Entries in Press (5)


Secretary Salazar Apologizes for Threatening to 'Punch Out' Reporter 

Dept of the Interior(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has apologized to a Colorado Springs newspaper reporter after ridiculing and physically threatening him during an encounter earlier this month at a campaign event for President Obama.

The exchange, caught on audiotape by Gazette reporter David Philipps and later posted online by the paper, reveals Salazar becoming aggressive after questions about the alleged sale of hundreds of federally protected wild horses for slaughter and whether additional safeguards are needed.

“Do you see any changes that need to take place in that system in terms of safeguarding those horses?” Philipps is heard asking.

Salazar replied calmly, pledging that the agency is “working on it very, very diligently.” But then, amid rustling of the recorder when it seems the interview had ended, Salazar delivered a threat.  

“You know what, never do that.  This is a – this is the Obama -- You know what, if you do that to me again, I’m going to punch you out. Ok?” Salazar told Philipps in the recording. “Don’t ever, ever, from the Gazette or anybody else do that to me again. Set me up. You know?”

Phillips defended himself, noting that Salazar was there “as a public figure” and that previous inquiries through the department’s press office were unanswered.

“I’m here for President Obama. I’m talking about the campaign. You want to talk to me about a public policy issue, you can do that on another time, in another place,” Salazar said.

Blake Androff, a spokesman for Salazar, told ABC News the secretary “regrets” the exchange and personally apologized to Philipps by phone yesterday.  A post on the Gazette’s website confirms that an apology was made both by phone and in writing.

“As I said to you by phone today, I apologize and regret the statement I made to you in Fountain, CO,” Salazar wrote in a letter posted on the site. “I also will be happy to speak with you officially on the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Ryan Pays Another Visit to Press During Flight

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) -- Paul Ryan came back again Thursday for the second time in as many days to chat with the press on a flight from Springfield, Mo., to Oakland County, Mich.

The reason was to bid adieu to a reporter being re-assigned to his opponent, Vice President Joe Biden.  But with all the cameras on him and the audio recorders in his face he took some questions, too.

Asked if it was difficult to adjust his viewpoints to match the top of the ticket as he did with abortion, he answered simply, “No, it’s not.”

“I mean, no two people agree on every single issue,” Ryan said, before commenting on their differences on the topic of abortion.  “And on that particular issue, I mean, Mitt’s position, he is the top of the ticket, he will be the president and it’s an improvement on the status quo.  No two people agree on every single issue and we share the same principles, we apply them to our problems and I am really excited about this.”

Mitt Romney believes abortions should be outlawed except in the case of rape, incest, or life of the mother, while Ryan only believes abortion should be allowed to save the mother’s life.  Since joining the ticket, he has softened his stance on the issue.

The House Budget Chairman only had one event on Thursday and spent the rest of the day in policy discussion with his staff.

“I wanted to get into the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] baseline, that’s kind of a thing I’d like to look into and do a deep dive on the energy stuff…energy policy,” Ryan explained.

He had taken off the yellow tie and suit jacket he wore to an earlier fundraiser in Springfield.  The reporter heading over to Biden asked Ryan if he had a message.

“Say hi.  Go Packers!,” Ryan said.

After the brief visit, his aide said it was dinner time and Ryan laughed, saying, “I didn’t mean to do a press conference!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Takes Questions from "People," "ET"; Disses WH Press Corps

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama hasn’t formally taken questions from the White House press corps in more than two months, but while on the campaign trail in Iowa Wednesday, he made time for reporters from People magazine and Entertainment Tonight.

His last news conference was at the G20 in June, when he answered six questions from three reporters on the European debt crisis, the conflict in Syria, and the notion of politics stopping at the water’s edge.

The White House press corps has not formally been given the opportunity to ask questions of the president on U.S. soil since his appearance in the Briefing Room on June 8 (when he said “the private sector is doing fine“).

His last formal White House news conference was on March 6.

The president answered a shouted-out question about the shooting at the Sikh Temple on Aug. 6, after the signing of “Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.”

That’s not to say the president has not faced the press.  As he campaigns heavily across the country, Obama has done countless interviews with local radio and TV stations, including several ABC affiliates.

During his three-day Iowa bus tour this week, for example, he conducted three interviews with local radio stations, including a sports talk radio show, and a roundtable discussion with columnists from three Iowa papers, in addition to sitting down with People and Entertainment Tonight.  On July 12, he did an interview with Charlie Rose for CBS This Morning.

Asked if the president will be holding a full-blown White House press conference any time soon, Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday, “I don’t have any scheduling announcements to make about that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul: National Press Ignores Me

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, speaking to a crowd at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, said his campaign had an uphill battle in trying to get attention from the news media.

As proof, Paul pointed to Jon Stewart's comedic take on The Daily Show, which has taken several news organizations to task for ignoring Paul's strong second-place finish in the Ames Straw Poll in August.

"I think people should ask why things are news and others are not," Paul said.

Paul then asked for a show of hands if they knew anyone who'd won the Florida GOP Straw Poll.

Paul remarked that it looked as if almost everyone knew.

He then asked for a show of hands if they knew who'd won the California Straw Poll.

Paul said it looked as if one person knew.

Raising his voice several octaves, he said, "I won the California Straw Poll."

Paul started his speech by saying that his campaign had raised more than $8 million in the third fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's more than the $4.5 million he raised in the second quarter and more than the $5 million he raised in the third quarter of 2007, when he ran four years ago.

Later in the event, Paul was asked if he worried about the almost $17 million haul by the Perry campaign this quarter. He said all money is not equal.

"I don't get special interest money," Paul said. "Banks don't give me money. All donations are not equal."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Surprises Press Aboard Air Force One

Pool Photo (file)(WASHINGTON) -- Though members of the press fly Air Force One on every trip the president takes, they sit in the rear of the plane, sequestered in a separate cabin and rarely see the commander in chief.

But about a half-hour into Monday’s four-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Santiago, Chile, President Obama made a surprise drop by in the press cabin. And, in a ‘turn-the-tables’ moment, the surprised press corps found themselves answering Obama’s questions.

"What are you guys doing?” he asked as he appeared solo in the doorway -- no aides or handlers with him. Taken a little off guard, the press told him they were watching the Naomi Watts/Sean Penn movie Fair Game.

"Is it any good?" Obama asked. “Ask us in an hour,” was the reply from one of the press corps.

“You guys having fun?”  Obama quizzed, adding that he heard some press folks had stayed out “late late” last night and “ate too much beef” at the local Brazilian churrascaria.

But before the press could turn the tables back on Obama, he ducked right back out of the cabin, saying “See ya” as he moved out of sight. The entire encounter was less than one minute.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio