Obama campaign releases transcript after criticism from Iowa newspaper
(CNN) — The editor of the Des Moines Register wrote in a blistering blog post Tuesday that representatives for President Barack Obama refused an on-the-record conversation with the newspaper’s editorial board, which is preparing to endorse a candidate for president in the coming days.
Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee, conducted an interview with the paper’s editorial board earlier this month. The audio of his comments were recorded and posted on the Des Moines Register’s website.
In his post, Editor Rick Green said Obama’s team should have granted his organization the same type of interview, saying the president’s remarks in the off-the-record conversation, which took place Tuesday morning by telephone, would have helped undecided Iowa voters make up their minds.
“Just two weeks before Election Day, the discussion, I believe, would have been valuable to all voters, but especially those in Iowa and around the country who have yet to decide between the incumbent Democrat and his Republican opponent,” Green wrote.
In a letter to Obama’s Iowa campaign organization, which Green included in his posting, the editor wrote that Obama didn’t have anything to lose by making his comments public.
“What the President shared with us this morning — and the manner, depth and quality of his presentation — would have been well-received by not only his base, but also undecideds. From a voter standpoint, keeping it off-the-record was a disservice,” Green wrote.
A representative for Obama’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding the Des Moines Register’s statements. The newspaper backed Obama ahead of the general election in 2008. It endorsed Romney in December of 2011, before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
The Republican National Committee used the posting to suggest Obama was hiding something from voters in battleground states.
“Two weeks out from an election concealing this interview from Iowa voters both raises questions about what he was hiding and betrays the President’s lack of confidence about his failed record and lack of a vision for a 2nd term,” RNC spokesman Tim Miller wrote.
“In short, President Obama is telling Iowans that if they want to hear him answer some tough qs before Election Day, they’ll have to hope for a rerun of ‘The View,'” he added, making reference to the president’s appearance on the daytime talker earlier this fall.
Note: The Des Moines Register reported Wednesday, October 24 that the president’s campaign released a transcript of the interview. The newspaper posted it online – click here to view that post.
The Register planned to release its endorsement Saturday, October 27.