Wallace quoted something from The Atlantic: "Obama frequently reminds his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do." He then asked Obama if he thinks "we make too big a deal of the terror threat."
Obama said we don't, but that it's important — as we pursue the number 1 goal of protecting America — that "we abide by our laws" and "our values."
Chris Wallace went back to the bathtub:
WALLACE: -- when you say more people die in bathtub accidents, and I understand you’re not saying [fighting terrorism is] not important, but you’re saying we can’t overreact to it, is bathtub manufacturers aren’t trying to kill us, and they’re not trying to up the body count....I pictured Stephen King watching and getting an idea for a new horror story.
And some people wonder... do you worry about terrorism and feel the threat of terrorism the way they do?Of course, Obama said that he did, and Wallace asked:
WALLACE: So why do people sometimes think you’re diffident....Obama gave a good answer, one that made me think of George W. Bush:
OBAMA: Well, I think part of it is that, in the wake of terrorist attacks, it has been my view consistently that the job of the terrorists, in their minds, is to induce panic, induce fear, get societies to change who they are. And what I’ve tried to communicate is, "You can’t change us. You can kill some of us, but we will hunt you down, and we will get you. And in the meantime, just as we did in Boston, after the marathon bombing, we’re going to go to a ballgame. And do all the other things that make our life worthwhile. And you have nothing to offer." That’s the message of resilience that we don’t panic, that we don’t fear. We will hunt you down and we will get you....All he needed was a bullhorn.
Later, in the panel discussion, George Will got back to the bathtub:
WILL: Chris, you referred to his diffident tone. I think he comes across as condescension. I mean it’s one thing to say, as many people or more people die in bathtub accidents, but bathtubs aren’t trying to kill us. There’s a difference and the American people feel this between an individual accident and premeditated mass murder. And when he coolly says, if people only understood these numbers they would calm down, it inevitably communicates condescension to the people.ADDED: The bathtub isn't trying to kill us... intentionality matters. Which takes us to the discussion of Hillary Clinton's email:
WALLACE: Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America’s secrets?The bathtub never intentionally put your family in any kind of jeopardy. It served your household well, giving many outstanding baths. But it was negligently designed and it killed your father.
OBAMA: ... Here’s what I know: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy. ... Now what I’ve also said is that -- and she has acknowledged -- that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognizes. But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job....