At his last press conference in the United States, President Obama skipped over the television reporters, and here’s a prime example of why that may have been. At a joint press conference with South Korean President Park on Friday, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl took his turn with the leader of the free world to ask President Obama if Russian President Vladimir Putin was correct in his belief that Obama would save him in a hypothetical drowning situation. If you think the original question to Putin was stupid, please keep in mind that it was asked by a six year-old girl.
“It wasn’t that long ago you were talking about a reset with Russia and were optimistic that relations with Vladimir Putin could be dramatically improved,” Karl began. “Did you misjudge him, or did he mislead you? And at this point, isn’t it clear that sanctions simply are not going to change his behavior?”
Then, he added, “And just a personal relations question — I’m sure you saw President Putin was asked if he were drowning, would you save him? And he said he thought you would save him. So I’m just wondering is he correct on that and do you think that Putin would save you?”
The President responded that “I absolutely would save Mr. Putin if he were drowning. I’d like to think that if anybody is out there drowning I’m going to save them. I used to be a pretty good swimmer — I grew up in Hawaii. A little out of practice.”
The real star of this clip, though, is Al Jazeera America White House correspondent Mike Viqueira, who literally has to bite his lip while Karl asks his ridiculous question:
The only thing more disappointing than Karl’s question is his failure to ask the logical followup, “Fine, but would you piss on him if he was on fire?”
Instead, he followed the President’s lengthy response about sanctions by asking if the realm of possibility is still a thing. “Would you acknowledge sanctions may not change (Putin’s) behavior?” he asked.
“Jonathan, I think that’s self-apparent,” the President answered. “I think that there are no guarantees in life, generally, and certainly no guarantees in foreign policy.”
But hey, it made the evening news. Win.