In an interview with The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz published Wednesday, Fox News chief Roger Ailes stood by recently surfaced remarks about President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and addressed two of the conservative network’s recent castoffs.
Ailes drew charges of racism after an excerpt from a new biography was published in Vanity Fair earlier this month.
“Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life,” Ailes said in Zev Chafets’ book “Roger Ailes: Off Camera.” “He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fundraisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that.”
He also is quoted as describing Biden as “dumb as an ashtray” in the book, although he told Kurtz that “half of the time” he says those things in jest. Nevertheless, he isn’t backing down.
“Are every one of those statements true? Yes,” Ailes said. “Should I have said them? Well, that’s a debate.”
Ailes also commented on two former Fox News contributors who recently parted with the network. He acknowledged that he did indeed let Sarah Palin go, telling Kurtz that Fox “purposely took a general cooling-off after the election.”
Still, Ailes said he likes Palin but said even she would take responsibility “for some of the bad press she got” and admit she “made some mistakes along the way.”
On Dick Morris, who was one of several prominent conservatives to publicly predict that Mitt Romney would defeat Obama in a landslide, Ailes was more blunt in his assessment.
“Dick made a lot of mistakes in this thing,” Ailes said. “He looked like a jerk. He apologized.”