his head a lot of animosity towards Mitt Romney, a lack of respect, and his aides were just really beside themselves leading up to that debate saying, 'You don't want to show how much you disdain the guy,'" Halperin said. "And they kind of told him, 'just lay low...'"
In the president's opinion, Halperin said, Romney was "phony" because he was "running for all the wrong reasons" and "disavowing his record in Massachusetts as governor."
When Beck stopped laughing, the two discussed other topics of interest from the 2012 election, ranging from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's famous "bear hug" with the president, to the role of the media.
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