Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, visited the University of Maryland as a guest lecturer for the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies Thursday. He spoke on a number of issues, including the mainstream media, elections, the Middle East, and presidential candidates.
Beyond his time with ABC, NBC, and Fox News, the cable news anchor has received three Emmys and a Peabody award for his outstanding work in the field of broadcast journalism.
Wallace opened his speech with a number of timely, tongue-in-cheek jokes to warm up the silent, reverent audience. Soon students, professors, and guests alike were chuckling along with his repartee. One particular quip aimed at Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, erupted the room with laughter:
“All these political strategists are trying to figure out why Romney can’t get his message out, and the answer is: it’s hard to talk with both a silver spoon and a foot in your mouth.”
The Chris Wallace lecture, however, was not all jokes– he soon progressed to matters of great import. He dove directly into the election and both candidates. After briefly dissecting Romney’s recent gaffe, the 47% video, Mr. Wallace made a bold prediction on the outcome of the 2012 election:
“Mr. Obama has an even bigger lead in the electoral votes… All nine of those [tossup] states voted for Obama four years ago, and he has a small lead in 8 of the 9 states as of now. So he has a much clearer path to victory than Romney does.”
He also offered an interesting perspective on why Romney’s favorability has dropped so significantly since he secured the Republican nomination:
“Remember, Romney had to spend tens of millions of dollars to win the primaries while Obama could build up and sit on his [inaudible]. Once it became clear that Romney was the opponent, the president then carpet-bombed him with months and millions of dollars of television ads while Romney was hustling in what little money he had left until he formally accepted the nomination… and he could start spending money he had raised in the general election. And what did the Obama folks do? They painted Romney as a rich, unfeeling, corporate raider who doesn’t care about middle class families. And, frankly, they had plenty of targets.”
Later, when asked about bipartisan efforts in the Senate and the House, and if he believed government would remain divided along party lines after the November 6th, Wallace answered:
“So yes, I think we will have a divided government. Now, you can talk about the possibility: well, alright, Obama wins, Romney wins, things switch, and people decide ‘oh, lets get along, and lets try to get something done.’ …So I, no, I mean the answer is: do I think anything will get done? Yes… But do I think that there is going to be a huge bipartisan celebration? I wish there were, I wish they would get some things done…but I don’t think so.”