RUSSERT: On the bigger picture though that I found extremely interesting today is the decision to allow the cameras present for the Q&A. Last night the White House called the GOP leadership and requested this. It obviously turned out to be a brilliant political move.
Tom Cole — former head of the NRCC, congressman from Oklahoma — said, “He scored many points. He did really well.” Barack Obama, for an hour and a half, was able to refute every single Republican talking point used against him on the major issues of the day. In essence, it was almost like a debate where he was front and center for the majority of it.
It's very, very interesting to see what this will do to the political dialog for the rest of next week. Final point on that I do believe one Republican said to me, off the record, and saying behind closed doors: “It was a mistake that we allowed the cameras to roll like that. We should not have done that.” Very interesting.
WITT: Why? Why? Because they didn't fire away the way they really wanted to for fear of repurcussions you know, ala Joe Wilson "You lie" if there was disrespect shown?
RUSSERT: Well, when the Democrats did this they had a closed camera session right, when he had a meeting with the Democrats last month...
RUSSERT: By allowing these cameras to roll, it allowed Obama to sit there for an hour and a half refuting every single Republican talking point, which he really has not had an opportunity to do in his campaign rally speeches that he's been doing in Florida yesterday, that he's been doing addresses in the White House. He was able to directly refute Republicans to their face for an hour and a half on T.V. I think he scored a lot of political points.